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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.

Researchers launch consortium to investigate religious restrictions on reproductive care

April 27, 2016

In this analysis, the researchers explain why they founded the Research Consortium of Religious Healthcare Institutions and discuss the effect of religious restrictions on reproductive health care. They write, "Given the immensity of the religious healthcare sector today which systematically restricts and prohibits care most integral to the lives of women of reproductive age, an academic focus on the topic is long overdue."

Study assesses LARC initiative, continuation in military health care system

April 27, 2016

In this study, the researchers examine the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) among women enrolled in the military insurance program TRICARE Prime and find that LARC initiation "is low but increasing." The researchers conclude, "Overall, the high rate of LARC continuation found in this analysis supports LARC as first-line recommendations for women of all ages seeking contraception, including service members and their families, adolescents, and those with lower socioeconomic status."

Study examines effect of clinic closures following Texas' HB 2 on abortion access in Texas

April 27, 2016

In this study, the researchers "compar[e] the experiences of women whose nearest clinic closed with those of women whose nearest clinic remained open" after provisions in Texas' omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2) took effect. The researchers find that the implementation of a law such as HB 2 "can impose a substantial burden on women seeking abortion care by making them travel farther, making them spend more time and money, and causing them to undergo a different kind of procedure from the one they prefer."

Adolescents' receipt of formal sexuality education declined between 2006-2010 and 2011-2013, study finds

April 27, 2016

In this study, researchers examine adolescents' receipt of formal and informal sexuality education. The study finds declines in formal sexuality education between 2006 and 2013, and that rates of parental communication about sexual and reproductive health remained low. They conclude, "More effort is needed to understand this decline and to explore adolescents' potential other sources of reproductive health information."

Study explores how 72-hour mandatory delay influences women's experiences seeking abortion care in Utah

April 27, 2016

In this study of women seeking abortion care in Utah, a state that imposes a 72-hour delay on abortion care, the researchers find that most women in the study "were not conflicted about their decision when they sought care." The authors suggest that "the 72-hour waiting requirement seems to have been unnecessary" and recommend instead "[i]ndividualized patient counseling for the small minority who were conflicted when they presented for care."

Information given to women seeking abortion care under 'informed consent' laws often medically inaccurate, study finds

March 30, 2016

In this study, researchers examine the medical accuracy of state-mandated information on fetal development provided to women considering abortion in states with "informed consent" laws. The researchers find that almost one-third of the information is medically inaccurate, that many of the medical inaccuracies are found in statements about the first trimester of pregnancy and that such statements tend to focus on specific fetal behaviors or body parts. The researchers conclude, "[T]he level of medical inaccuracies evidenced in this study calls for a rethinking of the soundness of [court rulings] upholding abortion-related informed consent laws."

Study assesses psychosocial factors and women's psychological health prior to receiving abortion care

March 30, 2016

In this study, the researchers "examine which, of a variety of psychosocial factors ... were independently associated with pre-abortion mental health." The researchers find that "perceived abortion stigma appeared to explain the most amount of additional variance in depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms after all other predictors were entered."

Study: U.S. unintended pregnancy rate reaches three-decade low

March 30, 2016

Researchers examine the rate of unintended pregnancy in 2011 and find that it declined from 51 percent in 2008, when the rate was last calculated, to 45 percent, marking the "lowest level seen in at least three decades." However, the researchers note that despite overall declines, "poor, black, and Hispanic women and girls continued to have much higher rates of unintended pregnancy than did whites and those with higher incomes."

Researchers analyze women's experience obtaining abortion care in Alabama

March 30, 2016

In this study, researchers interview women about their experiences obtaining abortion care in Alabama. Alabama women must receive state-mandated information 48 hours prior to the procedure to obtain an abortion, and more than half of all reproductive-age women must leave their counties to reach an abortion clinic. The researchers find "that it is often difficult for [women living in the South] to access [abortion care] given the limited number of clinics in Alabama and neighboring states." While urging policymakers to repeal laws that hinder women's abortion access, the researchers outline several steps providers can take to ease the burden of current abortion restrictions.

Review discusses barriers to ACA's contraceptive coverage rules

March 30, 2016

In this review, researchers examine challenges to the implementation of the federal contraception coverage rules "for physicians and other clinicians, patients, and payers that may result in patients continuing to pay for all or part of covered contraceptive services." They urge state regulators, insurers and health care providers to do their part to address these challenges.

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