Demographic and medical factors associated with later presentation among women seeking abortion for reason of fetal anomaly: Assessing the potential implications of abortion bans
Methods: Retrospective cohort study of 395 women presenting from 2005-2011 for second trimester abortion for reason of fetal anomaly at a hospital or nearby outpatient clinic in a Northeast city. We assessed whether demographic and medical factors differ between women presenting at < 20 weeks LMP vs. ≥ 20 weeks LMP using chi-square, Fisher’s exact, and t-tests.
Results: Mean time lapsed between diagnosis of anomaly and presentation for care was significantly greater for women presenting at ≥ 20 weeks LMP (15.4 vs. 10.1 days, p<0.001). Women presenting at ≥ 20 weeks LMP were younger than women presenting earlier (mean 31.6 years vs. mean 33.5 years, p<0.001). Among women for whom data on race were available (n=216), more non-white than white women presented at ≥ 20 weeks LMP; this difference was not significant (64% vs. 50%, p=0.06).
Discussion: Though timing of diagnosis has been assumed to determine GA at presentation among women seeking abortion for fetal anomalies, we found that women presenting at ≥ 20 weeks LMP experienced a longer gap from diagnosis to abortion. Further research is merited to assess whether this delay is attributable to vulnerable women encountering structural barriers to care.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe demographic and medical factors that differ between women presenting for abortion for reason of fetal anomaly at under vs. over 20 weeks gestational age.
Keyword(s): Abortion, Policy/Policy Development
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator or co-investigator on several studies regarding abortion, including in particular later second trimester abortion and structural barriers to accessing abortion care.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.