This project is a way for people to access medical abortion pills before they are pregnant, without going to an abortion clinic. An abortion provider conducts a video evaluation and sends the abortion pills by mail in discreet packaging. The project is only open to people in Oregon and Washington.
Pregnant people can face many barriers to accessing abortion at clinics, including distance, scheduling difficulties and long wait times for appointments, the need to take time off from work and/or arrange for childcare, and harassment from clinic protesters.
In an effort to combat some of these barriers, OHSU Women’s Health Research Unit is studying how to provide medication abortion support and pills before a positive pregnancy test, in case someone needs them in the future. Medical abortion is the use of pills (called mifepristone and misoprostol) to end a pregnancy. 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. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, accessing this care by telemedicine (without in person clinic visits or testing) has become increasingly common and is shown to be a safe way to reduce barriers to this care.
What this study involves:
1) If you are interested and fill out the questionnaire below or call our recruitment line a member of the study team will set up a phone call to confirm if you are eligible for the study and answer any questions you may have.
2) If you are eligible, you will have a telemedicine videoconference with a provider (30-60 minutes in length), where they will go into further detail study involvement as they walk you through the consent form, and what to expect if you use the medication.
3) You will receive the medications by mail for use in the future. Total study participation lasts 12 months.
4) All participants will receive automatic emails with links to complete a 5-10-minute survey on your experience, occurring every 3 months for one year.
5) If you become pregnant and use the medication abortion pills, you will take an online assessment before and after using medications.
a. If you have concerning symptoms you may need in person testing and treatment.
- Are a regularly menstrual individual
- Are 18-40 years of age
- Plan to reside in the state of Oregon or Washington for the next 12 months
- Are at risk for pregnancy and are not using an IUD, implant, or permanent sterilization for birth control
- Would want a medication abortion if you were to become pregnant
- Have access to a computer with audio and visual internet connection for telemedicine study visit
Study Participation is completely voluntary. Qualified participants will receive all study-related materials (such as medication abortion pills) at no charge and will be compensated up to $70 for their time and travel. The exact amount will depend on the number of visits and study requirements completed.
Safety and other resources
A member of the research team is available to answer any questions you may have regarding the safety and legality of medication abortion. If you have concerning symptoms you may need in person testing and treatment.
Medication abortion has been used safely in the U.S. for more than 20 years. Serious problems are rare, but like all medications, there can be risks. Our study medical provider will review all guidance and risks prior to mailing the medication and be available for any questions or concerns.
Medication abortion is legal in the states of Oregon and Washington, as is having a telemedicine consultation with an Oregon licensed provider and medications being mailed directly to an Oregon or Washington address.
Below is a reliable source with up to date information about changing state laws around abortion: www.guttmacher.org