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*Editors' Note: As of January 2017, the Monthly Women's Health Research Review has been discontinued. Below are archived articles for your reference.

Commentary: Medication Abortion Laws Undermine Providers' Professional Judgment

September 30, 2015

In this commentary, the authors write that state laws requiring physicians to adhere to FDA protocol when administering medication abortion undermine patient safety by mandating outdated practices. The authors conclude that legislative challenges to provider autonomy threaten physicians of all specialty practices, and they urge abortion-rights advocates to reframe the abortion debate as a matter of legislators putting limits on provider discretion.

At-Home Medication Abortion as Effective as In-Clinic Administration, Study Finds

September 30, 2015

For this study, researchers compared the outcomes of women who ingested both drugs involved in a medication abortion -- mifepristone and misoprostol -- at home with those of women who ingested the drugs at a clinic. The researchers found both methods to be equally effective and safe, and they suggested that physicians offer home use of mifepristone "as a part of routine medica[tion] abortion services."

LARC Users Have Higher Continuation Rates Than Users of Short-Acting Reversible Contraceptives, Study Finds

September 30, 2015

In this study, researchers compared three-year continuation rates of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods with those of short-acting methods. They found three-year continuation rates were 67.2% among LARC users compared with 31% among non-LARC users. The researchers said their findings called for a "paradigm shift," stating, "LARC methods should be considered first-line contraceptives for women of all ages."

Study Assesses Disparities in Race, Site of Care for Rates of Severe Maternal Morbidity

September 30, 2015

In this study, authors investigated racial disparity in severe maternal morbidity as it relates to the place where women received care. Noting that black women had higher rates of severe maternal morbidity than white women, the researchers found that severe maternal morbidity rates were higher among women who delivered at hospitals with a high or medium number of black patients.

Study Examines Health Care Providers' Implicit, Explicit Attitudes Toward Gay, Lesbian Patients

September 30, 2015

For this study, researchers assessed health care providers' implicit and explicit attitudes toward lesbian and gay patients. They found that heterosexual providers' implicit attitudes always favored heterosexual patients over gay and lesbian patients, although explicit attitudes were weaker than implicit attitudes across all provider groups. The researchers called for further research into how these implicit biases can affect patient care and urged providers to implement strategies to mitigate such biases.

Surgical and Medical Abortion Both Highly Effective, Safe at Nine Weeks Gestation or Less, Study Finds

July 29, 2015

In this study, researchers compared the efficacy of surgical abortion and medical abortion at nine weeks gestation or less. Overall, they found that both procedures are highly effective and have low risks of complications. They recommended, "Provided [women] are appropriate candidates for either method, they should be counseled on both medical and surgical options when seeking pregnancy termination."

Review Debunks Medication Abortion 'Reversal' Claims

July 29, 2015

In this study, researchers reviewed published studies to assess the rate of continued pregnancy in women after ingesting mifepristone -- the first drug administered in a medication abortion -- as well as in women who received progesterone doses after ingesting mifepristone. Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that laws requiring physicians to tell women seeking medication abortions that the procedure can be "reversed" via progesterone treatment are "an affront to responsible research conduct and to the ethical practice of medicine."

IUD Placement at Time of Delivery Linked to Increased IUD Use Six-Months Postpartum, Study Finds

July 29, 2015

In this study, researchers compared the rate of intrauterine device use among women who received an IUD at the time of their cesarean delivery with the rate among women who planned to receive an IUD six weeks after a C-section. At six-months postpartum, the researchers found the rate of IUD use was 83% in the intracesarean group and 64% in the six-week interval group. The study "add[s] to the growing body of evidence that provision of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) at the time of delivery leads to increased use of effective contraception."

Study: State Restrictions on Mifepristone Keep it From Reaching 'Full Potential'

July 29, 2015

In this study, researchers at Gynuity Health Projects assessed four states to examine the effect of state restrictions on mifepristone use, such as laws restricting who is authorized to prescribe the drug, requiring the physician be physically present to administer the drug and requiring providers to adhere to outdated regimens when prescribing the drug. The authors concluded that such restrictions have kept mifepristone from "reach[ing] its full potential" and have limited access to medication abortion.

Federally Qualified Health Centers Could Have 'Significant Role' in Meeting Adolescents' Family Planning Needs, Study Finds

July 29, 2015

In this study, authors investigated the role that community health centers play in providing family planning services to adolescents. The researchers concluded that "CHCs have the opportunity to play a significant role in providing high-quality family planning to low-income, medically underserved adolescents," although increased funding, additional resources and "a favorable policy climate" would help CHCs to better meet the needs of that patient population.

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