Improving access to medication abortion among Black and Latinx women in Georgia
Awarded 2018
Increasing access to medication abortion
Sequoia Ayala, JD, MA

Background: Access to safe abortion is declining in the US—especially in the Southeast—and Black, Latinx, and/or lower income women experience disproportionate barriers to abortion care and increased risk for unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and maternal mortality. Medication abortion has the potential to improve access for marginalized and high-risk women. SisterLove, Inc., a community-based reproductive justice organization focused on HIV/AIDS in the South since 1989, is uniquely well-poised to collaborate with health providers and researchers, including Emory University’s Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE), to understand and address barriers to abortion.
Methods: Taking a complementary, comprehensive mixed-methods and community-engaged approach, we will conduct in-depth qualitative interviews and/or focus groups with abortion providers (n=10), advocates (n=6), Black (n approximately 35) and Latinx (n approximately 35) women to explore the multi-level factors related to medication abortion (non)use among understudied groups in Georgia. Emergent codes and themes will inform development of an online survey to quantitatively estimate Black (n=200) and Latinx (n=200) women’s medication abortion perceptions, intentions, and use and identify correlates of those outcomes (e.g. knowledge/attitudes, financial constraints, institutional factors, sociocultural norms).
Proposed analysis: Findings will deepen understanding of barriers to Black and Latinx women’s abortion access; establish new community-academic partnerships; develop a formal instrument with utility for national medication abortion research; and eventually inform an intervention to improve medication abortion services for vulnerable women. We will translate our scientific findings via web-based psychoeducational videos for communities; academic manuscripts; clinical guidelines for providers and professional organizations; and a training program for community-based advocates.