Discussions around quality of abortion care have been focused mainly on service-delivery aspects inside healthcare facilities. More recently, with availability of medical abortion (MA), increase in its self-use, and emergence of other delivery platforms such as telemedicine, the responsibility of quality care has broadened to actors outside of facilities.
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This commentary discusses the meaning of quality of abortion care with the paradigm shift brought by medical and technological advancement in abortions, and raises questions on the role of the state in ensuring quality in abortion management—especially in settings where abortion is decriminalized, but also in countries where abortion is permitted under certain circumstances. It consolidates the experience gained thus far in the provision of safe abortion services and also serves as a forward-thinking tool to keep pace with the uptake of newer health technologies (e.g., availability of medical abortion drugs), service delivery platforms (e.g., telemedicine, online pharmacies), and abortion care providers (e.g., community based pharmacists).
This commentary provides context and rationale, and identifies areas for action that different stakeholders, including health advocates, policymakers, program managers, and women themselves, can adopt to fit into an alternative regime of abortion care.