19 May, 2017
The researchers, from Princeton University in the U.S., looked at the records of 1,000 women in Ireland - where abortion is illegal even under supervision - who had abortions using pills bought online between 2010 and 2012.
But while Aiken said that previous research found that women in Ireland and Northern Ireland have welcomed being able to buy abortion pills online, she pointed out that the approach was far from the ideal solution for women wishing to end their pregnancy.
Terminating a pregnancy is only legal in Ireland in cases where the woman's life is at risk.
She believes that the study is "putting the lives and health of pregnant women in Ireland at risk by promoting self-use of abortion pills".
It is illegal to import the tablets Misoprostol and Mifepristone and use them to end a pregnancy at home although nobody has ever been prosecuted. "In the United Kingdom for example women ingest the first pill at an abortion clinic, but then go home to have their abortion".
The online program is as safe for women as doctor-supervised visits and is safer than carrying a child to birth, according to peer-reviewed findings that were published this month in the academic journal The BMJ (formerly called the British Medical Journal).
None of the five women who did not seek medical attention reported experiencing an adverse outcome.
But today millions of women do not have these basic freedoms.
"It looks at the health outcomes from a group of 1,000 women who performed medical abortions at home".
"When most people think about self-sourced or self-induced abortion, they tend to think about coat hangers or cold steel tables in back alleys", the study author added.
The findings also reveal that women were able to identify potentially serious complications and seek medical attention when advised to do so.
Linda Kavanath, a spokeswoman for the Abortion Rights Campaign in Ireland, said women should be reassured about the safety of doing a medical abortion on their own, adding that the threat of a 14-year jail sentence in Ireland has had a chilling effect. Between 2010 and 2012, almost 95 percent of the women reported during follow-up contacts that they ended their pregnancy without surgical intervention.
Women on Web says that in most countries, it is not illegal for women to receive medication at their home address.
According to the researchers, the results highlight for the first time that rates of adverse effects after using drugs to induce terminations were low. Much like the abortion services Women on Web seeks to provide, data was obtained via remote digital contact, relying on self-reporting of individuals, not observations and data collection by trained medical professionals.
"Those three elements are what make the drugs safe and effective", she said.
The study, led by Massachusetts-based Ibis Reproductive Health and UCSF's Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), didn't report any impact on the number of abortions provided or notice any clinical benefits. "Our results were in line with other research that has shown that this service can be easily integrated into other healthcare offered at a clinic, can help women access the services they want and need closer to home, and allows providers to offer high-level care to women from a distance".
'Both that unborn life and the pregnant woman should and must be afforded every care, especially if the woman is facing a crisis in her pregnancy.
In the USA, abortion is supposed to be a legally-protected right for all women.