Over 6-In-10 U.S. Abortions Last Year Were Done Via Medication

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OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:32 PM – Wednesday, March 20, 2024

According to recent statistics, over 60% of abortions performed in the U.S. last year were medication-assisted, up from 53% in 2020.


A research agency that advocates for abortion rights, the Guttmacher Institute, reported that in the first full year following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, approximately 642,700 medication-induced abortions were performed. In the U.S. healthcare system, 63% of abortions were also medication-assisted.

A week before the high court hears arguments in a case that may affect women’s access to mifepristone, which is typically used in combination with another pill in pharmaceutical abortions, the data was made public on Tuesday.

“For example, it is now possible in some states, at least for health care providers, to mail mifepristone to people in their homes,” Guttmacher researcher Rachel Jones said. “So that saves patients travel costs and taking time off work.”

Abortion medication shipped to individuals in areas where abortion is illegal, as well as self-managed pharmaceutical abortions performed outside of the medical system, are not included in Guttmacher’s data, which is gathered through calling abortion providers.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the overturning of Roe v. Wade, according to Pittsburgh-based abortion physician Dr. Grace Ferguson, “really opened the doors” for pharmaceutical abortions performed via telehealth.

Ferguson is not associated with this specific research.

In places where abortion was still legal, Ferguson noted that “telehealth was a really good way of accommodating that increased volume” and that more patients were traveling from states with stricter abortion laws.

Since the Food and Drug Administration legalized mifepristone in 2000, the number of pharmaceutical abortions has been gradually increasing, according to data from Guttmacher. The medication primes the uterus to react to the contraction-inducing effects of another medication, misoprostol, by blocking the hormone progesterone.

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