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Telemedicine for medical abortion in France: a difficult challenge
  1. Philippe Faucher
  1. Service de Gynécologie Obstétrique Hôpital Trousseau DMU Origyne, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philippe Faucher, Family Planning, Hôpitaux Universitaires Est Parisien, Paris, France; philippe.faucher{at}

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A recent publication in this journal highlighted the lack of coordinated policy responses across Europe towards provision of abortion care during the current COVID-19 pandemic.1 In April 2020, during the period of total confinement (‘lockdown’) decreed by the French government, exceptional legislation was introduced to facilitate the provision of medical abortion at home. Before COVID-19, medical abortion was authorised at home until 7 weeks of amenorrhea and approved providers were midwives and doctors (general practitioners and obstetricians/gynaecologists), working in private offices or in public abortion clinics. The new regulations that were introduced increased the gestational limit for medical abortion up to 9 weeks (63 days’ amenorrhea) and also authorised telemedicine for consultations.2 At the same time, a new system was introduced with community pharmacies whereby the abortion provider could send a prescription for the abortion medications (mifepristone and misoprostol) by email to a pharmacy chosen by the woman. The pharmacist could then dispense the drugs directly to the woman and the pharmacy was then reimbursed by Public Health Insurance. With the former (pre-COVID-19) model it was the provider who bought the drugs at the pharmacy and gave them directly to the woman during …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.