Women seeking abortion services require it timely. The quick and appropriate referrals to abortion providers are essential to get benefits on time.

The researchers conducted this study to determine the quality and quantity of referrals for abortion services. The data was collected from reproductive health care facilities that do not provide abortion services. The United States was ranked by the restrictiveness of abortion, and a simulated patient made calls to the five most and six least restrictive states.

Researchers made 142 calls, seventy-seven were made to the least restrictive states, and sixty-two were made to the most restrictive conditions.  Facilities in the least restrictive states were significantly more likely to provide unprompted direct referrals and considerably less likely to give no referral than facilities in most restrictive conditions. However, these differences disappeared after prompting the staff member to provide a referral.

The study concluded that a simulated patient received a direct referral for abortion services less than half the time, even after prompting a staff member to provide one. All facilities providing women’s health care should have appropriate referrals readily available for patients seeking abortion services.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/38/4/246