Telemedicine is telephone- or online-based medical service, and allows people to receive medical care remotely. A new study published in BMJ analyzed how effective these online methods could be. More precisely, it focused on online abortion and questioned the safety of the technique.
- Women in countries with strict laws often resort to online abortion
- They receive pills to terminate their pregnancy
- The study found 94 percent of them experience no problems with this method
Many women who live in strict countries tend to use unusual methods to terminate their pregnancy. Since the law prohibits them from having an abortion, they need to find a way to do it. Most of the time, they use illegal and unsafe techniques which put their life in danger. This is why more than 43,000 women die every year from such practices.
The research focused on women from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In these countries, the law forbids them to have an abortion unless the pregnancy puts the woman’s life in danger. Due to these strict laws, women frequently use online abortion to terminate their pregnancy.
For the study, researchers from University of Princeton and University of Texas received help from the non-profit organization Women on Web (WOW). They used data on 1,000 women collected by the organization. WOW also has an online service which helps women induce abortions.
These 1,000 women selected for the study underwent online abortions between 2010 and 2012. After completing an online consultation form, they received 200 mg mifepristone and 1,200 μg misoprostol. From all the women involved in the study, more than 94 percent successfully terminated their pregnancy with this method. Only 4.5 percent of them needed further surgical intervention.
“Self sourced medical abortion using online telemedicine can be highly effective, and outcomes compare favourably with in-clinic protocols” the authors wrote in the study
Results showed these drugs did not have severe side effects. Only 7 women needed blood transfusions after the online abortion, and 26 women received antibiotics. Scientists concluded online abortion is more effective and safer than any other illegal method.
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