The Role of Research in the Fight for Abortion Rights

From identifying new and innovative ways to provide abortion care across the US, to fighting to maintain reproductive health care access for vulnerable people in the courts, to expanding the number of states where we can provide medically supported abortion care at home after a discrete telehealth visit, carafem is working to improve abortion access and options while providing the most modern, high-quality, and accessible abortion care possible.

carafem believes that one of the most impactful ways we can contribute to positive change is to collect data and participate in research. Many of the restrictions legislators have placed on abortion care have been implemented on the false premise that abortion is different or less safe than other kinds of healthcare. Years of evidence collected across our country prove otherwise — abortion is an extremely safe and commonly shared experience for people around the world.

In 2019, carafem began a partnership with Gynuity Health Projects called the TelAbortion study, a groundbreaking effort to provide abortion pills to people through the mail after a secure, encrypted health care visit over video. As a part of this project, carafem recruited volunteers who wanted to receive abortion care at home without visiting a health center. Each person was fully informed of the process and consented to sharing the outcomes and their feedback of the telehealth abortion appointment through participation in our study. Together with other abortion providers across the country, carafem provided results that proved it’s a safe and effective option to receive abortion pills through the mail. 

In December 2021, we were pleased to see the FDA permanently remove the longstanding requirement to travel to a clinic to receive abortion pills. carafem is proud to have contributed to the FDA’s decision to change the way people can choose to receive care. Our clients have told us that telehealth abortion care is an important piece to improving abortion access that is available to people where, when, and how they prefer to receive it.

carafem is proud not only to offer high-quality, compassionate health care in person and through telehealth, but also to contribute to the fight for legal access to abortion in the face of continued, needless restrictions. Our partnership with health care partners in the communities we serve, along with legal defenders like the ACLU has helped to thwart attempts to place undue burden on abortion access. We will continue to engage in legal battles and to participate in gathering data to better understand how we can best serve those who need care.

carafem’s first priority is a focus on the client experience. As a barometer of the quality of our care, carafem partnered with Ibis Reproductive Health from March 2018 through December 2019, to measure satisfaction with our medication abortion services. The study was conducted at our Georgia health center and found the majority of both telehealth and in-person clients “value the compassionate and nonjudgmental care provided by carafem staff, and felt well-informed about the medication abortion process and their contraceptive options.” Find the client satisfaction research study here.

At the center of all we do will always be our clients who inspire the carafem model of care. This means health care that is collaborative, coordinated, and focused on each client’s preferences, values, and emotional well-being. We thank the tireless energy of our staff, volunteers and donors who help to make that care a reality.

Learn more about additional research studies we’ve participated in here: