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 self-managed medication abortion

  • Aiken A, Starling J, Gomperts R. 2021. Factors Associated With Use of an Online Telemedicine Service to Access Self-managed Medical Abortion in the US. JAMA Netw Open, 4(5): e2111852.
  • Bercu C, Moseson H, McReynolds-Pérez J, Wilkinson Salamea E, Grosso B, Trpin M, Zurbriggen R, Cisternas C, Meza M, Díaz V, Kimport K. 2022. In-person later abortion accompaniment: a feminist collective-facilitated self-care practice in Latin America. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 29(3): 2009103.
  • Jayaweera R, Powell B, Gerdts C, Kakesa J, Ouedraogo R, Ramazani U, Wado YD, Wheeler E, Fetters T. 2021. The Potential of Self-Managed Abortion to Expand Abortion Access in Humanitarian Contexts. Frontiers in Global Women’s Health, 2: 681039.
  • Larrea S, Hidalgo C, Jacques-Aviñó C, Borrell C, Palència L. 2022. “No one should be alone in living this process”: trajectories, experiences and user’s perceptions about quality of abortion care in a telehealth service in Chile. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 29(3): 1948953.
  • Moseson H, Bullard KA, Cisternas C, Grosso B, Vera V, Gerdts C. 2020. Effectiveness of self-managed medication abortion between 13 and 24 weeks gestation: A retrospective review of case records from accompaniment groups in Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. Contraception, 102(2): 91-98.
  • Moseson H, Jayaweera R, Egwuatu I, Grosso B, Kristianingrum IA, Nmezi S, Zurbriggen R, Motana R, Bercu C, Carbone S, Gerdts C. 2022. Effectiveness of self-managed medication abortion with accompaniment support in Argentina and Nigeria (SAFE): a prospective, observational cohort study and non-inferiority analysis with historical controls. The Lancet Global Health, 10(1): 105-113.
  • Stillman M, Owolabi O, Fatusi AO, Akinyemi AI, Berry AL, Erinfolami TP, Olagunju OS,  Väisänen H, Bankole A. 2020. Women’s self-reported experiences using misoprostol obtained from drug sellers: a prospective cohort study in Lagos State, Nigeria. BMJ Open, 10(5): e034670.

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

Studies on self-managed medication abortion

Final BAR2LEGAB Dissemination Conference: presentations & video

It is a pleasure for us to disseminate the recording of the introductory speech of Dr. Silvia De Zordo, the Principal Investigator on our research project, and some of the presentations of the speakers who participated in our final dissemination Conference, held in Barcelona on June 22-23, 2022.

Please note that not all the presentations can be disseminated, because some of the data presented were sensitive and/or not published in scientific journals yet.

Check our “Our findings” section to freely access our publications, several of which are currently under review and will be published in the Fall-Winter 2022-2023.


Introduction final BAR2LEGAB Dissemination Conference

Eleonora Mizzoni. "Obiezione Respinta, Italy”.

Dr. Barambio. "Lack of training in instrumental abortion Spain"

Sílvia Aldavert. "Barreras de acceso al aborto Spain"

Eleonora Cirant. “Information and right to self-determination in Italy”.

Laura Rahm et al. “Barriers to accessing legal abortion in France”

Dra. Giulia Zanini. "Abortion information governance and women’s travels across European borders"

Dra. Joanna Mishtal. "The liberalization of the abortion law in Ireland"

Eva Rodríguez Armario. "Barreras en el acceso a la IVE en España".

Emmanuelle Lhomme. "Les obstacles à l’accès aux différentes méthodes d’IVG en France"

Elsa Viora. "Improving access to abortion in Italy"

Share your Story

We are aware of the great difficulties that women who want to interrupt their pregnancy in Europe have to face. That’s why we invite you to share your experience with the project team. With your help, we will be able to improve the study and create a community useful information for all.

    Send us your story

    The researchers will review your story and published it (if you have agreed to it) one week after your submission. If you wish to cancel your submission, change your mind about participating, or simply ticked the wrong box when submitting your story, please write to the research team using the email address to the left.

    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