To explore patients’ experiences with telehealth abortion with medication delivery
offered at a large Massachusetts safety-net primary care (PC) network.
This PC network cares for medically-underserved communities and was among the first
to integrate telehealth abortion with medication delivery. We conducted semi-structured
in-depth phone interviews from March to May 2022 with English-, Spanish-, or Portuguese-speaking
patients who received telehealth abortion with medication delivery between July 28,
2020 and December 31, 2021 (n=55). Interviewers asked participants to walk through
their experience of learning about the pregnancy, seeking and receiving care, and
follow-up. The team employed frequent reflexivity, wrote memos post-interviews, and
met frequently to discuss emergent patterns and themes. We employed inductive thematic
We interviewed 14 participants (11 English, 1 Spanish, 2 Portuguese). Overall, participants
reflected positively on their telehealth abortion experience within their PC network.
They valued remote care access, familiarity and trust of the PC system and providers,
privacy, and ease of scheduling and medication delivery. Telehealth empowered patients:
They appreciated the ability to choose where to have the visit and described feeling
reduced abortion-related stigma. Respondents described telehealth as a care modality
that mitigated the provider-patient power dynamic and minimized in-clinic discomfort.
Participants described feeling cared for, being treated with respect, and appreciation
for receiving care from their established healthcare team within the context of ongoing
social and medical health concerns.
Participants who receive telehealth abortion in their PC network with medication delivery
report care as person-centered and empowering. Telehealth abortion is an acceptable
alternative to in-clinic medication abortion.