Online abortion options ‘safe and effective’, says study

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Nearly 95% of women who search for abortion drugs and advice online safely end their pregnancy, a study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Texas, alongside an international team, tracked the outcomes for 1,000 women in Ireland and Northern Ireland who accessed the abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol online.

They found that almost 95% of those tracked successfully and safely ended their pregnancy without the need for surgical intervention. No fatalities were recorded, but 26 women needed antibiotics and 7 needed a blood transfusion.

The researchers say the study, published in the British Medical Journal, underscores the safety of medical abortion. They added that women who experience symptoms of possible complications should follow advice to seek medical help.

Ninety-three of those tracked developed symptoms for which they were advised to see a doctor, with 95% of these women subsequently going to a hospital or clinic.

Abigail Aiken, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, said: ‘This is abortion entirely outside the formal healthcare setting: it is an...