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Article

Some abortion patients are interested in receiving a printout of their ultrasound image and find it useful

Are abortion patients interested in receiving a printout of their pre-abortion ultrasound image? If they are, what do they do with it? An ANSIRH study set out to answer these questions.

Using chart data, we found that 38% of patients at a high volume abortion clinic accepted the offer of a printout. Drawing on interviews with patients, we further learned that women who accepted their pre-abortion ultrasound printout did so for a variety of reasons, including simply because it was offered to them, because they were curious about the printout, or because they considered taking the printout to be part of their process of confirming their abortion decision. When asked what they did with the printout, most reported doing nothing with it but some described sharing it with others or plans to keep it as a keepsake.

We did not find evidence that women suffered from emotional distress when they accepted a pre-abortion ultrasound printout or that it impacted women’s pregnancy decision-making. In fact, some abortion patients are interested in receiving them and, if providers have the ability to produce printouts, they should consider offering them to interested patients.

Read more about the study, titled “Women’s experiences of their pre-abortion ultrasound image printout,” in the journal Contraception.

Request a pdf.

Banner photo: © Aura Orozco-Fuentes

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ANSIRH is a program within the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and is a part of UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

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