A new study has found that the method of abortion through telemedicine is just as effective and safe for patients as the face-to-face method. Telemedicine allows physicians to remotely counsel each patient and to supervise administration of the drug mifepristone as the nurse dispenses the medication.
The study is among the first reports on telemedicine and was conducted by Dr. Daniel Grossman at University of California-San Francisco at Planned Parenthood clinics throughout Iowa. The study found that 94% of the women who chose telemedicine report being “very satisfied” with the procedure. Researchers found that women who received counseling through telemedicine had no more complications than those with office visits.
In a country in which 88% of counties have no abortion provider, telemedicine abortions have become an increasingly popular method, affording the option of abortion in many areas in which that choice would otherwise not be available.
Five states have banned telemedicine abortions – Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, and North Dakota, though yesterday in North Dakota, a state with only one abortion clinic, a judge put a temporary restraining order on the statewide ban. Representative Steve King (R-IA) is attempting to ban the procedure in Iowa, attaching it to an agricultural bill that passed the Iowa House last month.