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ANSIRH News

More U.S. obstetrician-gynecologists are providing abortion now than in 2009

ANSIRH, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Ibis Reproductive Health, and the California Pacific Medical Center conducted a survey that found the percentage of U.S. Ob/GYNs who provide abortion rose from 14% in 2009 to 24% at the time of the survey (2016-2017). We also asked participants who provided abortion which methods they offered. We found that FDA regulations create a significant barrier to expanding medication abortion provision.

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Pharmacy workers in Nepal could expand abortion provision

In 2015, we conducted in-depth interviews with 19 pharmacy-based workers, including pharmacy owners and auxiliary nurse-midwives, in two districts of Nepal—Chitwan and Jhapa. We found that Nepali pharmacy owners and staff felt that they can deliver safe and effective services to their clients, and that they offer an important alternative in regions where women have limited access to clinic-based abortion care. They felt that formal integration of pharmacy-based providers into legal networks of abortion provision could improve the quality of care they provided by strengthening training and referrals.

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CDC overestimates alcohol-exposed pregnancies

The CDC estimated that the number of women at-risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancies (AEPs) at 3.3 million per month. This study estimates the prevalence of AEPs, accounting for chances of becoming pregnant and three pregnancy outcomes: birth, miscarriage, and abortion. We found that the estimated expected actual number of AEPs is about 2.5 million lower than the CDC estimate. Alcohol use during pregnancy is an important public health problem, and it is imperative that estimates are correctly interpreted. Overestimating the scope of the problem can lead to enactment of stigmatizing policies, which may result in negative birth outcomes and in less health care utilization.

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The Desire to Avoid Pregnancy (DAP) scale

Using rigorous psychometric methods, we developed and evaluated the Desire to Avoid Pregnancy (DAP) scale, a new scaled measure of a person’s preferences about a future pregnancy and childbearing.

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ANSIRH research highlights 2018

Welcome to ANSIRH's 2018 research highlights page. We are proud to share our major accomplishments from this past year, including publications, media mentions, op-eds and awards. Please join us while we look back at the contributions ANSIRH has made this year in evidence-based policy, practice, and public discourse to improve reproductive wellbeing.

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Abortion Onscreen in 2018

This year was important for fictional abortion stories on television, as shows shifted towards highlighting the experiences of women of color. We identified 18 plotlines in which a character either has an abortion, discloses a past abortion, or considers getting an abortion.

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Alcohol and pregnancy policies have different effects by race/ethnicity

Nearly all states have enacted policies targeting alcohol use during pregnancy, yet little is known about the effect of these policies. This study investigates the discrepancy between policies targeting pregnant women’s alcohol use and their effects on drinking among pregnant women by race and ethnicity. We found that measuring the overall effect of these policies may conceal effects the policies have on different racial subgroups. We found that the health benefits and harms from these policies are not equally distributed across White, Black, and Hispanic women.

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Miscarriage treatment is just as safe in offices as in ASCs

This research compares the safety of miscarriage treatment in different facility types: office-based settings, hospitals, and Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs). Using a large national sample, we found that the safety of miscarriage treatment varied slightly across facility type. Treatment in office-based settings is as safe or safer than treatment in hospitals, and miscarriage treatment is similarly safe between ASCs and office-based settings. As procedures and medications to treat miscarriages are similar to procedures and medications for abortions, these findings challenge the idea that abortions need to be performed in ASCs to protect patient safety.

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Research shows that women are interested in alternative ways of accessing medication abortion

In a nationally representative survey of women, we examined their general support for and personal interest in three models of medication abortion provision: receiving the medication in advance from a doctor for future use, over-the-counter (OTC) access from a pharmacy, and purchasing abortion pills online. We found that nearly half of women support one or more of these alternative models of medication abortion provision.

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Admitting privileges laws do not appear to benefit abortion patients

We examined how, in the rare event that hospital care is necessary, women presenting for abortion were transferred or referred to emergency departments. We also assessed whether the process changed after clinics obtained admitting privileges. We found that an abortion provider having admitting privileges doesn’t appear to change how abortion patients receive hospital care.

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Banner photo: © Aura Orozco-Fuentes

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ANSIRH is a program within the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and is a part of UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

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