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P022Growing national interest and support for advance provision and over-the-counter access to medication abortion

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      Objectives

      In 2017, we estimated that more than one-third of women support advance provision (44%) and over-the counter (OTC, 37%) access to medication abortion. We assess any changes in national interest and support for these models of abortion care.

      Methods

      From December 2021 to January 2022, we administered a national probability-based online survey of English- and Spanish-speaking people assigned female at birth regarding their interest and support for accessing medication abortion in advance from a doctor for future use and OTC without a prescription, using Ipsos KnowledgePanel. We estimated weighted frequencies and conducted bivariate analyses to identify participant characteristics associated with interest and support for each model.

      Results

      7,016 people assigned female at birth completed the survey. Nearly half stated they were in favor of advance provision (49%) and OTC (49%) access to medication abortion. The most common advantages of each model included privacy (51% and 44%), convenience (48% and 50%) and earlier access to care (45% and 44%); the most common disadvantages included taking the pills incorrectly (57% and 53%), unanswered questions (45% and 46%) and being forced to take the medications (43% and 41%). Experiencing barriers accessing reproductive healthcare, mistreatment by healthcare providers and identifying as a sexual and gender minority were associated with greater support for these models of care.

      Conclusions

      There is growing national support for streamlined access to medication abortion, particularly among those who have experienced challenges accessing healthcare. As legal restrictions proliferate, these models of care have the potential to increase access to abortion.
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