Research Co-Sponsored by The JPB Foundation Examines Quality of Abortion Care
The quality of abortion care depends on where a woman lives, says one of most comprehensive reviews of research on safety and quality of abortion care in the U.S.
While legal abortions in the U.S. are safe, the likelihood that women will receive the type of abortion services that best meet their needs varies considerably depending on where they live, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In addition, the report notes, the vast majority of abortions can be provided safely in office-based settings.
The committee that wrote the report examined the scientific evidence on the safety and quality of the four abortion methods used in the U.S. -- medication, aspiration, dilation and evacuation (D&E), and induction. It assessed quality of care based on whether it is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable according to well-established standards.
Abortion-specific regulations in many states create barriers to safe and effective care. These regulations may prohibit qualified providers from performing abortions, misinform women of the risks of the procedures they are considering, or require medically unnecessary services and delay care, the report says. Examples of these policies include mandatory waiting periods, pre-abortion ultrasound, and a separate in-person counseling visit. Some states require abortion providers to provide women with written or verbal information suggesting that abortion increases a woman's risk of breast cancer or mental illness, despite the lack of valid scientific evidence of increased risk....