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Ushma Upadhyay

Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor

Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH is a public health Social Scientist trained in epidemiology and demography. Her work encompasses two overarching themes: the effects of women's empowerment and gender equity on reproductive health and improving access to contraception and abortion care.  Dr. Upadhyay has expertise in abortion safety, abortion access in the U.S., medication abortion, and state-level abortion restrictions such as physician admitting privileges laws and telemedicine bans for abortion. Looking forward, she is now planning research that aims to assess the safety of demedicalized models of medication abortion care, including telemedicine for abortion care and a missed period pill. Dr. Upadhyay is also Director of Research of the UCGHI Center of Expertise in Women’s Health, Gender, and Empowerment. She has developed and validated the Reproductive Autonomy Scale to quantitatively measure the power to decide about and control matters related to contraceptive use, pregnancy, and childbearing, which researchers can incorporate into interview assessments in a variety of evaluations and research contexts.  Building on that work, she is now is in the process of developing a measure of sexual and reproductive empowerment for adolescents and young adults with support from a National Institutes of Health K01 Award. Dr. Upadhyay has a BA in Communications and International Studies from American University, a Masters in Public Health from Columbia School of Public Health, and a PhD from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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