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Research Indicates Significant Increase in Abortion Pill Usage Following Roe Reversal

A study, published in the medical journal JAMA on Monday, revealed a significant increase in the utilization of abortion pills acquired outside the official healthcare system following the repeal of the national abortion rights.

Last week, the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that advocates for abortion rights, published a report stating that medication abortions now make up almost 66% of all abortions offered by the country’s official healthcare system, which includes clinics and telemedicine abortion services.

The JAMA study analyzed data from international telemedicine groups, online sellers, and networks of community volunteers who typically get medication from sources outside the United States.

According to the study, before to the overturning of Roe, these channels facilitated the distribution of abortion pills to approximately 1,400 women each month.

However, in the six months following the overturning, the average number of women receiving abortion pills increased significantly to 5,900 per month.

In summary, the analysis revealed that there was a decrease of around 32,000 abortions in the formal health care system between July and December 2022.

However, this fall was somewhat counterbalanced by approximately 26,000 medication abortions obtained from sources outside the formal health system.

Research Indicates Significant Increase in Abortion Pill Usage Following Roe Reversal - The Hard News Daily

“In the United States, we observe a similar pattern to what is seen in other parts of the world when anti-abortion laws are implemented.

Often, individuals seek alternative options for care outside of traditional healthcare settings,” explained Dr. Abigail Aiken, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the primary author of the JAMA study.

The co-authors consisted of a statistics professor from the university, the founder of Aid Access (a Europe-based organization that played a key role in introducing telemedicine abortion in the United States), and a leader from Plan C (an organization that offers people information on pharmaceutical abortion).

Prior to being published, the study underwent the stringent peer review process mandated by a prominent medical journal.

The telemedicine organizations in the study assessed potential patients using written medical questionnaires, prescribed medications from doctors primarily located in Europe, and delivered the medicines from pharmacies in India. The usual cost for these services was approximately $100.

Community networks commonly requested specific details on the pregnancy and subsequently provided or sent medication along with comprehensive guidelines, frequently at no cost.

Online merchants, who provided a small portion of the tablets in the research and charged prices ranging from $39 to $470, typically did not inquire about the medical history of women and shipped the pills with little instructions.

According to Dr. Aiken, the vendors included in the study were carefully evaluated by Plan C and determined to be supplying authentic abortion pills.

The Guttmacher report examined the official health care system and gathered data from clinics and telemedicine abortion services in the United areas.

These services offered abortion to patients who either resided in or went to areas where abortion is legal. The data collection period spanned from January to December 2023.

The study revealed that the use of pills accounted for 63 percent of all abortions, which is an increase from 53 percent in 2020.

The report documented a record-breaking number of abortions, surpassing one million for the first time in almost ten years.

Significance of this Issue related to Abortion Pill

In general, the new reports indicate the swift adaptation of abortion services in response to post-Roe abortion prohibitions in 14 states and stringent regulations in other states.

The numbers may not accurately represent the total count and do not take into account the recent implementation of shield laws in six states.

These laws permit abortion physicians to prescribe and send pills to thousands of women in areas where abortion is banned, eliminating the need for them to travel.

Since the previous summer, Aid Access has ceased the practice of delivering medication from foreign countries and working outside the official healthcare system.

Instead, it is now sending medications through mail to states within the United States that have bans, while being protected by shield laws.

What is the next step or course of action?

The plaintiffs, who are against abortion, are taking legal action against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in an upcoming Supreme Court case.

They aim to prevent or significantly restrict the accessibility of mifepristone, which is the initial tablet in a two-drug abortion treatment.

The JAMA study indicates that if such a ruling were to be implemented, it may encourage a greater number of women to seek alternative options outside of the official American healthcare system, such as obtaining medication from foreign countries.

“There are numerous uncertainties regarding the outcome of the decision,” Dr. Aiken remarked.

She stated that a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs by the Supreme Court could potentially lead to an increase in the number of individuals seeking healthcare outside of formal settings. This could be due to concerns about limited access or difficulties in obtaining medications.

(The headline and the story has not been edited by THND staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

References :

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/22/health/abortion-shield-laws-telemedicine.html#:~:text=Doctors%20in%20six%20states%20where,states%20where%20it%20is%20illegal.&text=Pam%20Belluck%20spent%20time%20with,with%20patients%20receiving%20those%20pills.
  2. https://www.guttmacher.org/2024/03/medication-abortion-accounted-63-all-us-abortions-2023-increase-53-2020
  3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2816817?resultClick=1
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/03/25/abortions-outside-medical-system-increased-sharply-after-roe-fell/
  5. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/25/health/self-managed-medication-abortion-surge-post-dobbs/index.html
  6. https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/4555054-use-abortion-pills-for-self-managed-abortion-spiked-sharply-post-roe-research/
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