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ANSIRH Research Highlights 2020

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. 

In addition to these publications, ANSIRH researchers published two books:

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.


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.

Legal Activities

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.


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