photos_5_2_1NAF members are among the leading researchers in the field of abortion care. Our medical conferences serve as a venue for presentation of the latest abortion-related research.

Scientific research serves as the basis for evidence-based abortion care. The field of abortion has a rich history of innovative research and practice. Research conducted by abortion providers has not only impacted the field of abortion, but other areas of medicine as well.

Over the years, the body of scientific literature on topics such as pain management, cervical ripening and various methods of dilation, medical abortion regimens, and early surgical abortion has grown significantly because of expansive research in the field of reproductive health care.

NAF members have contributed to this body of research by serving as faculty at major universities conducting research, working at teaching hospitals, and serving as sites for studies and clinical trials.

The Guttmacher Institute

The Guttmacher Institute is a nonprofit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education.

The Institute publishes two peer-reviewed journals, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and International Family Planning Perspectives, as well as The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy and special reports on topics pertaining to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The Institute’s program is guided by six overarching institutional values, including the following two that are of particular relevance to its research endeavors:

  • Attention to methodological rigor and accuracy as fundamental to the integrity and credibility of the Institute’s research;
  • Commitment to publish and disseminate results of the Institute’s research regardless of the political or program ramifications and to evidence-based public education and advocacy.

Some of the Guttmacher Institute’s most recent studies on abortion services in the U.S. are:

Abortion Incidence and Services in the United States in 2000 (PDF file)

Finer LB and Henshaw SK. Abortion incidence and services in the United States in 2000.Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health2003; 35 (1): 6-15.

The Accessibility of Abortion Services in the United States, 2001 (PDF file)

Henshaw SK and Finer LB. The accessibility of abortion services in the United States, 2001.Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health2003; 35 (1): 16-24.

Patterns in the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Women Obtaining Abortions in 2000-2001 (PDF file)

Jones RK, Darroch JE, Henshaw SK. Patterns in the socioeconomic characteristics of women obtaining abortions in 2000-2001. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2002; 34(5): 226-235.

Gynuity Health Projects

Gynuity Health Projects is a research and technical assistance organization dedicated to the idea that all people should have access to the fruits of medical science and technology development.

Gynuity works globally with a particular emphasis on resource-poor environments and underserved populations. Gynuity conducts research on the use of existing technologies; develops and introduces new technologies; disseminates scientific information to policymakers, reproductive health professionals, and the public; and generates data for regulatory filings while working with regulatory agencies.

Gynuity Health Projects recently joined with the Reproductive Health Technologies Project to convene expert meetings evaluating the use of misoprostol for abortion induction and for the treatment of incomplete abortion and miscarriage. Professionals with epidemiological, clinical and programmatic expertise reached consensus on the appropriate use of misoprostol based on the best current information. The results can be found in a series of documents called “Instructions for Use.”

Please Note: The National Abortion Federation’s Clinical Policies Board Committee has reviewed the “Consensus Statement: Instructions for use – Abortion Induction with Misoprostol (Cytotec®) in Pregnancies up to 9 Weeks LMP” produced by Gynuity Health Project and Reproductive Health Technologies Project. The misoprostol-only regimens described in this document are effective for medical abortion up to 9 weeks LMP, though mifepristone/misoprostol regimens are 5-10% more effective and seem to have significantly fewer gastrointestinal side effects.

Published Studies about Abortion

There is a significant body of published studies on abortion care. To find the most up-to-date studies on abortion, visit PubMed to access a comprehensive, up-to-date online database of published literature.

History of Research

Carole Joffe’s “Abortion in Historical Perspective” in NAF’s textbook, A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion, provides a fascinating overview of the innovations that have marked the field of abortion care.