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Gynuity’s TelAbortion Study Has Completed Enrollment

Gynuity’s TelAbortion Study – a groundbreaking research project designed to evaluate the use of telemedicine for providing medication abortion in the U.S. – completed enrollment on September 30, 2021.

We launched the TelAbortion study in 2016 at a time when telemedicine abortion was a newly emerging idea with little documentation available for policymakers, regulators and clinicians. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dispensing restrictions prohibited the mailing of abortion pills outside of our study setting.

Five years down the line, it now seems the right time to move on and ask new questions.

Gynuity's research has shown that this model of early medication abortion care, which allows individuals to be counselled remotely and receive the medications through the mail, is safe, efficacious and acceptable.

Our paper summarizing the expansion of the TelAbortion study during the COVID-19 pandemic, when we saw usage double, demonstrated that outcomes are comparable to in-clinic care and the service is highly effective.

This paper was a primary data source used in a decision by the FDA to suspend the in-person mifepristone dispensing requirements for the duration of the pandemic. [Update: In December 2021, the FDA made the decision permanent. This change to the regulations allows for mifepristone to be sent by mail instead of requiring individuals to pick it up from a health facility.]

We have created a legacy that will impact positively the lives of people seeking abortion in the U.S., increasing options for those who have trouble getting to a clinic or choose not to go to one. Participants in our study report being very satisfied, and consistently note that privacy and convenience are the best features of this service.

We are extremely proud of what we have achieved in partnership with clinical providers across the U.S. None of this work would have been possible without them. We are delighted that this direct-to-user telemedicine abortion service will continue to be offered beyond our research project.

At Gynuity, we will carry on fulfilling our mission, examining innovative ways to expand safe and effective reproductive and maternal healthcare access.

Published Research from the TelAbortion Study

  • Chong et al. Expansion of a direct-to-patient telemedicine abortion service in the United States and experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contraception. 2021 Jul;104(1):43-48. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2021.03.019. Epub 2021 Mar 27. PMID: 33781762.
  • Raymond et al. TelAbortion: evaluation of a direct to patient telemedicine abortion service in the United States. Contraception. 2019 Sep;100(3):173-177. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2019.05.013. Epub 2019 Jun 4. PMID: 31170384
  • Anger et al. Clinical and service delivery implications of omitting ultrasound before medication abortion provided via direct-to-patient telemedicine and mail. Contraception. 2021 Jul 28:S0010-7824(21)00342-5. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2021.07.108. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34329607
  • Kerestes et al. "It was close enough, but it wasn't close enough": A qualitative exploration of the impact of direct-to-patient telemedicine abortion on access to abortion care. Contraception. 2021 Jul;104(1):67-72. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2021.04.028. Epub 2021 Apr 30. PMID: 33933421
  • Raymond et al. "False positive" urine pregnancy test results after successful medication abortion.Contraception. 2021 Jun;103(6):400-403. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2021.02.004. Epub 2021 Feb 14. PMID: 33596414
  • Beardsworth et al. Miles and days until medical abortion via TelAbortion versus clinic in Oregon and Washington, USA. BMJ Sex Reprod Health. 2021 Mar 31:bmjsrh-2020-200972. doi: 10.1136/bmjsrh-2020-200972. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33789954


Abortion by Telemedicine: A Growing Option as Access to Clinics Wanes

Pam Belluck, The New York Times, April 28, 2020

What It’s Like to Get an Abortion in Hawaii

Claire Lampen, Vice, April 30, 2020

Covid Put Remote Abortion to the Test. Supporters Say It Passed.

Rebecca Grant, Undark, April 5, 2021

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