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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.

Study examines Catholic hospitals' referral practices for reproductive health care services

September 28, 2016

In this study, researchers examine the Catholic hospitals' referral practices for reproductive health care services commonly prohibited at facilities that hold themselves out as religious. Given the disparate policies voiced by respondents, the researchers urged OB-GYNs and the facilities in which they work to "put in place referral practices that help patients access [reproductive health care] services not provided on-site."

Researchers assess effect of Utah's 72-hour mandatory delay law

September 28, 2016

This study examines the effect of Utah's extension of its mandatory delay period from 24 to 72 hours on the proportion of women who access abortion care after attending the required biased counseling session and the perceived impact of the law. Researchers find that the law was not only linked to a small but statistically significant decrease in the percentage of counseled women accessing abortion care, but also with several additional obstacles to access including increased travel distances, additional lost wages, and increased expenses.

Study affirms acceptability, feasibility of self-managed medication abortion

September 28, 2016

In this study, researchers assessed studies examining "experiences with, preferences for, and concerns about greater self-management of medica[tion] abortion" with less health professional involvement. They found that "[t]he overall acceptability and feasibility of self-management of medica[tion] abortion is supported by the qualitative evidence."

Letter to the editor: Brazilian women deserve abortion access as right to be free from 'psychological torture' of Zika

September 28, 2016

In this letter to the editors of the American Journal of Public Health, Debora Diniz -- a law professor spearheading a legal challenge to legalize abortion care in Brazil -- critiques a recent article describing Brazil's response to the Zika epidemic, noting that a woman's right to abortion care is rooted in the "right to decide to be freed of psychological torture imposed by the epidemic." The original article's authors respond to Diniz' concerns, echoing her sentiments and expressing support for her lawsuit.

Study: Removing employer-sponsored contraceptive coverage linked to increased pregnancy rates, higher costs

September 28, 2016

In this study, researchers examined how private, employer-sponsored contraceptive coverage affected "pregnancies, pregnancy outcomes and [employer] costs." They found that "removing private health insurance coverage for contraceptive methods results in more unintended pregnancies, more...abortions, and greater total costs from the societal and employer perspectives."

Study examines risks related to IUD use among women with HIV

July 27, 2016

In this review, the researchers examine whether intrauterine device (IUD) use among HIV-infected women is associated with increased risk of complications, disease progression or transmission. The researchers cite the need for additional research, but conclude that the limited studies "generally found that IUD use was not associated with HIV transmission, infectivity or disease progression."

Commentary discusses how OB-GYNs can support abortion access amid proliferation of restrictions

July 26, 2016

In this commentary, the researchers outline how OB-GYNs can help women access abortion care amid an increasing number of restrictions that can "impede access by affecting the timeliness, affordability, or availability of care." The researchers conclude that OB-GYNS play an integral role in "ensuring that all women have access to comprehensive reproductive health care services."

Analysis assesses intimate partner violence as issue of sexual, reproductive health and rights

July 27, 2016

In this analysis, researchers at the Guttmacher Institute examine intimate partner violence (IPV) as a "component of sexual and reproductive health and rights in" the United States. They outline policy gains made in responding to and treating women who are experiencing IPV, but conclude that policy makers and health care providers must address lingering obstacles to holistic treatment, including barriers to abortion care and emergency contraception.

Study reviews sexual, contraceptive behaviors among adolescents seeking EC

July 27, 2016

In this study, researchers look at the sexual and contraceptive behaviors of adolescents requesting emergency contraception (EC). Based on their findings, the researchers conclude that there is "a significant lack of effective contraceptive use among adolescents who request EC, especially those at a younger age."

Analysis examines growing effort to overturn harmful Hyde restrictions

July 26, 2016

In this analysis, Heather Boonstra, director of public policy at the Guttmacher Institute, examines the harmful effect of the Hyde Amendment and other federal abortion coverage restrictions on low-income women. Outlining abortion-rights advocates' growing effort to overturn such restrictions, Boonstra concludes, "With a new administration and Congress taking office next year, and elections in all 50 states, too, advocates are hopeful about rebuilding support -- however long it takes -- toward achieving true access to abortion care for low-income women, regardless of the state in which they live."

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