Given the overall safety profile and increasing availability of medical pregnancy termination drugs, we asked: would the mifepristone–misoprostol regimen for medical termination at ≤10 weeks of gestation meet US Food and Drug Administration regulatory criteria for over-the-counter (OTC) approval, and if not, what are the present research gaps?
Research has not kept abreast of women’s self-use of medical abortion, leaving many gaps in the scientific literature regarding the ideal conditions for safe and effective use. In December 2016, a group of 20 global abortion researchers convened following the Africa Regional Conference on Abortion to discuss current and future research on medical abortion self-use. This article lays out their list of identified research gaps and methodologic considerations in addressing them—challenges that are intended to inform both ongoing and future research.
Developing a scale to measure stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs about women who have abortions: Results from Ghana and Zambia
The objective of this research was to explore the context of abortion stigma in Ghana and Zambia through qualitative research, and develop a quantitative instrument to measure stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs about abortion. Focus group discussions were conducted in both countries, and a Stigmatizing Attitudes, Beliefs, and Actions scale was created. It captures three important dimensions of abortion stigma: negative stereotypes about men and women who are associated with abortion, discrimination/exclusion of women who have abortions, and fear of contagion as a result of coming into contact with a woman who has had an abortion. It provides a validated tool for measuring stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs about abortion in Ghana and Zambia and has the potential to be applicable in other country settings.
Doing more for less: Identifying opportunities to expand public sector access to safe abortion in South Africa through budget impact analysis
The objective of this study was to estimate the costs of public-sector abortion provision in South Africa and to explore the potential for expanding access at reduced cost by changing the mix of technologies used. It concludes that South Africa can provide more safe abortions for less money in the public sector through shifting the methods provided–and says that more research is needed to understand whether the cost of expanding access could be offset by savings from averting costs of managing unsafe abortions.
Determination of medical abortion eligibility by women and community health volunteers in Nepal: A toolkit evaluation
The objective of this study was to determine if pregnant, literate women and female community health volunteers (FCHVs) in Nepal can accurately determine a woman’s eligibility for medical abortion using a toolkit, compared to comprehensive-abortion-care-trained providers.