Self-managed medication abortion in South Korea: A retrospective records review of the uptake of medication abortion through online telemedicine prior to decriminalization

Hazal Atay, Sunhye Kim, Jiyoung Kim, Rebecca Gomperts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the uptake of medication abortion through online telemedicine in South Korea prior to decriminalization of abortion beginning in 2019. Study design: We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional analysis of medication abortion consultations submitted to Women on Web, an online telemedicine service, from South Korea between 2013 and 2019. Results: The uptake of medication abortion through Women on Web increased every year between 2013 and 2019, adding up to 12,115 consultations across 7 years. The median age was 25 and the median gestational age was 37 days. Individuals reported financial constraints (66.2%) as the most common reason for wanting an abortion. This was followed by not wanting a child at this point (64.7%) and wanting to finish school (34.6%). Conclusions: This study illustrates the uptake of medication abortions via Women on Web between 2013 and 2019, prior to decriminalization of abortion in South Korea. Implications: This study attests to the use of online telemedicine for medication abortion, despite the legal restrictions prior to decriminalization of abortion in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109923
JournalContraception
Volume120
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.A. and S.K. conceived the research design. H.A. analyzed data and wrote the article manuscript. All authors participated in the discussion of the findings and approved the final version of the manuscript. All original data are available upon reasonable request to the corresponding author. Not required. Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Abortion pills
  • Medication abortion
  • South Korea
  • Telemedicine

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