FAQ: Who can provide medication abortion services?
Research from many countries has demonstrated that different types of health care providers can safely and effectively provide medication abortion services. In many parts of the world, mifepristone and misoprostol is provided by physicians (including general practitioners, family medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, and obstetrician/gynecologists), professional midwives, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. In some countries, mifepristone and/or mifepristone and misoprostol combination packages may be available directly from pharmacies. Recent research has also demonstrated that mifepristone and misoprostol can be provided safely and effectively through telemedicine. Telemedicine consultation can be over the phone or online.
Medication abortion with the methotrexate and misoprostol regimen is provided by a range of health care providers, including physicians and advanced practice clinicians, depending on the country-specific context.
Misoprostol alone for early abortion is available through many different models of service delivery and many different types of providers. In some countries, misoprostol is provided by health service professionals in a range of clinical settings. In many countries, misoprostol is also available directly from pharmacies or drug shops and may or may not require a prescription. In some countries, misoprostol is available through women’s organizations and feminist collectives or through telemedicine consultations. Research has shown that if women understand the evidence-based protocol, timing for use, and circumstances requiring clinical follow-up they are able to safely and effectively take misoprostol by themselves.
Services like Women on Web and Women Help Women provide medication abortion telemedicine services in multiple languages and in multiple countries. Additional information where medication abortion is provided can be found on the links section of this website.
If you have questions about medication abortion, please visit our frequently asked questions section.