Welcome to ANSIRH's accomplishments for 2020. We are proud to share our major achievements from the past year, including publications, media mentions, op-eds, legal activities, and other highlights.
In 2020, ANSIRH researchers contributed 92 peer-reviewed publications to the field, the highest we've ever produced in a single year. These articles appeared in some of the most respected journals of reproductive health, psychology, public health, and beyond. Below is a list of links to summaries for selected 2020 publications. To access the full list of publications, visit Research and Tools and select Research Publications.
- Abortion and culture:
- Abortion denial and impact:
- An overwhelming majority of women who have an abortion say the decision was right for them 5 years later
- Perceived abortion stigma and psychological well-being over five years after receiving or being denied an abortion
- Being denied abortion can lead to financial distress that lasts at least 5 years
- Storytellers experience both harassment and empowerment after sharing abortion stories publicly
- Pregnancy and contraception:
- Abortion restrictions can make obtaining an abortion impossible for people with complex life situations
- Women choose a hospital based on reputation and quality of care
- Women have a variety of reasons for visiting anti-abortion pregnancy centers
- Doctors and health care facilities need to prepare as self-managed abortion increases under restrictive laws
- Having an abortion in an ambulatory surgical center costs hundreds more than office-based settings
- The judicial bypass process delays abortion for adolescents
- The COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on access to abortion care
- Seven percent of U.S. women will self-manage abortion in their lifetimes
In addition to these publications, ANSIRH researchers published two books:
- Dr. Diana Greene Foster published the collected findings of the Turnaway Study —the largest study to examine women’s experiences with abortion and unwanted pregnancy in the United States— in a new book called The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, A Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having - or Being Denied - an Abortion. The book was reviewed in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and covered in Vogue and DailyKos.
- Dr. Carole Joffe published her sixth book, Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to get an Abortion in America, an account of the barriers people face in obtaining an abortion. This book was covered in Ms. Magazine, Rewire, Salon, and Washington Post.
Media articles featuring ANSIRH
In 2020, our work was featured in nearly 250 media articles – a significant number given the abrupt shift in reporting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few highlights are listed below. Please see our website for a curated list of media articles.
- The majority of women feel relief, not regret, after an abortion, study says (CNN)
- The Surprisingly Fraught Question of Who Pays for Birth Control (Atlantic)
- How a crop of new movies is changing the narrative about abortion (TIME)
- Texas 5th Circuit abortion ruling reveals how GOP using coronavirus to oppress women (NBC)
- Prenatal Care May Look Very Different After Coronavirus (New York Times)
- Abortion Bans are Bad Medicine—Especially During a Pandemic (Ms Magazine)
- The long fight for reproductive rights is only getting harder (Washington Post)
- How COVID-19 complicated an already complex abortion access issue in the South (USA Today)
- Supreme Court hands down major decision reaffirming abortion rights in Louisiana case (Good Morning America)
- The Study that Debunks Most Anti-Abortion Arguments (New Yorker)
In 2020, ANSIRH's work or researchers were featured in 40 opinion pieces, including an opinion by the New York Times Editorial Board. Of these, ANSIRH researchers penned 18 op-eds. Titles and links for these are listed by author below.
- Daniel Grossman: Op-Ed: California calls itself a ‘reproductive freedom’ state. Here’s how it can make good on that (LA Times), Abortions Don't Drain Hospital Resources (Boston Review)
- Chris Albach: Why I'm becoming an abortion provider now (Alternet)
- Diana Greene Foster: What Does a New 10-Year Study Teach Us About What We Talk About When We Talk About Abortion? (Vogue), Data undeniably show why the Supreme Court’s June Medical abortion outcome is good for women (LA Times)
- Steph Herold: Abortion storytellers and the harassment they face (The Hill)
- Carole Joffe: No, abortion providers aren’t craven opportunists. They care for their patients. (Washington Post), Abortion Providers Are Acting as Travel Agents. That’s Wrong. (Rewire), Anti-Choice Politicians Are Using the Coronavirus Crisis to Deny Abortion Rights (Rolling Stone), Coronovirus crisis magnifies existing challenges to abortion access (Women's Media Center), A Rare Expansion in Abortion Access Because of COVID-19 (TIME)
- Monica McLemore: Working in partnership with communities: listening to women’s lived experiences to help set research priorities to address the preterm birth epidemic (BMC Series Blog), COVID-19 Is No Reason to Abandon Pregnant People (Scientific American), On Racism: A New Standard For Publishing On Racial Health Inequities (Health Affairs)
- Sarah Roberts: With the safety of abortion at stake, the Supreme Court could rule against science (Salon)
- Corinne Rocca: Debunking the "abortion regret" narrative: Data shows women feel relief, not regret (Salon)
- Ushma Upadhyay: Science prevails in Supreme Court ruling on abortion law that provided no medical benefit (USA Today), The FDA approved the abortion pill 20 years ago. It’s time to make it available via telehealth (STAT, Boston Globe)
Even with the pandemic, ANSIRH’s work continued to resonate in policy, legal, and cultural debates – in particular, supporting legal teams with the best evidence for laws and policies that advance reproductive health. ANSIRH researchers participated in a number of court hearings and legal proceedings in 2020:
- In May, a case where Dr. Daniel Grossman served as an expert witness on the safety of abortion was ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, allowing it to stay open as the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri.
- In May, Dr. Katrina Kimport joined an amicus brief for the Supreme Court case California et al. v Texas et al., a case challenging the Affordable Care Act. The brief argues that the Affordable Care Act has laid a strong foundation for national public health initiatives, providing millions of Americans with access to health care and health insurance.
- In June, the US Supreme Court struck down an abortion restriction in Louisiana in June Medical Services v. Russo, resting in part on evidence on abortion safety and existing barriers to access from ANSIRH researchers Dr. Ushma Upadhyay and Dr.Sarah Roberts.
- Dr. Grossman served as expert witness and submitted a written affadavit on a case where Planned Parenthood challenged an Iowa law requiring a 24-hour mandatory delay between ultrasound/counseling and abortion. In July, Planned Parenthood received a temporary injunction of the law.
- In October, the Federal court struck down Tennessee’s waiting period law, a case where Dr. M. Antonia Biggs served as a critical witness offering evidence on the ineffectiveness of waiting periods.
- Dr. Grossman is an expert witness in a case challenging several abortion restrictions in Indiana. In October, the judge ruled against the state's motion to throw out the case and Dr. Grossman's testimony, citing his strong research and academic record, and is allowing the case to proceed in 2021.
- In December, Dr. Grossman provided expert testimony in Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin v. Kaul, a case challenging a ban on APC provision of abortion, a ban on the use of telemedicine to provide medication abortion, and a requirement that the same physician provide counseling 24 hours prior to medication abortion.
Other highlights from 2020
- ANSIRH articulated our commitment to racial justice with this statement in support of the Movement for Black Lives and are advancing our own work to address racism and systematic oppression within our program and the larger UCSF community. ANSIRH staff and investigators participated in a training on micro-aggressions, embarked on a process to make our community more inclusive, and finalized a new hiring guide to reduce bias and increase the diversity of applicants and, ultimately, new hires.
- We have been investigating how COVID-19 is altering reproductive health and access to care. Here are some examples:
- In collaboration with providers and other researchers, we created evidence for a no-test protocol for abortion – allowing people to access an abortion without risking unnecessary in-person contact.
- In the spring, we surveyed independent abortion providers on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and found that while most continued to provide care, more clinics in the South and Midwest had to temporarily close, or postpone/cancel appointments.
- As part of a nationwide UCSF study of pregnant people suspected to have or confirmed to have COVID, we helped launch a project of community engagement within BIPOC and queer communities, to measure the impact of racism, poverty, and care experiences in adverse outcomes among BIPOC birthing people with COVID-19.
- Our researchers were featured in 18 radio shows or podcasts, including Dr. Diana Greene Foster appearing on the nationally syndicated show, Fresh Air - a first for us!
- Three new staff joined ANSIRH in 2020: Amy Pineda, Administrative Manager for ANSIRH's operations, Sabrina Serrano as Research Coordinator working on the effectiveness of telemedicine/no-touch provision of medication abortion, and Nikki Lanshaw, Project Director for the ACTIONS program
- ANSIRH celebrated two new faculty members in 2020: Dr. M. Antonia Biggs was promoted to a full faculty position in July and Dr. Karen Scott, Associate Professor at UCSF, joined ANSIRH in November.