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ANSIRH News

Does the drop in the abortion rate indicate a triumph or a setback for public health?

A study by the Guttmacher Institute found that the abortion rate dropped by 25 percent between 2008 and 2014. A new commentary by Dr. Diana Greene Foster in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) discusses possible reasons for the decrease and questions the public health implications of these findings.

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Women with Medicaid funding for abortion are more likely to adopt a method of contraception on the day of an abortion

Adopting a form of contraception just after having an abortion is considered safe for most women. In a new study titled, “Role of Insurance Coverage in Contraceptive Use after Abortion,” published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, we found that women with access to Medicaid-funded abortions are nearly four times as likely to adopt a contraceptive method on the day of the procedure as women who self-pay for their procedure.

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Diana Greene Foster received the 2017 Robert A. Hatcher Family Planning Mentor Award

ANSIRH Director of Research, Diana Greene Foster, received the 2017 Robert A. Hatcher Family Planning Mentor Award by the Society of Family Planning at this year’s North American Forum on Family Planning. Read a transcript of Dr. Foster’s acceptance speech and join us in congratulating her for receiving this outstanding award.

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A 21st-Century Public Health Approach to Abortion

A 21st-Century Public Health Approach to Abortion. ANSIRH’s Sarah Roberts and Nancy Berglas, along with Liza Fuentes of the Guttmacher Institute and Amanda Dennis of the Society of Family Planning, published a commentary in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). They applied an accepted public health framework, the CDC’s 10 Essential Public Health Services, to describe how health departments should engage with abortion.

They point out the importance of involving public health professionals in decisions about how health departments should engage with abortion. They argue that health departments should: facilitate women’s ability to obtain an abortion and promote the use of a scientific evidence base in abortion-related laws, 

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ANSIRH Update: September 2017

Welcome to the September 2017 ANSIRH Update. Here is a list of our major accomplishments, as well as recognition for those accomplishments, over the past quarter. This edition includes publications, awards, media coverage, and more.

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Reporters experience multiple challenges when reporting on abortion

The study, a collaboration between ANSIRH and The Sea Change Program found that reporters experience multiple challenges when reporting on abortion, including struggling to maintain neutrality, finding new angles, connecting with new sources, facing harassment, and needing to educate editors on abortion.

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Receiving medication abortion through telemedicine as safe as in person

In this study, we looked at data from Iowa patients who received a medication abortion either via telemedicine or in person from 2008 to 2015, including any reports of serious complications, such as blood transfusion, hospitalization or visits to the emergency department where treatment was given. Of the nearly 20,000 patients studied, only 49 complications were reported, and there was no difference in the complication rate between women who had an in-person visit and those who received the service via telemedicine.

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Abortion and Insurance: More than the Hyde Amendment

Although there has been increasing attention paid to legal prohibitions on public and private insurance coverage for abortion, policies like the Hyde Amendment are only part of the reason accepting insurance in abortion care is complicated. Insurer practices, such as high deductibles in private insurance plans that exceed the cost of abortion and the low reimbursement rate of Medicaid, also influence whether abortion-providing facilities can accept insurance and still keep their doors open.

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How are state and local health departments addressing abortion?

Most state health departments are involved in activities related to abortion. However, we found that this involvement largely reflects what the law requires and not the full range of core public health activities.

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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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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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