Georgia Medication Abortion Project (GAMA): Project Co-Principal Investigator

SisterLove, an HIV and reproductive justice organization in Atlanta, leads a Society of Family Planning-funded study on medication abortion among Black and Latinx women in metro-Atlanta with support from Emory University's Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE). The paradigm-shifting, community-led study uses in-depth interviews and focus groups with abortion providers, Black and Latinx community organization leaders, and Black and Latinx women to understand perceptions, experiences, barriers, and facilitators of access to and use of medication abortion among Black and Latinx women in Georgia. The project emphasizes community-based dissemination including the development of a psychoeducational video, community advocacy trainings, and policy briefs.

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Med Ab 1 Page Resource Sheet
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Evidence from the Embrace Refugee Birth Program: Co-Principal Investigator

This study is a co-investigation between Emory Rollins School of Public Health and Emory Decatur Hospital with guidance from the Georgia Doula Access Working Group, organized by the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia. This study uses hospital medical records to evaluate maternal and child health outcomes associated with the Embrace Refugee Birth program, a community-based service providing childbirth education, transportation to doctors' visits, and support during labor and childbirth to refugee women living in the metro-Atlanta area. In this study, we compare their health outcomes—including mode of delivery, baby's birthweight and gestational age at birth, and breastfeeding—to other women living in their community, who did not participate in the program. We use data from medical records at Emory Decatur hospital where the women delivered, and analyze those data with a quasi-experimental research design and multivariable regression statistical analyses. Primarily, we are testing whether participation in the Embrace program is associated with better maternal and child health outcomes after controlling for other factors that might explain those outcomes such as socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and pre-existing maternal health factors.

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22 Week Ban

Evaluating the Impact of Gestational Age Policies on Reproductive Healthcare Systems in the Southeast: Postdoctoral Fellow

This project, led by Emory University's Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE), evaluates the effects of Georgia House Bill 954, which bans abortions provided 22 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. The team is examining trends in abortion care delivery and outcomes following the bill’s passage. Through interviews with and surveys of reproductive healthcare providers, the team is also exploring how providers interpret HB 954 and how the bill affects medical practices and delivery of abortion and obstetric care. This study seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of how HB 954 is implemented and how it may affect service delivery and health outcomes in Georgia.

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Engaging Georgia Faith Communities for Promoting Reproductive Health: Postdoctoral Fellow

EnFaith is a community-based project developing interventions to promoting positive attitudes toward reproductive health within churches in Georgia. This study is led by Emory University's Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE). The project team seeks to first understand faith community attitudes and beliefs surrounding sexual and reproductive health, then create strategies to develop positive attributes such as, emotional care, compassion, empathy, and social cohesion for individuals within communities faced with sexual and reproductive health challenges. The team has conducted interviews with church leaders and community members about reproductive health norms, attitudes, and beliefs. The team engages with communities to implement and evaluate the strategy, including oversight be a Stakeholder Advisory Board with pastors, religious scholars, and reproductive justice and faith leaders.

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Abortion Attitudes in South Africa and the US: Principal Investigator

My doctoral dissertation in public health and population studies explored how moral acceptability of abortion is related to abortion stigma and abortion-related health inequities in South Africa and the United States. I used a reproductive rights and justice framework to disrupt the traditional pro-choice vs. pro-life dichotomy by expanding focus beyond abortion rights to also include the rights to have children and to parent one's children healthily and with dignity. Using secondary data analysis from the South African Social Attitudes Surveys and the U.S. General Social Surveys I answer: (1) Can abortion-related health inequities in South Africa and the United States be explained, in part, by socio-demographic differences in moral acceptability of abortion? and (2) How is moral acceptability of abortion in South Africa and the United States co-constructed with social ideologies about gender and poverty, and differentially by social position?

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Providers Share Workshop

Addressing Abortion Provider Stigma and Burnout: Research Assistant 

The Providers Share Workshop is a psychoeducational group intervention designed by Drs. Lisa Harris, Lisa Martin, Jane Hassinger, and their colleagues to reduce stigma among U.S. abortion providers. The team recently piloted an adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa (N=59) and Latin America (N=93). We assessed outcomes pre- and post-intervention and predictors of changes over time using survey data on abortion stigma; abortion-related attitudes; perceived legal safety; support for abortion legal advocacy; and burnout (only in East Africa). Abortion provider stigma decreased in East Africa (p=0.03) and Latin America (p<0.001); unfavorable abortion attitudes decreased in East Africa (p=0.01) but not in Latin America (p=0.78); perceived safety increased in East Africa (p=0.003) and Latin America (p<0.05); support for legal advocacy increased immediately post-intervention (p=0.003) in East Africa; and emotional exhaustion (p<0.001) and depersonalization (p=0.007) decreased in East Africa. We conclude that the Providers Share Workshop is effective in these new settings. It can be used to address psychosocial and human resource challenges of abortion provision in low-, middle-, and high-resource settings globally.

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