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.
We invite collaboration and partnership to apply our data and other research in practice and for the advancement of understanding the impact of reproductive and sexual health laws and policies.
US Abortion Laws
- State Abortion Laws – One of the largest repositories of longitudinal legal data that outlines the laws affecting US abortion access across 15 issue areas in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, from December 1, 2018, through October 1, 2021. There are 15 datasets in this collection on CPHLR’s legal data website, LawAtlas.org, updated annually, with the next update scheduled for release in December 2022.
- Post-Dobbs Abortion Restrictions and Protections – Preliminary legal data capturing abortion restrictions and protections following the US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This rapid surveillance, found on LawAtlas.org, will be updated throughout the coming year.
- The disproportionate burdens of the mifepristone REMS – Published in Contraception, this commentary argues that permanently lifting the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for mifepristone in its entirety would expand access to early abortion and miscarriage care.
- The Growing Importance of Self-Managed and Telemedicine Abortion in the United States: Medically Safe, but Legal Risk Remains – Published in the American Journal of Public Health, this editorial explores the legal risk remaining for at-home medication abortion.
- State Law Approaches to Facility Regulation of Abortion and Other Office Interventions – This study uses policy surveillance to compare the prevalence and characteristics of facility laws governing abortions specifically targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws; office-based surgeries, procedures, sedation, or anesthesia (office interventions) generally (OBS laws); and other procedures.
Global Abortion Laws
- Identifying data for the empirical assessment of law (IDEAL) – This article in BMJ Global Health describes a new method to incorporate evidence on health effects of abortion regulations in existing research to fill in gaps and inform policymaking.
- Global Abortion Laws relating to Self-Managed Abortion – This policy surveillance dataset on LawAtlas.org displays key features of abortion laws as they relate to self-managed abortion in 180 countries and 40 sub-national jurisdictions including in Australia and Mexico, all in effect as of June 1, 2019.
- Policy surveillance for a global analysis of national abortion laws – 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 in light of increasing criminalization risks.
- Legal Epidemiology for A Clearer Understanding of Abortion Laws and their Impact – This essay, published in Temple Law Review discusses how legal epidemiology can promote understanding of the effect of abortion laws.
- The Law And Evidence On Self-Managed Abortion Virtual Panel Series – This five-part panel series (2022-2023) convened by the Center for Public Health Law Research, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Ibis Reproductive Health, and If/When/How Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, explores the interplay between empirical evidence on the safety and efficacy of self-managed abortion and laws, policies, and their application.
- Insurance Coverage of Contraception – This policy surveillance dataset on LawAtlas.org explores contraceptive coverage mandates in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in effect from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2021.
- Vending Machine Sales of OTC Contraception – This policy surveillance dataset on LawAtlas.org displays key features of vending machine sales of OTC contraception laws across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. in effect as of December 31, 2020.
Other Issues in Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Reproductive Health Care Conscience Laws – This dataset on LawAtlas.org identifies the procedural protections established by laws and regulations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that protect the conscience rights of health care providers in the context of reproductive health care services. The data specifically focus on immunity from civil liability and limitations on provider rights in cases where patients are likely to be harmed, capturing the relevant features of laws in effect from December 18, 2018, to December 31, 2019.
- Breastfeeding Among Hospital Maternity Patients – This LawAtlas.org dataset identifies key features of state laws and regulations regarding evidence-based practices for hospitals related to the "10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" outlined by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in effect as of April 1, 2018.
- HIV Criminalization Laws – This dataset on LawAtlas.org details state HIV criminalization laws, including the specific conduct criminalized in each state, the means by which criminalization is achieved (by statute, case law, or both), and additional details about any penalties or defenses specified for each crime, as of October 2013.
Meet the Researchers
Rachel Rebouche, JD – Dean of the Temple University Beasley School of Law and Faculty Fellow at the Center for Public Health Law Research
Patty Skuster, JD – Beck Professor of Law at Temple University Beasley School of Law and a Fellow at the Center for Public Health Law Research
Adrienne Ghorashi, Esq. – Lead Law and Policy Analyst at the Center for Public Health Law Research, APHA Abortion Task Force Co-Chair, and 2021 Society of Family Planning Changemaker