Study Procedures

An abortion through the MA-ASAP study involves the following steps:

1. Review website

Review all the information on this website including the Study Info, Study Procedures, and FAQ.

2. Complete study questionnaire

Access the study questionnaire through the link on the Enroll page.

The questionnaire guides you to:

  • Answer questions about your pregnancy, your health, and your background. To minimize risk, please answer these questions as truthfully as possible.
  • Electronically sign a form to show that you understand the study procedures and the risks and benefits of participation, and that you want to proceed.
  • Enter your contact information.

If your answers show that you are likely to be able to get a medication abortion through this study, your questionnaire will be sent automatically to the MA-ASAP study doctor at the study clinic in your state.

3. Questionnaire review

The study doctor will review your questionnaire. The doctor determines whether medication abortion is appropriate for you.

If the study doctor or the questionnaire determines that you are unlikely to be eligible for this study, you will be advised about other ways to get your abortion care.

4. Clinic contact

If the study doctor determines that you may receive the medications, the study manager at the clinic will contact you to:

  • Arrange for you to sign the additional standard forms required to get medication abortion at that clinic.
  • Answer any questions you may have.
  • Collect payment.

5. Medications provided

The clinic sends you the abortion pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) by mail or you may pick them up at the clinic, as you prefer.

Also included in the package are instructions on how to use the medicines, pain and nausea medications, and a urine pregnancy test.

6. Take the pills

You take the pills at home according to the instructions provided in the medication package. You can call the clinic for 24/7 support if you need it.

7. Check in

Within the next 2 weeks, the study manager contacts you to make sure that you’re OK.

You will also be asked some questions about your experience with the study, either through an online survey or by phone. 

8. Confirmation

Four or five weeks after you take the medications, you do the urine pregnancy test for final confirmation that the medications worked.

You will be asked a few final questions about how the process went for you.

Questions about the study

How long does the process take?

The study doctor aims to review your information and contact you within 1-2 business days after you submit it. If the doctor determines you can receive the abortion medications, you may come to the clinic to get them any time after that. If you are getting them by mail, that may take a few days longer, depending on the postal service.

Who can participate?

To participate in this pilot project study, you must:

  • Be able to read and speak English
  • Be able to receive and take the abortion pills in either Colorado or Minnesota.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Want to have a medication abortion.
  • Have had a positive urine pregnancy test in the past two weeks.
  • Not have had an ultrasound in this pregnancy (because the purpose of the study is to evaluate the MA-ASAP approach for people who have not yet have one).
  • Be at most 54 days pregnant (just under 8 weeks), estimated from your last menstrual period. To estimate how far along your pregnancy currently is, click here.
  • Not have certain medical conditions that might make medication abortion less safe for you.
  • Be comfortable obtaining the abortion pills without an ultrasound and without speaking by phone or video with the doctor.

Why do I need to be 54 days pregnant or less?

Current guidelines for medication abortion say that people who are 56 days (8 weeks) pregnant or more when they take the abortion medications should have a blood test to check their Rh type. Most people in the US are Rh positive, which means that they have a protein in their blood called Rhesus. About 15% of people do not have this protein and are Rh negative. If a person is Rh negative, they may need an injection of a medication called Rh immune globulin (or RhoGAM) to prevent a serious condition in future pregnancies. Getting the test and the injection is not feasible in the MA-ASAP project at this time.

Recent research has indicated that people who are less than 56 days pregnant when they take the medications do not need the Rh test or the injection. So, to receive treatment through the MA-ASAP study, you need to submit your questionnaire by day 54, so that we can have one day to review the answers and get the medications to you in time for you to take them before 56 days.

If your pregnancy is more than 54 days along, please contact one of our clinics (see here) or another facility for a regular appointment.

How much will an abortion through this study cost me?

The full cost of an abortion through the MA-ASAP study is approximately $450. But it could be less for
you depending on your insurance coverage and on any other funding that may be available from the
clinic. The MA-ASAP study manager will discuss your specific cost with you when they contact you after
you submit your questionnaire.

You will not be paid for being in this study.

What are the risks of having an abortion through the MA-ASAP study?

The screening criteria, the abortion medications, and the follow-up in the MA-ASAP study are standard – they are the same whether you get a medication abortion in the study or outside it. But, it is possible that an abortion provider can evaluate a patient better by speaking with the patient than by reviewing information submitted online. In that case, the study doctor could determine based on your information that medication abortion is appropriate for you when it actually is not. For example, your pregnancy could be farther along than indicated by your last menstrual period, or the pregnancy could be ectopic (that is, growing outside of the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube). The risks of the abortion could then be higher than expected.

These risks include treatment failure, meaning that the pregnancy continues; you would then either need a later abortion or go on to deliver a baby or have a miscarriage or stillbirth. Other risks are incomplete abortion, very heavy bleeding, pelvic infection, and delay in detection of ectopic pregnancy, a serious condition. These events might require surgical or medical treatment. To reduce these risks, it is important that you answer the questionnaire as truthfully as possible.

What if the doctor decides I should not receive the abortion medications?

The doctor who reviews your information may decide to recommend a different type of abortion, such as an aspiration, or the doctor may simply need more information to make a decision. Either way, the MA-ASAP staff at the clinic will help you get what you need either at the study clinic or elsewhere.

Is my information confidential?

Yes. The information that you enter into the study questionnaire goes to the clinic that you select. Only staff at that clinic and staff at Gynuity Health Projects, the research organization running the study, will be able to see any data that can identify you. Those two institutions will keep all your identity confidential except when sharing the information is required by law.

I’m interested, how can I participate?

Please review the other pages on this website before making your decision. If you meet all the criteria listed above and are comfortable with the study approach, you can enroll by clicking on the button below.