Research Ethics

This study applies the highest standards for the protection of research participants, by:


Ensuring that research participants’ consent is fully informed, free and voluntary.


Protecting the confidentiality of all the data collected via our surveys and in-depth interviews.


Minimizing the risk of distress.

The research staff have been trained in ethics by the Principal Investigator and Senior Researchers. They are all experienced in research with human subjects on topics of sexual and reproductive health. The project has received ethics approval by the ethics committees of the European Research Council (European Union), British Pregnancy Advisory Service (UK), University of Barcelona (Spain), Tilburg University (The Netherlands), and University of Central Florida (United States).

Rights of Research Participants

  • Participation is voluntary;
  • Prior to the survey/interview a potential participant is provided with an information sheet clarifying her rights, the study’s potential risks and benefits, and the researchers’ contact information;
  • Participants are invited to discuss doubts and raise any questions they have about the research before giving (or refusing) their consent;
  • Participants can decline to answer any survey/interview question;
  • Participants can stop the survey/interview at any moment;
  • Participating will not affect the service provided at the health facilities where most participants are recruited;
  • Participants can decide to take the survey only;
  • Participants can decline audio recording (where she/he has consented to be interviewed);
  • Participants can withdraw from the study up to six months after completing the survey/interview by contacting the researcher in charge of data collection or the PI, and providing the study ID number on the information sheet.

How we protect participants' confidentiality

  • Responses to the survey are anonymous and not linked to any personal identifier;
  • No personal identifiers are collected via surveys or interviews (except in a consent-to-contact form for the in-depth interview, which is destroyed immediately after the interview is completed);
  • Each participant is given an ID number and will be referred to only with this number;
  • The software used for the tablet-based survey (Qualtrics) is protected by high-end firewall systems and encrypts all transferred data;
  • All electronic research data are stored on password-protected computers by the research team members and are only accessible to them;
  • Audio-recordings are protected by a double password and are destroyed after being transcribed, reviewed and anonymized during data analysis;
  • All confidential research material is stored in locked cabinets.

Studies and findings

Despite relatively liberal abortion laws in many European countries, women face legal, social, and procedural restrictions to receiving treatment.

These obstacles may lead women to seek illegal abortion and/or travel to obtain abortion care, which can cause delays receiving treatment and may unnecessarily increase risks of complications.

This five-year research project, which runs from October 2017 to September 2021, examines the impact of these obstacles on women, and investigates their experiences when travelling to obtain an abortion.

This section provides you with useful references to existing studies on barriers limiting access to legal abortion and abortion travel in Europe, as well as to our study findings. The first results on barriers limiting access to legal abortion and cross-country abortion travel will be available in winter 2018-2019. The first results on barriers limiting access to legal abortion and in-country abortion travel will be available in spring 2020.

If you have any suggestions or updates for the references listed, please email

Studies on barriers to legal abortion

Studies on abortion travel in Europe

Studies on barriers to abortion care and travel by country

Data and statistics on abortion from countries of interest

Abortion laws and legal documents

Our findings

Condividi la tua esperienza

Siamo consapevoli delle grandi difficoltà che devono affrontare le donne che vogliono interrompere la gravidanza in Europa. Per questo motivo La invitiamo a condividere la Sua esperienza con il team di questo progetto di ricerca. Con il Suo aiuto, saremo in grado di migliorare il nostro studio di ricerca e di sviluppare una rete di informazioni utili per la comunità, accessibile a tutte e a tutti.

    Condividi la tua esperienza

    Le ricercatrici esamineranno la Sua storia e la pubblicheranno (solo dopo aver ottenuto la Sua autorizzazione) una settimana dopo l’invio. Se vuole annullare l’invio, se ha cambiato idea riguardo alla Sua partecipazione o se semplicemente ha spuntato la casella sbagliata, contatti il team di ricerca all’indirizzo e-mail che troverà sulla sinistra di questa pagina.

    Europe Abortion Access Project Euroe Research Council Universitad de Barcelona

    This project has received funding from the European Reseach Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme BAR2LEGAB-680004