In highly politicized contexts, health professionals and women alike face significant barriers to a full range of reproductive health technologies. For example, in the US, anti-abortion legislators and conservative political groups actively attempt to prevent women’s access to medical abortion. Similarly, the use of misoprostol for reproductive health indications has become strictly regulated in a few countries, thereby limiting access to alternatives to standard surgical treatments for conditions such as miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage. We aim to realize the promise of medical abortion, and other reproductive health technologies, in the United States and abroad through the activities described below.
Preserve, Protect, and Defend Medical Abortion in America
Thirty-five years ago the US Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade that women have the right to choose when and whether to have a child. Nevertheless, women’s access to abortion, including the availability of medical abortion, continues to be threatened. Gynuity, in collaboration with other partners, has been working actively to defend access to medical abortion by compiling and disseminating information on its safety and efficacy; providing technical assistance to legislators and NGOs; advocating for its continued availability through consensus-building among researchers, health professionals, policymakers, and the general population; and holding meetings on the topic for health providers and researchers that also work to preserve access to medical abortion in the US.
Incorporating New Technologies into Reproductive Health Service Guidelines
By participating in introductory clinical studies at different levels of care, local health providers and women have the opportunity to experience first-hand a new or improved treatment. Through our clinical studies and trainings, we introduce safe and effective technologies into health care facilities and systems, enhancing provider capacity to offer a broader range of services. As we complete each phase of research, we continue to work with in-country colleagues to expand use of new technologies to other health care facilities, with the ultimate goal of scaling up to a national level. Generating local evidence provides the ammunition for policy-makers to include the new technology into reproductive health service delivery norms and guidelines.