Planned Parenthood is rolling out a new platform aimed at helping women find the closest abortion center that suits their specific needs. Dubbed Abortion Care Finder, the tool includes information about state requirements and locations where women can access abortion care.
Users of the platform can put in their ZIP code, age and how far along they are in their pregnancy. The app will then generate options for the user on locations where they can obtain an abortion. It will also tell users their abortion options, whether that be abortion pill or in-clinic abortion. Users can also see if the procedure needs to involve parental consent or multiple trips based on the user's age and the state in which they reside.
WHY IT MATTERS
States vary on abortion regulations. The patient’s age and how far along they are in their pregnancy can determine the type of services they can access. For example, 43 states prohibit abortions after a specific point in the pregnancy, unless a woman’s life or health is at stake, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Additionally, 18 states require mandatory counseling of some kind and 37 states require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion, according to the institute.
Since January, nine states passed legislation tightening abortion laws—with one, Alabama, banning the procedure unless a woman’s health is at risk, according to an NPR report.
Planned Parenthood is pitching this as a tool to navigate these ever-changing requirements.
Planned Parenthood has a history of developing new technologies related to women’s health. In September, the organization launched virtual care tool Planned Parenthood Direct in 27 states. The platform lets users request birth control, get a prescription for urinary tract infections or request an in-person appointment at a Planned Parenthood health center.
In January, the organization rolled out a new chatbot, dubbed Roo, designed to help teenage girls get answers to questions about sexual health and puberty.
ON THE RECORD
“Like all of Planned Parenthood’s digital tools, the Abortion Care Finder was built by listening to the people we serve and evaluating how visitors use our website, so we can get people the information they want and need to make their own health care decisions as clearly and easily as possible,” Ambreen Molitor, senior director of the Digital Products Lab at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood is continually looking for new ways to reach people with critical care and information, and we’re proud to be a leader in using technology and innovation to help people access safe, legal abortion.”