Medical abortion practices: a survey of National Abortion Federation members in the United States

Contraception. 2008 Dec;78(6):486-91. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.07.015. Epub 2008 Sep 9.


Background: Little is known about clinical implementation of medical abortion in the United States following approval of mifepristone as an abortifacient by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. We collected information regarding medical abortion practices of National Abortion Federation (NAF) members for the year 2001.

Methods: Questionnaires were mailed to 337 active US NAF member facilities.

Results: A total of 258 facilities responded (77%); 252 nonhospital facilities were included in the analysis. Most of these facilities (87%) offered medical abortion in 2001, providing an estimated 28,400 medical abortions, approximately 52% of medical abortions in the US that year. Over 75% began offering mifepristone/misoprostol abortions within 5 months of the start of mifepristone distribution. Almost all (99%) reported using mifepristone/misoprostol regimens, with most offering one or more evidence-based alternative regimens (83%); a few (4%) used the FDA-approved regimen.

Conclusion: After FDA approval of mifepristone, NAF member facilities rapidly adopted evidence-based mifepristone/misoprostol regimens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Abortion, Induced / methods*
  • Abortion, Legal / methods*
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Mifepristone / pharmacology
  • Misoprostol / pharmacology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal
  • Misoprostol
  • Mifepristone