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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Examines Obstacles to Abortion Care in South Carolina

A study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers of a sampling of South Carolina women who had abortions in 2014 found “a range of interrelated logistic and emotional challenges women faced on the path to receiving timely and affordable abortion care,” including a lack of referrals, financial strain, and stigma.

The study, published online in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, points to a need for “a wider net of medical professionals who are committed and trained to offer practical and emotional support to women as they navigate the sometimes difficult pathways to timely, affordable, and nonjudgmental abortion care.”

The research team interviewed 45 women who had abortions to explore how they sought information and care. In the practical realm, the women described the challenges of securing finances and transportation for abortions, which cost $400 to $1,000, and were offered at three freestanding clinics located in different parts of the state. In the emotional domain, many of the women said they experienced stigma, fear of judgment, and self-judgment.

The authors said that expansion of abortion funding for low-income women, as well as clinic discounts based on income, would help to ease the financial burden, “especially given the fragmented insurance coverage” across US states. They said the “uneven and constantly shifting legal and social environment” regarding abortion care would require state- and region-specific research to identify gaps and assist women in accessing care.

To read more about the study, go to: