More than 5,000 women bought abortion pills online in the past five years

Stigma and mental stress among main negative experiences for those who availed on service

Just over 5,600 women accessed abortion pills online in the last five years, according to a new study published today.

The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) reports that 94% of women who availed of the service from Women on Web, a telemedicine service based in the Netherlands. 

Among women completing early medical at-home abortion, 97% felt they made the right choice and 98% said they would recommend it to others in a similar situation.

Women noted the negative experiences were the mental stress caused by pregnancies they did not want or felt they could not continue, and the stigma caused by current restrictive abortion laws.

Some 1.7% of women said they needed to have an abortion after being raped.

“Women in Ireland and Northern Ireland accessing medical abortion through online telemedicine report overwhelmingly positive benefits for health, well-being, and autonomy,” author of the Abigal R.A. Aiken said.

“This examination and subsequent findings provide a new evidence to inform the policy debate surrounding abortion laws in Ireland and Northern Ireland.”  

The inaugural meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly has decided to hold four weekend-long meetings on the constitutional restrictions on abortion before submitting a report to legislators.

The study was published online in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which you can access here.