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P002Abortion pills for future use: Who is receiving advanced provision of medications to induce abortion?

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      Objectives

      To describe sociodemographic characteristics of patients requesting abortion medications for future use from an online provider.

      Methods

      This descriptive study of requests for advanced provision of mifepristone and misoprostol from Aid Access between August and December 2021 used patient records from nine primary care providers to describe demographics, social vulnerability, and reasons for requesting advanced provision of medications. We used zip code to determine county-level four-point CDC Social Vulnerability Index.

      Results

      Among 160 people included in the study, requests for medications came from people living in 17 US states, the District of Columbia, and active-duty military. Nearly one-quarter came from California (24%); 16% came from New York, and less than 10% came from each of the remaining locations. The median age was 29 (IQR, 23–35; range 16–47 years). Most patients were childless (84%), and nearly half had either high or medium-high social vulnerability (23% and 26%, respectively). The most common reasons for requesting medications for future use included: personal choice (70%), future legal restrictions (55%), being comfortable at home (47%), privacy (46%), desire to take care of their own treatment (43%), and empowerment (42%). Some other common reasons included stigma (25%), cost (26%), work or school commitments (23%), and desire to keep it a secret (20%).

      Conclusions

      Patients are requesting abortion medications in advance of confirmed pregnancy for a variety of reasons, even in states with fewer restrictive abortion laws. These results suggest that further research is needed to explore their actual use by these patients.
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