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Research project

Abortion Facility Standards Initiative

The Abortion Facility Standards Initiative (AFSI) brings new research to the issue of facility standards for abortion provision.  AFSI seeks to ground public and policy debate about abortion facility standards in solid evidence and genuine public health approaches so that standards in this field are based on science, not politics. 

AFSI conducts research and systematically reviews research evidence about patient safety and public health functions and responsibilities in the context of outpatient abortion care.

Current research projects:

  • Public Health Framework—In the United States, public health arguments have been used to argue both for and against legal abortion since Roe v. Wade and continue today.  In this project, we draw on scoping reviews of published peer-reviewed literature about “public health” and “abortion” identified through PubMed, as well as the 10 Essential Public Health Services framework to describe what public health approaches to abortion in the United States should look like.
  • Research Evidence in Facility Standards (REFS)—The aim of the REFS study is to understand how evidence has been used in the development of facility standards for low-risk procedures commonly done in outpatient settings. The study examines whether facility standards currently exist for different outpatient procedures and investigates the motivations, processes, arguments, and evidence used to set such standards.
  • Use of the Health and Safety Framework—This project examines how abortion rights supporters and opponents as well as reproductive health professionals use evidence and frames related to health and safety in public discourse around abortion facilities standards and other abortion restrictions. The study performs a content analysis examining health and safety frames on abortion in claims presented by abortion rights supporters and abortion rights opponents as well as reproductive health professionals working in non-advocacy organizations. The study examines online advocacy and press materials to understand how advocates and reproductive health professionals are using the “health and safety” framework. 

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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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