On an array of health concerns, policymakers have rejected science in favor of lawmaking based on ideology, politics, and religion, to the detriment of public health. This is particularly true of stigmatized health areas such as reproductive health, and especially abortion care.
On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned nearly 50 years of precedent protecting the right to an abortion prior to viability. Under Roe v. Wade, the legal landscape of abortion was a complex patchwork of state laws and court decisions regulating access to the procedure. The Dobbs decision further compromised abortion access by allowing states to ban all or most abortions.
The Center for Public Health Law Research is home to one of the leading research teams focused on understanding the role and effects of laws related to sexual and reproductive health on population health, well-being, and equity. The Center’s resources reflect the varied and ever-changing landscape of regulations and restrictions on abortion, access to contraception, and other issues related to sexual and reproductive health in the United States and worldwide.
Published in the American Journal of Public Health, this editorial, written by CPHLR Research Fellow and Temple Beasley School of Law faculty member Patty Skuster, JD, MPP, and Heidi Moseson, PhD, MPH, explores the legal risk remaining for at-home medication abortion.
This paper, published in Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, analyzes provisions that do not account for the prevalence of self-managed abortion and evidence of its safety. Such provisions require that abortion take place in a formal healthcare setting. The researchers also analyzed criminal penalties for non-compliance.
The Identifying Data for the Empirical Assessment of Law (IDEAL) method, developed by a team of academics, lawyers, reproductive health experts and law students, follows three steps to support the development of evidence-based guidelines and practice related to abortion law. The process identifies social science and epidemiological evidence that does not explicitly address the law, but can nonetheless enhance the understanding of legal effects and identify research gaps and priority research topics.
This legal map captures insurance coverage mandates of contraception in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in effect from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2021. It was produced by Elizabeth A. McCaman, JD, MPH, a senior attorney at the National Health Law Program.
As long as the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for mifepristone remain in place, it creates an unnecessary barrier to access safe medication for abortion and miscarriage care. This article discusses why it’s critical to permanently remove the REMS to reduce the disproportionate harms of abortion restrictions on communities of color, and advance equity in and access to timely and essential reproductive health care.