Does Travel Distance Determine Telemedicine Abortion Interest?

Montana Gill , Emory University
Jessica Geiger, University of Kansas
Julie Burkhart, Trust Women
Roger W. Rochat, Emory University

Background: In the United States, nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended,1 and women terminate nearly half of unintended pregnancies2. We describe barriers abortion patients face, and gauge their interest in utilizing telemedicine abortion practices. Methods: We conducted 19 patient interviews and surveys, and three interviews of abortion providers at clinics. We designed patient interviews to understand barriers to access and interest in telemedicine abortions. We asked providers about the possibility of telemedicine abortions. Results: Women reported four common barriers to accessing the abortion: travel, transportation, child care, and cost. They had diverse responses to telemedicine abortions. Overall, eight felt comfortable having their abortion appointment over a video call, and 17 felt comfortable obtaining abortion pills by telemedicine. All providers felt telemedicine abortions were feasible and necessary. Conclusion: Patients reported barriers to abortions and nearly all felt comfortable with telemedicine. Clinics that add telemedicine services might improve access to abortion for women living in rural communities.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2