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ANSIRH News

ANSIRH Update: April 2018

The latest ANSIRH Update, from April 2018. We are off to a very productive start to the year, with 14 peer-reviewed articles—four from the Turnaway Study alone. Our research was featured in 111 media articles from 67 media outlets, and we also published 5 op-eds and one New York Times letter to the editor. And Monica McLemore was not only named the Abortion Care Network (ACN) Person of the Year, but was also the star of billboards around the Bay Area for an ACN campaign that is challenging deceptive crisis pregnancy centers and so-called “abortion reversal” of medication abortion.

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Few women go to crisis pregnancy centers for pregnancy counseling

Research has documented that antiabortion, evangelical Christian-run crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) present inaccurate information about abortion to pregnant women, and abortion rights advocates have reported anecdotal accounts of CPCs deceiving women. A new ANSIRH study set out to empirically measure the frequency with which pregnant women seek CPC services and, when they do go to a CPC, the impacts of those visits on their pregnancy decision-making.

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The expertise of clinicians, guidelines of professional organizations, and scientific evidence should guide the development of facility standards

We conducted key informant interviews with 20 expert clinicians and accreditation professionals involved in facility standards development for common outpatient procedures, such as endoscopy, gynecology, oral surgery, and plastic surgery. We sought to understand how facility standards are developed in these areas of health care and to identify lessons learned that may be applicable to abortion.

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Women denied abortion are significantly less likely to support the legal right to abortion

“Attitudes Toward Abortion After Receiving vs. Being Denied an Abortion in the USA,” a study published in Sexuality Research and Social Policy, examined attitudes toward abortion legality and morality among women who received an abortion vs. those who were denied the abortion they sought.

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Having an abortion does not lead to increased alcohol, tobacco or drug use

A new publication from the Turnaway Study, “Changes in alcohol, tobacco, and drug use over five years after receiving versus being denied a pregnancy termination,” [link] available from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found no evidence that having an abortion leads to women to increase use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.

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State law approaches to facility regulation of abortion and other office interventions

We studied state facility laws across all fifty states and the District of Columbia, comparing laws that targeted abortion provision (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers—TRAP laws); laws that governed office-based surgeries, procedures, sedation or anesthesia use generally (OBS laws); and laws that targeted the provision of specific procedures other than abortion. We found that regulations placed on abortion facilities are more numerous, expansive, and burdensome than laws regulating facilities providing other medical procedures.

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Contraceptive counseling marginalizes male body-based methods

Women bear the primary, and sometimes exclusive, responsibility for preventing pregnancy. How clinicians talk about male body-based methods—condoms, withdrawal, and vasectomy—can contribute to this unequal gendered division of responsibility and may also encourage women to choose a method that does not best meet their preferences.

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Socioeconomic outcomes of women who receive and women who are denied wanted abortions

New findings from the Turnaway Study indicate that being denied a wanted abortion has serious economic consequences that last for years after birth. Compared with being able to obtain abortion care, being denied a wanted abortion results in increased household poverty—and public assistance that persists until women are timed out of these programs; reduced full-time employment; decreased likelihood that women have enough money for food, housing and transportation; and increased chance that women are raising children alone—without male partners or family.

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Women can safely and effectively self-induce abortion using misoprostol after receiving information from a healthcare provider

In a collaboration with researchers at Ibis Reproductive Health and the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, we documented outcomes of a harm-reduction model of safe abortion care implemented at non-governmental clinics in Lima and Chimbote, Peru.

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Review of existing research indicates no difference in patient safety between outpatient procedures performed in ASCs vs physician’s offices

ANSIRH conducted a systematic review of existing research to determine if the type of facility where a procedure is performed, and the characteristics of that facility, impact patient safety. We found there was no difference in patient safety for outpatient procedures performed in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) vs. physician's offices.

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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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