A medical abortion is the use of pills to end a pregnancy. These pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) essentially induce a miscarriage. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone in 2000, and since then over 3.5 million people in the U.S. have had a medical abortion. Medical abortion works up to 70 days (10 weeks) of pregnancy.
Medical abortion is highly effective. Research has shown that the pill regimen completely terminates pregnancy in about 95% of patients. About 5% of patients may need to have a uterine aspiration (a surgical abortion) because of a continuing pregnancy, incomplete abortion, or persistent bleeding.
Medical abortion is also very safe. Serious risks, such as heavy bleeding and infection are rare. It is very unusual for someone to need admission to a hospital for treatment or to have a blood transfusion after a medical abortion.
Side effects of medical abortion are common; they include vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and mild fever. These side effects usually last a short time and can be treated with over-the-counter medications.
To have an in-person medical abortion, you would go to an abortion clinic to be evaluated by the abortion provider and have all the necessary tests completed before the abortion. The abortion provider would then give you the abortion pills at the clinic.
A TelAbortion involves all the same steps and procedures, but you do not have to travel to an abortion clinic. Instead, the study abortion provider conducts a video evaluation over the internet. You obtain all the necessary tests at medical facilities near your home. The abortion pills are then sent to you by mail.
A TelAbortion involves all the same steps and procedures as a regular medical abortion, but you do them without going into an abortion clinic.
If at any point you wish to come to the study clinic in person instead of continuing with the TelAbortion, you are welcome to do so.
Yes. The TelAbortion Study uses an encrypted, HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing platform. The information that you provide to the study abortion provider will be stored securely. No personal identifiable information about you will be shared with anyone outside the research team, except as required by law.
TelAbortion has several potential advantages over an in-person abortion:
But TelAbortion may also have significant disadvantages for some:
The amount you will have to pay for a TelAbortion will depend on many factors, including your location, the specific tests that you will need before and after the abortion, and your insurance coverage. The study abortion provider will give you an estimated cost range before you enroll in the study. The total out-of-pocket cost for you may be more or less than you would pay for a standard in-person medical abortion.
To qualify for the TelAbortion Project, you will need to meet all the same standard criteria as for an in-person medical abortion. These include:
Based on the information you provide in the video evaluation and on the results of your tests, the study abortion provider will make a final determination as to whether you qualify for a TelAbortion.
Phone, tablet or computer with:
When you call the TelAbortion provider in your state, the TelAbortion Coordinator will give you more details about what specific equipment or browsers will be needed.
At this time, the TelAbortion Study is available only in the project states listed here. If you live elsewhere but are able to have your consult and receive the package in a project state, please call the TelAbortion Coordinator to discuss your options.
Otherwise, you will have to go in person to a clinic or medical office to have an abortion.
If seeking telehealth medical abortion in Mexico, see TeleAborto.org for information on Gynuity’s Mexico-based study.
No. The study can send the medical abortion pills by mail only to those who participate in the study.
This study is sponsored by Gynuity Health Projects, a non-profit reproductive health organization. The abortion care is being provided by partner clinics in our project states.
It has been reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as by multiple institutional review boards.
No pharmaceutical company is involved in the TelAbortion Study.