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J Am Med Womens Assoc. 2000;55(3 Suppl):183-5.

The knowledge, acceptability, and use of misoprostol for self-induced medical abortion in an urban US population.

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  • 1New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University in New York City, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the knowledge, acceptability, and use of misoprostol as an abortifacient in a primarily Latina population in the United States.

METHODS:

This was a cross-sectional study of 610 women who used one of three obstetrics/gynecology clinics in New York City. Participants answered a self-administered questionnaire about their demographic and obstetrical characteristics; patterns of contraceptive use, including emergency contraception; general acceptability of abortion; perceptions of accessibility to abortion; prevalence of misoprostol use; and knowledge, attitudes, and availability of misoprostol.

RESULTS:

A substantial proportion (37%) of respondents admitted familiarity with the use of misoprostol as an abortifacient. The proportion of women who reported personal use of misoprostol (5%, 29/610) exceeded that reported in a large Brazilian prenatal care population (2.2%, 133/6102). Those who had taken misoprostol were more likely to have had abortions (p < 0.01), to be foreign born (p < 0.01), and to have known someone else who had used the drug (p < 0.01). Although the majority of women surveyed (73%) were Medicaid recipients, only half were aware that Medicaid covers abortion in New York State.

CONCLUSION:

The results of this descriptive study indicate a need to increase awareness of pre- and post-conception family planning methods and to remove barriers to access to these methods. Further research is essential to elucidate the knowledge and unsupervised use of misoprostol in other US populations.

PMID:
10846334
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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