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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Self-managed abortion: a systematic scoping review

  • Author(s): Moseson, Heidi
  • Herold, Steph
  • Filippa, Sofia
  • Barr-Walker, Jill
  • Baum, Sarah E
  • Gerdts, Caitlin
  • et al.
The data associated with this publication are available at:

Self-managed abortion, when a person performs their own abortion without clinical supervision, is a model of abortion care used across a range of settings. To provide a comprehensive synthesis of the available literature on self-managed abortion, we conducted a systematic search for peer-reviewed research in April 2019 in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Popline, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, Scielo, and Redalyc. We included studies that had a research question focused on self-managed abortion; and were published in English or Spanish. The combined search returned 7,167 studies; after screening, 108 studies were included in the analysis. Included studies reported on methods, procurement, characteristics of those who self-managed, effectiveness, safety, reasons for self-managed abortion, and emotional and physical experiences. Numerous abortion methods were reported, most frequently abortion with pills and herbs. Inconsistencies in measurement were common, including the definitions of “effective” and “safe.” We make recommendations to focus and align the field for future research.

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This item is under embargo until February 1, 2020.