Positive experiences by Irish women using online abortion service Women on Web reported in new scientific publication

For immediate release 17-10-2016:
Women who accessed at-home early medical abortion using the online abortion service Women on Web in Ireland and Northern Ireland reported positive outcomes for health, wellbeing, and autonomy, according to new research.

The study examined both the demographics and circumstances of 5,650 women requesting early medical abortion between 2010 and 2015, and the experiences of 1,023 women who completed abortion from January 2010 to December 2012. Women were diverse with respect to age, pregnancy circumstances, and reasons for seeking abortion. Results were peer-reviewed and published in the international journal, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG).  

 Study findings include:

  • Among women completing early medical at-home abortion, 97 percent felt they made the right choice and 98 percent would recommend it to others in a similar situation.
  • The only negative experiences commonly reported by women were the mental stress caused by pregnancies they did not want or felt they could not continue, and the stigma, fear, and isolation caused by current restrictive abortion laws.
  • The feelings women most commonly reported after completing abortion were ‘relieved’ (70 percent) and ‘satisfied’ (36 percent).
  • Women with financial hardship had twice the risk of lacking emotional support from family and friends.

“Women in Ireland and Northern Ireland accessing medical abortion through online telemedicine report overwhelmingly positive benefits for health, wellbeing, and autonomy,” Aiken said.  “This examination and subsequent findings provide a new evidence to inform the policy debate surrounding abortion laws in Ireland and Northern Ireland.”  

Funding for this research was in part provided by infrastructure grants for population research from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

The study was published online first at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.14401/full

For more information please contact the researcher:

Abigail R.A. Aiken, MD, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs 
email: araa2@utexas.edu