Telemedicine could expand access to medical abortions
Physicians in JAMA propose that many medical terminations, or pill abortions, which use a combination of mifepristone (Mifeprex) and misoprostol (Cytotec) and account for approximately one quarter of all abortions, might be performed via telemedicine.
This emerging aspect to health care delivery may be especially suited to patients seeking terminations in the earlier parts of the first trimester and who may not have readily available access to other abortion services.
Telemedicine programs for medical abortions are available in the Canadian province of British Columbia and in Australia. In the US, a program initiated by Planned Parenthood, in which physicians screened cases via telemedicine prior to the issuance of medication by a clinic, reports successful termination rates of 99% in 233 cases with follow up. Currently, some states have restricted the implementation of such care for political reasons associated with limiting the provision of abortion services.