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*Editors' Note: As of January 2017, the Monthly Women's Health Research Review has been discontinued. Below are archived articles for your reference.

Conceptual Model Explains Best Practices for Abortion Referral-Making

November 25, 2014

As access to abortion services continues to decrease in much of the U.S., it is increasingly critical that health and social services providers can provide women with "assistance [in] locating and accessing abortion care," Provide's Melanie Zurek and colleagues write. They describe a conceptual model developed by Provide to assist providers in improving their referral-making practices and effectively fulfilling "their role in ensuring access to care."

Abortion Providers Must Delve Into Context of Stigma Surrounding Their Profession

November 25, 2014

In a commentary, University of California-San Francisco's Carole Joffe writes about the stigma surrounding abortion providers and their marginalization in relation to other physicians. She discusses such issues in the context of both historical developments and recent increases in abortion restrictions throughout the U.S., concluding that one way to address abortion stigma is to explore the difference between stigma, marginality and controversy.

Improvements Needed in Care for Women With Late Diagnosis of Lethal Fetal Anomalies, Survey Suggests

November 25, 2014

Researchers surveyed maternal-fetal medicine specialists about their attitudes and practices regarding cases that involve the diagnosis of lethal fetal anomalies after 24 weeks of gestation, including the availability of abortion services in such circumstances. While most respondents felt that abortion should be allowed in such cases, they varied in their knowledge about the availability of such services and how they advised women facing diagnoses of lethal fetal anomalies late in their pregnancies.

Comprehensive Middle School Sex Education Can Help Delay Sexual Debut, Researchers Find

November 25, 2014

In this study, researchers assessed how a comprehensive middle school sex education program that incorporates family activities would affect students' sexual debut and whether the family component would improve the program's effectiveness. The researchers examined Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts' Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works program and found that it can delay vaginal sex among boys and girls and that the family component was particularly significant for boys.

Efforts To Promote LARC Methods Must Avoid Undermining 'Reproductive Autonomy,' Experts Argue

October 30, 2014

In a commentary, three reproductive health experts consider whether "unchecked enthusiasm" for and promotion of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods "may deny some women reproductive control." They argue that such an outcome can be avoided by ensuring that programs promoting LARC methods "put the priorities, needs and preferences of individual women -- not the promotion of specific technologies -- first."

Abortion Does Not Contribute To Couples' Relationship Dissolution, Study Finds

October 30, 2014

There is a lack of reliable research comparing how a man and woman's relationship is affected when the woman terminates an unwanted pregnancy versus when she seeks an abortion but ends up carrying to term because she is unable to obtain the procedure. To assess the issue, researchers studied interviews with more than 850 women who sought abortions, including many who were beyond a facility's gestational limit and went on to give birth. The study found "no evidence that having an abortion causes relationship dissolution," but rather that "having an abortion appears to allow relationship dissolution to continue at its own pace, while having the baby seems to postpone the end of the relationship."

Paper Outlines Framework for Improving Maternal, Newborn Health Through Midwifery

October 30, 2014

Writing in The Lancet, reproductive health experts assess the power of midwifery care to improve maternal and newborn health and outline a policy framework for bolstering midwifery to improve reproductive health outcomes. Midwifery contributes to "high-quality maternal and newborn care" that "should be at the heart of all subnational, national, regional, and global efforts to improve women's and children's health and wellbeing," they write.

Study Finds Disparities in Fertility Preservation Counseling for Cancer Patients

October 30, 2014

A woman's likelihood of receiving fertility preservation counseling after a cancer diagnosis varies by race, age, marital status and cancer type, according to a Northwestern University study. The researchers examined the fertility preservation counseling histories of 353 adult women with breast, gynecologic and hematologic cancers, finding that such counseling was more common among certain groups -- such as younger women and Hispanics -- than others, including divorced women and blacks.

Safety Net STD Providers Remain Vital Under ACA, CDC Researchers Write

October 30, 2014

CDC's Ryan Cramer and colleagues examined changes in access to sexually transmitted disease services under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the role of safety net providers in the provision of such services. Although the ACA "is expected to increase access to STD services," safety net providers will remain an important source of "confidential, high-quality, same-day STD services" for many populations, especially the uninsured, they wrote.

Women's Emotions After Pre-Abortion Ultrasounds Provide 'Little Support' for Mandatory Viewing

October 30, 2014

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health examined women's emotional responses to viewing an ultrasound prior to an abortion. They concluded that "the impact of [ultrasound] viewing on women's emotions about their pregnancy is overestimated" and provides "little support for abortion rights opponents' hope that viewing will inspire bonding emotions with the fetus."

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