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Abortion, Induced, Medical abortion, Medication abortion, Mifepristone, Pregnancy, Unplanned.



  1. Cappiello, Joyce PhD, FNP, FAANP
  2. Merrell, Joy PhD, RN
  3. Rentschler, Dorothy PhD, RN


Background: Medication abortion received regulatory approval in 2001 in the United States with healthcare providers increasingly offering this method. However, most studies in the United States have only explored acceptability and decision-making with women who participated in clinical trials. Overall, the literature on women's experience with a method that it is now widely available is under research in the United States.


Objective: To describe and analyze the women's experience as they choose the option of and experienced the process of medication abortion.


Design: A constructivist grounded theory study.


Setting: Outpatient clinical offices in a three-state area in the northeast region of the United States.


Participants: A purposive sample of 22 women aged 16 to 45 who experienced a medication abortion.


Methods: Data were collected by in-depth, open-ended, face-to-face interviews. The constant comparative method was used for analysis.


Results: Five interwoven categories emerged regarding women's initial decision to have a medication abortion: choosing a natural process, avoiding "surgery," respecting the "baby," scheduling to meet needs, and appreciating the home setting. The enhanced sense of personal control associated with the medication abortion option was the overriding reason given for choosing this method.


Conclusion: This study contributes to the paucity of literature on the reasons why women choose medication abortion. It is important for nurses to understand the complexity of medication abortion decision-making so that they can effectively support women through this process.