2021 Annual Report

President’s Message

© Udayaditya Barua on Unsplash

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

At Gynuity Health Projects, we have a mission to develop and advocate for the use of scientific, clinical and programmatic evidence in reproductive and maternal health. Our aim is to enable each individual to reap the benefits of the fruits of medical science and technology. We care deeply about what we do and how we can contribute to meaningful, lasting change.

In 2021, we continued to operate under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the fallout from the pandemic came with its challenges, it also accelerated opportunities for innovation and improvement in policy and practice.

We were incredibly pleased, for example, to see the data from our TelAbortion Study help change U.S. national policy regarding mifepristone, one of the two medications used in the regimen for medication abortion.

Despite mifepristone’s excellent safety and efficacy record, it has been under some of the strictest controls of any drug since it was first introduced in the U.S. over 20 years ago. The Food and Drug Administration followed our evidence and, in December, permanently loosened regulations to the mifepristone Risk and Evaluation Mitigation Strategy, allowing the drug to be sent by mail instead of obliging users to collect it in person from a health facility. This long-awaited policy change would not have been possible without the data we provided, and the coordinated advocacy actions taken together with others.

Our projects in the U.S. and Mexico have helped normalize the use of telemedicine for medication abortion. The lessons learned along the way have allowed us to plan and launch activities to introduce this service delivery option in other countries, including in Ecuador, Moldova, the Republic of Georgia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

We remain resolute in our attempts to think creatively, examining and promoting alternative, non-traditional approaches to ensure access, lower cost, and improve experience for the user. During a special session at the FIGO World Congress we described some of our completed and ongoing work documenting the use of non-traditional medication abortion services that give individuals more agency and require less contact with the medical system. Our presentation included an overview of a sample protocol for providing medication abortion without any routine facility-based tests, something we took the lead on developing the previous year.

This year, we welcomed Dr. Ann Schutt-Ainé to the Board. Ann is a Texas-based obstetrician-gynecologist and Chief Medical Officer for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. Also in 2021, France Donnay ended her service as a founding Board member of Gynuity’s 501c3. Our sincere gratitude to France for her staunch support. We are indebted to her for sharing her wisdom and guidance.

Finally, and crucially, we thank our funders and partners – academic thinkers, service providers, clinical researchers, and health advocates – for placing their trust in us and sharing our vision of a world in which everyone has access to safe and effective reproductive and maternal health care.

We look forward to new opportunities and collaborations in the year ahead. For now, we invite you to spare five minutes to read our annual report for 2021.

Signature of Beverly Winikoff
Beverly Winikoff