Patient perspectives regarding no-test telemedicine abortion
Awarded 2021
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Aneesh Gupta, MD
University of California, Los Angeles

With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic exacerbating the already existing problem of access to abortion-care across the United States, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends making no-test abortion more widely available to patients that qualify. Instead of the standard steps prior to undergoing a medical abortion, which typically include a physical exam and ultrasound, the recommendation is to offer no-test medical abortion to patients who are at an appropriate gestational age, have a reliable last menstrual period, fulfill all the general eligibility requirements of undergoing a medical abortion, and do not have risk factors for ectopic pregnancy.

Data surrounding no-test medical abortion has been promising, demonstrating both safety and efficacy. However, there is little-to-no data regarding the patient perspective of no-test medical abortion. This study illuminates the patient experience with no-test telemedicine abortion (NTTA). Specifically, we aim to determine whether patients find it acceptable to have an abortion without an ultrasound or physical exam, whether they find it acceptable to have an evaluation performed through telemedicine, and whether they would opt for this route again and/or refer this method to an acquaintance. By using a mixed-methods format, we hope to glean both quantitative and qualitative data in order to best answer the proposed questions. Documenting acceptability will add impetus to making no-test protocols the standard of care for medical abortion around the country.