This first-of-its-kind study examines Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) experiences with medication abortion.

Almost no research to date has examined the abortion needs of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs), though existing data suggests that abortion incidence among AANHPI people may be relatively high. While there is an enormous gap in the evidence, an early study of acceptability of medication abortion among women in the United States showed that Asian women were more than twice as likely to choose medication abortion over other methods. This two-year mixed-methods study is being funded by the Society of Family Planning and is a collaboration between National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Ibis Reproductive Health (Ibis).

This study seeks to understand how people within AANHPI subgroups may differ in their medication abortion knowledge, attitudes, and experiences. Our study recognizes the fact that the AANHPI community is made up of various different cultures and hopes to generate disaggregated data about the preferences, needs, and attitudes around medication abortion in our diverse community.

About the Study

Research Design

Research Design

With input and support from a Community Advisory Board (CAB), representing a diverse range of communities, organizations, and individuals within the AANHPI population in the US, this study uses a community-based, mixed-methods approach with three arms:

  1. Focus Group Discussions – Focus on understanding how AANHPIs of reproductive age perceive, refer to, and access medication abortion.
  2. In-Depth Interviews – Focus on understanding AANHPIs’ experiences using medication abortion to terminate their pregnancy/pregnancies.
  3. Nationally Representative Survey – Focus on exploring the knowledge of, attitudes around, and access to medication abortion among AANHPIs of reproductive age.

The survey included a randomly recruited U.S. sample of 1,500 AANHPI people of reproductive age between 16-49 years old who completed an online or phone survey. In addition, 90 in-depth interviews and 17 focus group discussions were conducted with AANHPI women between the ages of 18-49 years old. Research participants included both U.S. and foreign born respondents. Aside from English, research was conducted in specific Asian languages, including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, with interviews and focus groups also conducted in Urdu and Bangla.

Community Advisory Board

Community Advisory Board

In order to ensure that our research process is as community-informed and culturally appropriate as possible, we will be including a diverse group of organizations and individuals that directly serve the AANHPI community to be on our Community Advisory Board (CAB). The CAB will provide guidance and feedback on all study materials, recruitment strategies, and dissemination and will act as a sounding board throughout the two-year study. 

  • Autoosa Abadi, Program & Compliance Manager, Daya Houston
  • Jennifer Chin MD, MS, Assistant Professor, University of Washington
  • Inhe Choi, Executive Director, HANA Center
  • Quyen Dinh, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
  • Estella Owoimaha-Church, Executive Director, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
  • Veanna Pau’u, Co-Creator, The Tauhi Vā Project
  • Kenrick Ross, Executive Director, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Virtual Briefing

Community Briefing

Held Tuesday, May 30, 2023
12pm-1pm PT | 2-3pm CT | 3-4pm ET

Speakers for this event:

  • Isra Pananon Weeks, Interim Executive Director & Chief of Staff, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum 
  • Katherine Key, Senior Research Manager, Ibis Reproductive Health
  • Jennifer Chin, MD, MS, Community Advisory Board (CAB) Member & Assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine 
Suggested Citation

Suggested Citation

Choimorrow, S.Y., Lindsey, A., Key, K. & Gerdts, C. (2023). Medication abortion among Asian American, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders: Knowledge, access, and attitudes. Chicago, IL: National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.