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Evaluating the capacity of California's publicly-funded universities to provide medication abortion.

Evaluating the capacity of California's publicly-funded universities to provide medication abortion.
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Evaluating the capacity of California's publicly-funded universities to provide medication abortion.

Contraception. 2018 May 17;:

Authors: Raifman S, Anderson P, Kaller S, Tober D, Grossman D

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To explore the capacity of the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) student health centers to provide medication abortion (MA), to identify gaps in resources required to implement proposed Senate Bill 320, which would mandate the provision of MA on UC and CSU campuses, and to explore California student health center staff perspectives on the benefits and challenges of providing MA.
STUDY DESIGN: UC and CSU student health center (SHC) staff participated in a self-administered online survey; we conducted in-depth data collection including site visits and conference calls at a subset of campuses. The survey focused on barriers to abortion care for students, resources needed to provide MA services, potential benefits and challenges, and interest in provision via telemedicine or a traveling clinician. The survey also included questions about clinic volume, service availability, physical plant, staffing, equipment, referrals, security, and health insurance.
RESULTS: Participants at 11 UCs (100%) and 20 CSUs (87%) completed surveys. All facilities provided basic primary care, including sexual and reproductive health services and at least some contraceptive services, but not abortion care. All participating sites had adequate staffing and physical plant, but most would require training, access to ultrasound when needed, 24-h hotlines (CSUs) and back-up care in order to provide MA.
CONCLUSION: It would be feasible to provide MA at the UC and CSU SHCs, but investment is needed to support staff training, equipment, 24-h hotlines, back-up care, and minimal security upgrades, in order to be able to implement MA services.
IMPLICATIONS: If SB320 is passed, provision of MA services at student health centers could improve access to early abortion for students in California. This model may be scaled up at other universities around the country.

PMID: 29778584 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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