Study: Mail-Order Abortions 95% Effective

Study says that's as safe as in a clinic
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 16, 2017 7:30 PM CDT
Study: Taking Abortion Pill at Home as Safe as in Clinic
A new study published Tuesday shows medical abortions done at home with online help and pills, such as these from Iowa, sent by mail appear to be just as safe as those done at a clinic.   (Charlie Neibergall)

Medical abortions done at home with online help and pills sent in the mail appear to be just as safe as those done at a clinic, according to a new study. The research tracked the outcomes of 1,000 women in Ireland and Northern Ireland, who used a website run by a group called Women on Web to get abortion pills. The Netherlands-based nonprofit provides advice and pills to women seeking an early abortion in more than 140 countries where access to abortion is restricted. To use the service, women complete an online form, which is reviewed by a doctor. They are sent two drugs in the mail—mifepristone and misoprostol—and given instructions on how to take the pills.

About 95% of the women in the study reported successfully ending their pregnancy; nearly all were less than nine weeks pregnant. The researchers said less than 1% reported side effects like nausea and fever, comparable to the rates for women who seek medical abortions at clinics where abortion is legal. Seven women needed a blood transfusion and 26 received antibiotics. No deaths were reported. Follow-up information was missing for about one-third of the 1,500 women who were sent pills over three years, so some complications may have been missed. Women on Web provided the data and the patient feedback for the study. (More abortion stories.)

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