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Ongoing research projects

Family planning during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic survey

The CRRC team and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) are collaborating on this survey to assess how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people’s choices surrounding fertility-related intentions, abortion, and pregnancy choices. Knowledge gained from the study may shed light on how pandemics impact pregnancy choices, allowing us to better prepare and meet the needs of people in similar situations in the future.

To find out more about the study, contact the research team at: research@bpas.org.

Women’s perspectives on the quality of abortion care in Britain

This study was undertaken by CRRC staff with the objective to better understand service-users' perceptions of quality of care in abortion services in England and Wales. From December 2018 to July 2019, we interviewed 24 women who had an abortion at a BPAS clinic. We identified 4 major themes that contributed to participant’s perception of high quality of care: 1) interpersonal interactions with staff or other patients, 2) being informed and prepared, 3) participation and choices in care and 4) accessibility. The findings of this research can be read here.

We performed a secondary analysis of the collected data to improve our understanding of service-users' preferences for abortion method. We have created a short animation to share our findings:

The full article can be accessed here or you can request a copy from us. Read the research briefing here.

After Choice: FASD and 'the managed woman' (Collaborative Project)

Following BPAS’ submissions (first submission, second submission) to the NICE Quality Standards FASD Consultation, with CPCS, the project After Choice: FASD and 'the managed woman' was formed. 

This project takes policies, guidance and healthcare practices about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) as its focus. It builds on previous research considering the ascendence of claims about the salience of the ‘precautionary principle’ for providing advice to women about alcohol and pregnancy.

This project is a collaboration between Professor Ellie Lee (University of Kent) and CRRC’s Rachel Arkell. For more information please see the project webpage

The CRRC has further formed the ‘Alcohol and Pregnancy Research Network’ which welcomes academics and policy makers working in this area. Contact us for more information or to join the network.

Efficacy of a low-sensitivity urine pregnancy test (LSPT) for identifying ongoing pregnancy after medical abortion at 64 to 70 days of gestation.

This study is being undertaken by the BPAS research department. Medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol is safe and highly effective through 70 days gestation. However failed treatments do occur therefore it is important to identify ongoing pregnancies promptly and accurately so that they can be managed appropriately. The optimal mode of follow-up after early medical abortion is still being determined and investigators have looked at innovative ways to ensure that the abortion has been successful while reducing the burden of multiple clinic visits on women. This research aims to compare sensitivity and specificity of LSPT to ultrasound for the detection of ongoing pregnancy (defined as presence of a fetal pole with cardiac activity on ultrasound) following medical abortion in women 64-70 days gestation. Approximately 1500 women will be asked to participate, the results of which may help assess and influence BPAS’ own model of care with regard to medical abortion follow-up from 64- 70 days of gestation as well as the wider community of abortion providers.

Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine abortion care

This project will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a new telemedical model of abortion care which currently has temporary approval in the UK. It will form a key part of the evidence presented to the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, who will shortly decide whether to permanently change the law. 

Early medical abortion by telemedicine in the United Kingdom: A cost-effectiveness analysis.

Unplanned Pregnancy and Abortion Care Study

We are supporting Dr Catherine Conlon of Trinity College Dublin in evaluating Ireland’s HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme since abortion care was introduced in 2019.

Communicating the risk of taking medicines to (potentially) pregnant women post-Montgomery: A socio-legal exploration

We are collaborative partners with the University of Kent on the SeNSS PhD project: Communicating the risk of taking medicines to (potentially) pregnant women post-Montgomery: a socio-legal exploration which is being undertaken by Rachel Arkell.

SACHA Study

We are working with researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on the SACHA study.

The objectives of this project are to:

  • collate, synthesise and summarise recent evidence for innovative models of abortion care with the potential to enhance access, quality of experience and cost-effectiveness
  • explore the potential for beneficial and harmful consequences of current trends in abortion provision and identify implementation strategies to harness positive outcomes of current developments and mitigate adverse outcomes
  • assess the potential of General Practitioners (GPs) and non-clinician providers in abortion provision, their education and training needs and their views on innovations in care
  • elicit women’s views on current experiences of abortion and on preferences for abortion techniques, models of care and sources of support
  • consult decision-makers on the range of innovative abortion practices and procedures and on the potential feasibility, acceptability and sustainability of their adoption in UK health services and systems.