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Abortion Prenatal Study (Louisiana and Maryland)

Typically, evaluations of abortion restrictions focus on one restriction at a time. However many states have simultaneous abortion restrictions—including 24-hour waiting periods, mandatory ultrasound viewing laws, parental consent, public insurance restrictions, and 20-week abortion bans. Little is known about how multiple simultaneous restrictions affect women's experiences. 

With this study we seek to understand how living in a state with multiple restrictions affects women who become pregnant, and how this compares to women who become pregnant in states with few restrictions. We are currently conducting this research in Louisiana, a state with multiple restrictions against abortion that continues to pass additional restrictions, and Maryland, a state with few restrictions.

Research Aims

To understand women's reasons for continuing a pregnancy after considering abortion in a state with multiple abortion restrictions.
To understand women's preferences for talking about different aspects of their pregnancies, pregnancy-related decision-making, and life situation with prenatal care providers.
To compare women's experiences with pregnancy-related decision-making in states with differing abortion policy and access environments.
To understand women's experiences with crisis pregnancy centers.

- back to the Evaluation of Abortion Restrictions Project


Study Design

Women at their first prenatal appointment at prenatal clinics in Southern Louisiana and Baltimore, Maryland, were recruited to complete a self-administered iPad survey and an in-clinic structured interview. Some women qualified to participate in an in-depth interview.

Key Findings

Abortion restrictions can make obtaining an abortion impossible for people with complex life situations: read the study.

Women entering prenatal care report unmet need for social services: read the study and our infographic.

Medicaid abortion restrictions are an insurmountable barrier: read the study.

Considering abortion is common among women seeking prenatal care: read the study and infographic.

Some prenatal care patients feel uncertain about their pregnancy: read the study.

Few women go to crisis pregnancy centers for pregnancy counseling: read the study.