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News from ANSIRH

ANSIRH News

Women traveling far for an abortion are more likely to go to emergency departments for follow-up care

This is the first paper to examine the relationship between distance traveled for abortion and where women seek any potential follow-up care. By analyzing data from 39,747 abortions covered by Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, researchers found that women who traveled 100 miles or more for an abortion were over twice as likely as women traveling 25 miles or fewer to seek subsequent care at an emergency department.

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States with more punitive laws on alcohol use during pregnancy have more laws limiting reproductive rights

States with restrictive reproductive rights laws also tend to have more policies that punish women who drink alcohol while pregnant. There is also no evidence that these punitive policies reduce harm from alcohol use during pregnancy, suggesting more of a focus on restricting women’s reproductive autonomy than effectively addressing harms from alcohol. The study is based on an analysis of U.S. state policies targeting alcohol use during pregnancy from 1970 through 2013.

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Mandatory ultrasound viewing does little to dissuade women from getting abortions

Our study in Wisconsin, the first of its kind to examine the effects of a mandatory ultrasound viewing law, found that women seeking abortions overwhelmingly go through with the abortion, regardless of whether they view the ultrasound image before the procedure.

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New Abortion Onscreen database

The Abortion Onscreen database is a project of ANSIRH’s Abortion Onscreen program and aims to include all American film and television depictions in which a character obtained an abortion or disclosed that they had had one in the past. Plotlines in which a character considers but does not have an abortion are not included in these results. You can search by title and keyword; media type, genre, and release date (going as far back as 1916); character age, race, and location; and the legality and health outcome of the abortion portrayed. 

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“PAIRS Framework” helps clinicians and researchers classify abortion-related adverse events and other morbidities in abortion care

Abortion is a common and safe procedure yet there has been little standardization of how to classify incidents related to patient safety. Abortion clinicians and researchers need a system that differentiates between adverse events due to clinical care and morbidities related to pregnancy, the abortion process, or other non-abortion-related conditions. The Procedural Abortion Incident Reporting and Surveillance (PAIRS) Framework, published by ANSIRH’s Diana Taylor and colleagues in the journal Contraception, provides a comprehensive, evidence-based classification framework for monitoring the quality and safety in abortion care.

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ANSIRH Update: May 2017

Fifteen years ago, in 2002, Drs. Felicia Stewart and Tracy Weitz founded Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). This year, we are celebrating one and a half decades of conducting innovative, rigorous, multidisciplinary research on complex issues related to people’s sexual and reproductive lives.

As part of our 15th anniversary celebration, we are launching ANSIRH Updates - a quarterly email digest to keep you better informed on our research, our communications efforts, and recognition for ANSIRH's work.

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Study explores pathway to making medication abortion available without a prescription

A literature review by Ipas and ANSIRH lays out a regulatory pathway for medication abortion to be made available without a prescription. The paper, which identifies the evidence needed to determine whether women can safely access nonprescription medication abortion, also suggests that the drugs meet many of the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over-the-counter sale.

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Health care system contributes to women shouldering burdens of preventing pregnancy

A study from ANSIRH’s Katrina Kimport finds that during contraceptive counseling visits, clinicians normalized and legitimized women assuming the mental and emotional burdens of contraception. In fact, they regularly expressed doubt or surprise or even dismissed women’s desire not to have children in the future. As a result, the clinicians promoted contraceptive methods that would preserve fertility—but also require women to continue to shoulder the work of maintaining these methods, rather than sterilization procedures.

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TV greatly exaggerates the medical and psychological risks associated with abortion

ANSIRH’s Abortion Onscreen project found that abortion complications are much more common TV than in real life. Television also exaggerates not only the frequency but the severity of such complications, portraying them as extreme, life-threatening, and contributing to adverse outcomes such as infertility, depression, and death. In real life, such outcomes are extremely rare.

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Editorial: White House policy changes put women’s health at risk

In an editorial featured in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, ANSIRH’s Dan Grossman examines how the Trump administration’s sexual and reproductive health policy changes threaten women in the USA and across the world. One concerning development is the re-imposition of the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, which prevents US-funded organizations from providing, informing about, or advocating for abortion care in their countries.

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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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