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Why women choose abortion through telemedicine outside the formal health sector in Germany: a mixed-methods study

Abstract : We conducted a parallel convergent mixed-methods study among 1090 women consulting Women on Web (WoW), an online telemedicine abortion service, from Germany between 1 January and 31 December 2019. . The quantitative analysis found that the need for secrecy (n=502, 48%) and the wish for privacy (n=500, 48%) were frequent reasons for choosing telemedicine abortion. Adolescents were more likely to report secrecy, cost, stigma and legal restrictions as reasons for using telemedicine abortion compared with older women. The content analysis developed two main themes and seven subsidiary categories, (1) internal motivations for seeking telemedicine abortion encompassing (i) autonomy, (ii) perception of external threat and (iii) shame and stigma, and (2) external barriers to formal abortion care encompassing (iv) financial stress, (v) logistic barriers to access, (vi) provider attitudes and (vii) vulnerability of foreigners. Our research demonstrates that women in Germany who choose telemedicine abortion outside the formal health sector do so both from a place of empowerment and a place of disempowerment. Numerous barriers to abortion access exist in the formal sector which are of special relevance to vulnerable groups such as adolescents and undocumented immigrants.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 29, 2021 - 7:07:45 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 11:44:04 AM

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Kristina Killinger, Sophie Günter, Rebecca Gomperts, Hazal Atay, Margit Endler. Why women choose abortion through telemedicine outside the formal health sector in Germany: a mixed-methods study. British Medical Journal Sexual & Reproductive Health, 2020, pp.1 - 7. ⟨10.1136/bmjsrh-2020-200789⟩. ⟨hal-03455786⟩

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