National Partnership for Women & Families

Journal Review

Authorizing Pharmacies To Dispense Medication Abortion Could Improve Access in U.S.
In this commentary, researchers compared medication abortion regulation in Australia, where women can obtain the necessary medications via prescription at pharmacies, and in the U.S., where FDA requires that the initial medication abortion drug, mifepristone, be administered "only by physicians in clinics, offices or hospitals and cannot be dispensed in pharmacies." The researchers urged U.S. regulators to adopt policies similar to Australia's, noting that the resulting "potential improvements in access to early medical abortion could be great -- both in terms of the number and distribution of providers, as well as the expansion of the use of telemedicine."

Federally Qualified Health Centers Could Have 'Significant Role' in Meeting Adolescents' Family Planning Needs, Study Finds
In this study, authors investigated the role that community health centers play in providing family planning services to adolescents. The researchers concluded that "CHCs have the opportunity to play a significant role in providing high-quality family planning to low-income, medically underserved adolescents," although increased funding, additional resources and "a favorable policy climate" would help CHCs to better meet the needs of that patient population.

Review Debunks Medication Abortion 'Reversal' Claims
In this study, researchers reviewed published studies to assess the rate of continued pregnancy in women after ingesting mifepristone -- the first drug administered in a medication abortion -- as well as in women who received progesterone doses after ingesting mifepristone. Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that laws requiring physicians to tell women seeking medication abortions that the procedure can be "reversed" via progesterone treatment are "an affront to responsible research conduct and to the ethical practice of medicine."

Study Assesses Relationship Between Abortion Policies, Laws and Women's Contraceptive Use
This study examined women's contraceptive use between 1995 and 2010 -- a time period that "witnessed a significant increase in the proportion of women exposed to restrictive abortion policies and contexts" -- to examine how women's contraceptive choices were influenced by antiabortion-rights law and policies. The researchers found that "women living in states with more restrictive abortion contexts tend to use highly effective contraceptives." According to the researchers, the findings indicated that, "to avoid [unintended] pregnancies, it is important to ensure access to highly effective contraceptive methods for all women when access to abortions is limited."

Surgical and Medical Abortion Both Highly Effective, Safe at Nine Weeks Gestation or Less, Study Finds
In this study, researchers compared the efficacy of surgical abortion and medical abortion at nine weeks gestation or less. Overall, they found that both procedures are highly effective and have low risks of complications. They recommended, "Provided [women] are appropriate candidates for either method, they should be counseled on both medical and surgical options when seeking pregnancy termination."

Study: State Restrictions on Mifepristone Keep it From Reaching 'Full Potential'
In this study, researchers at Gynuity Health Projects assessed four states to examine the effect of state restrictions on mifepristone use, such as laws restricting who is authorized to prescribe the drug, requiring the physician be physically present to administer the drug and requiring providers to adhere to outdated regimens when prescribing the drug. The authors concluded that such restrictions have kept mifepristone from "reach[ing] its full potential" and have limited access to medication abortion.

IUD Placement at Time of Delivery Linked to Increased IUD Use Six-Months Postpartum, Study Finds
In this study, researchers compared the rate of intrauterine device use among women who received an IUD at the time of their cesarean delivery with the rate among women who planned to receive an IUD six weeks after a C-section. At six-months postpartum, the researchers found the rate of IUD use was 83% in the intracesarean group and 64% in the six-week interval group. The study "add[s] to the growing body of evidence that provision of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) at the time of delivery leads to increased use of effective contraception."