Research Results

Results from grant-funded research projects evaluating public health law issues.

The disproportionate burdens of the mifepristone REMS

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.

The “Legal Epidemiology” of Pandemic Control

In this commentary for the New England Journal of Medicine, Scott Burris, Evan Anderson, and Alexander Wagenaar draw attention to the chronic underfunding and neglect of legal epidemiology, which is essential to bolstering the use of law and policy as an intervention to improve health. The authors call for the scale-up of the infrastructure for at least three kinds of research: study of the mechanisms, effects, side effects and implementation of laws designed to influence health, such as COVID control measures; research on how the legal infrastructure of the U.S.

Health, Housing and the Law

This article outlines 23 legal mechanisms, or levers, that may impact health equity in housing in the United States, and reviews the evidence base evaluating each lever.

The article introduces a model that divides the levers among five core domains intended to promote greater health equity in housing:

Public Health Implications of Housing Laws: Nuisance Evictions

For public health, concerns about nuisance property ordinances are important, both because of the general importance of stable housing to personal and family health and because of the particularly severe consequences of eviction. Although other laws may protect the housing rights of domestic violence survivors, the fact that the main housing laws so rarely protect victims of domestic violence is concerning, purely on the level of legal doctrine and public policy.

Supporting a Culture of Evidence-Based Policy: Federal Funding for Public Health Law Evaluation Research, 1985-2014

Using data from the UberResearch NIH grant repository, researchers from the Center for Public Health Law Research and UberResearch in Cambridge, Mass., collected and coded all National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants with a focus on health policy between FY’85 and FY’14 and then analyzed the grants by funding agency and topic areas. The study finds that NIH has supported public health law research, but not to the extent necessary to timely evaluate laws affecting the public’s health.


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