A Conversation About Reproductive Health and Abortion Studies

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Welcome to The Academic Life! In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • The field of reproductive health studies
  • The data on contraceptive access and effectiveness [even when used correctly]
  • Why we need to trust women
  • What happens when a pregnant person seeking an abortion is turned away
  • The long-term outcomes for people who have had abortions
  • The consequences for people denied abortions
  • A discussion of the book The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having or Being Denied an Abortion

Today’s book is: The Turnaway Study, which asks what happens when a person seeking an abortion is turned away. Dr. Diane Greene Foster and a team of scientists, psychologists, epidemiologists, demographers, nurses, physicians, economists, sociologists, and public health researchers conducted a ten-year study on the outcomes of a thousand pregnant people across America, studying both those who received abortions, and those who were turned away. Dr. Foster analyzes impacts on mental and physical health, careers, and romantic relationships, offering the first data-driven examination of the negative consequences for pregnant people who are denied abortions.

Our guest is: Dr. Diana Greene Foster, a professor and demographer who uses quantitative models and analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of family planning policies and the effect of unwanted pregnancy on women’s lives. She led the Turnaway Study in the US, and is collaborating with scientists on a Nepal Turnaway Study. Dr. Foster also worked on the evaluation of the California State family planning program, Family PACT, demonstrating the effectiveness of the program in reducing the incidence of unintended pregnancy and the effect of dispensing a one-year supply of contraception. Dr. Foster created a new methodology for estimating pregnancies averted based on a Markov model and a microsimulation to identify the cost-effectiveness of advance provision of emergency contraception.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, co-producer of the Academic Life. She is a historian of women and gender.

Listeners to this episode might be interested in:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advocacy webpage
  • The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having or Being Denied an Abortion, by Diana Greene Foster
  • Advancing New Studies in Reproductive Health
  • You’re Doing it Wrong: Mothering, Media, and Medical Expertise by Bethany L. Johnson and Margaret M. Quinlan
  • A discussion of the book You’re Doing it Wrong,

You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island and neither are we. We reach across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring on an expert about something? DM us on Twitter: The Academic Life @AcademicLifeNBN.

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