This paper, published in Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, analyzes provisions that do not account for the prevalence of self-managed abortion and evidence of its safety. Such provisions require that abortion take place in a formal healthcare setting. The researchers also analyzed criminal penalties for non-compliance.
For decades, people have effectively self-managed their abortions without the supervision of a health care professional. Self-managed abortion (SMA) offers an alternative model of care that can serve people living in both restrictive and more liberal legal settings. SMA has been recognized for its potential not only to reduce harm caused by abortion restrictions, but also to contribute to personal agency and reproductive freedom, shifting power away from the formal medical system and into the hands of women and other pregnant people.
The Identifying Data for the Empirical Assessment of Law (IDEAL) method, developed by a team of academics, lawyers, reproductive health experts and law students, follows three steps to support the development of evidence-based guidelines and practice related to abortion law. The process identifies social science and epidemiological evidence that does not explicitly address the law, but can nonetheless enhance the understanding of legal effects and identify research gaps and priority research topics.
This legal map captures insurance coverage mandates of contraception in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in effect from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2021. It was produced by Elizabeth A. McCaman, JD, MPH, a senior attorney at the National Health Law Program.
As long as the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for mifepristone remain in place, it creates an unnecessary barrier to access safe medication for abortion and miscarriage care. This article discusses why it’s critical to permanently remove the REMS to reduce the disproportionate harms of abortion restrictions on communities of color, and advance equity in and access to timely and essential reproductive health care.
Self-managed abortion has improved access to safe and effective abortions. While the practice is on the rise around the world, many countries impose significant legal restrictions on abortion access. These laws regulate various aspects of abortion, including: the grounds upon which individuals are permitted to obtain an abortion; who may provide an abortion; the tests that health professionals are required to administer before an abortion may be provided; and where an abortion is legally permitted to take place.
This legal map identifies the procedural protections established by laws and regulations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that protect the conscience rights of health care providers in the context of reproductive health care services, with a particular emphasis on immunity from civil liability and limitations on provider rights in cases where patients are likely to be harmed. It captures the relevant features of laws in effect as of December 2019.