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How the Pandemic Changed Abortion Access

A study, led by Dr. Abigail Aiken at the University of Texas at Austin, took advantage of a natural pandemic experiment. In spring 2020, Britain began allowing health care providers to administer medication abortions via telemedicine, with pills mailed to the patient’s home. Aiken and her colleagues compared thousands of medication abortions in Britain for two months before and after the new protocol went into effect. The groups had equally high success rates for completing their abortions (above 98 percent) and similarly low rates of significant complications (0.02 percent of the telemedicine-only abortions, and up to 0.04 percent for the ones with in-person visits).

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