Research: Web searches for abortion medicines surged after Roe draft leak

On-line searches for abortion medicines soared after a Supreme Courtroom draft resolution overturning Roe v. Wade leaked in early Could, based on an evaluation printed in JAMA Inside Medication

Researchers analyzed Google searches originating within the U.S. that talked about phrases like “abortion capsule” or the medicines “mifepristone/mifeprex” or “misoprostol/cytotec.” They pulled knowledge from January 1, 2004 by Could 8, 2022, and studied hourly search volumes 72 hours earlier than and after the leak. 

The evaluation discovered “file nationwide highs” for the abortion pill-related search phrases, with about 350,000 searches throughout the week of Could 1 by Could 8. Researchers famous the search spike was “fast” following the leak, and searches have been 162% greater than anticipated within the 72 hour interval following the draft’s launch.

Moreover, abortion capsule searches have been greater in states that have been extra restrictive about reproductive rights or had much less entry to care. Nebraska has the very best cumulative search quantity throughout the 72 hour interval after the leak, with Iowa coming in second, adopted by Missouri. 


Researchers famous that their research cannot verify if any of those searches have been linked to an precise abortion try or decide the demographic data of the folks looking for abortion medicine. 

Nonetheless, they mentioned the rise ought to make physicians conscious that their sufferers could determine to make use of abortion capsules whether or not suppliers are concerned or not.

“Though mifepristone/mifeprex or misoprostol/cytotec require a prescription and their use is restricted in some states, web searches could mirror folks exploring the protection and effectiveness of those medicines, the best way to receive them or stockpiling in anticipation of curtailed entry,” they wrote. 

“Some searchers could also be searching for substitute and/or illicit abortion medicines as options. It’s crucial that data on the place ladies can legally and safely receive abortion medicines be accessible on-line; together with telemedicine consultations with healthcare professionals.”


Medicine abortion has steadily grown in recognition for the reason that FDA authorized mifepristone as a way of abortion in 2000. Based on the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive well being analysis institute that helps abortion rights, medicine abortion made up 54% of U.S. abortions in 2020, up from 37% in 2017.

Even earlier than the Supreme Courtroom’s last resolution overturning Roe final week, many states already restricted entry to medicine abortions delivered by telehealth. Following the choice, Lawyer Common Merrick Garland mentioned in a press release that states couldn’t ban using mifepristone because the drug has been authorized by the FDA. 

On Tuesday, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra mentioned the company will help entry to medicine abortion, secure journey to states that permit abortions and well being privateness.

“There isn’t a magic bullet,” Becerra mentioned. “But when there’s something we are able to do, we’ll discover it and we’ll do it at HHS. Certainly, that was the instruction I acquired from the president of the US.”

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