Can abortion be funny? Thoughts on Obvious Child.

Obvious ChildObvious Child opens with a joke about vaginal discharge and ends with Donna, its protagonist, wrapped in blankets on her couch, sipping tea, resting after her abortion.  These moments represent the film’s strengths—its hilarity, its irreverence, its sincerity, and its quietly revolutionary story.

Our research here at ANSIRH has shown how fraught cinematic abortion stories can be.

Characters who consider having abortions often have their plans fortuitously derailed by pregnancy loss or change their minds suddenly in the waiting room of the clinic, or, should they actually get an abortion, deal with relationships falling apart, future infertility, or even tragic deaths. The few abortion stories that avoid these pitfalls are still serious and often grim; abortion is almost always the obstacle that nearly thwarts the protagonist’s happiness, and almost never the easy, safe path to that happy ending. (more…)


Does ‘loss of esteem’ follow an abortion?

Self-esteem trajectories 2.5 years following abortion seeking by study group

Figure 1. Self-esteem trajectories 2.5 years following abortion seeking by study group. Quality of Life Research. April 2014.

In 2007, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the Gonzales v. Carhart case:

“While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort…. Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.”

As a researcher, I find this statement particularly intriguing. (more…)


Development of a Reproductive Autonomy Scale

Reprinted with permission from the Population Council.

Reprinted with permission from the Population Council.

What is reproductive autonomy?

Reproductive autonomy is having the power to decide about and control matters related to contraceptive use, pregnancy, and childbearing. Around the world, at the community level and the individual level, social norms dictate varying degrees of women’s reproductive autonomy. It is important to consider because it may help explain in part why there are 86 million unintended pregnancies around the world every year. (more…)


Commemorating Roe by expanding abortion access

41st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

41 years ago, the landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade codified women’s right to safe, legal abortion nationwide.

Despite Roe and abortion’s documented safety record, it remains a highly contested social and political issue throughout the country. Nonetheless, while several states restricted access to abortion services last year, California embarked on a new direction and expanded the pool of available abortion providers. (more…)


Sharing women’s experiences with abortion:
An interview with Meaghan Winter

Steph Herold, writing for ANSIRH, interviews Meaghan Winter about her November 2013 New York Magazine highlighting the range of experiences and reasons that lead women to seek abortion in the United States.New York Magazine’s cover story featuring 26 women telling their abortion stories is getting a lot of attention. This isn’t the first time a magazine has spotlighted women’s experiences with abortion (Ms. Magazine has done it twice), but it is one of the larger mainstream media publications to feature women talking about their own abortions.

What is it like to curate these stories for a mainstream audience? Meaghan Winter, the journalist behind the piece, talked to us about how the article came together. (more…)