A misoprostol-alone self-managed medication abortion regimen: An opportunity to democratize self-management in the US?
Awarded 2021
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Dana Johnson, MPAff
University of Texas at Austin

Dana Johnson a PhD candidate in Public Policy and NICHD Predoctoral fellow at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. As part of her dissertation research, Dana is investigating the safety, effectiveness, and acceptability of self-managed abortion using a misoprostol-alone medication abortion regimen in the US. This work is driven by previous research focusing on experiences with self-managed medication abortion acquired from telemedicine services and used by people in the US, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and US servicemembers stationed overseas. We know these organizations offer an alternative to clinical abortion care, and in the US where abortion restrictions continue to be enacted and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade, these services are essential. However, her recent work on the economic circumstances in which people self-manage indicates that online telemedicine is still difficult for some to access. While considerably more affordable than clinic-based care, her findings indicate that the service’s requested donation still posed a significant financial burden. These findings have motivated the central question in her proposed research: how can we increase access to self-managed medication abortion among populations who face financial barriers to care? Dana will use data collected from Aid Access, a non-profit online telemedicine organization serving the US, to conduct a mixed-methods study investigating a misoprostol-alone medication abortion regimen for self-management. Findings from this study are aimed at further democratizing self-managed abortion and will enhance our understanding of this regimen.