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Telehealth medication abortion is just as safe and effective as in-person care

As we await a decision on FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine from the Supreme Court that could potentially strip access to medication abortion through telehealth services and virtual appointments, new research from The California Home Abortion by Telehealth (CHAT) Study published in Nature Medicine demonstrates that claims against the effectiveness or safety of telehealth abortion are misleading, false, and not based in research.

Key Findings

Medication abortion via telehealth is just as safe and effective as in-person care.
Nearly 98% of patients had complete abortions without the need for additional intervention and less than one percent (0.25%) of patients experienced adverse events.
Synchronous (video call) and asynchronous care (secure text messaging with the provider) are comparably effective and safe.


The widespread use of telehealth for medication abortion—through services like HeyJane, Choix and Abortion On Demand—has helped break down barriers to care and expanded access for those who live in rural areas or who may not have access to a nearby abortion clinic. A recently published amicus brief signed by 300+ leading reproductive health researchers cites this study’s findings on telehealth abortion’s safety and effectiveness, and urges the court to reject attempts to roll back telehealth access. 

The researchers write:

“These findings provide evidence that telehealth for abortion is effective and safe, with rates similar to in-person care…This study demonstrates that policies that restrict telehealth abortion due to concerns or claims about effectiveness or safety need to be revisited and revised to ensure equitable access to this essential healthcare service.”

The article, Effectiveness and Safety of Telehealth Medication Abortion in the United States, is available in Nature Medicine.

Additional Resources