National Partnership for Women & Families

Journal Review

Conceptual Model Explains Best Practices for Abortion Referral-Making
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
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.

Study: Most Women Can Self-Assess Pregnancy Test Results After Early Medication Abortions
Researchers at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh examined whether women could reliably self-assess the results of pregnancy tests after undergoing early medication abortions. They found that that "most women ... neither want nor need scheduled telephone contact from a provider" after an early medication abortion and "feel comfortable with taking the responsibility for interpreting the result of [a pregnancy] test" after their abortions.

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

Parent-Daughter Communication Affects Teens' Likelihood of Discussing Abortion Decisions
Researchers at the University of Chicago examined the effect of parent-daughter communication about sexual health, pregnancy and abortion on teens' abortion decisions and whether they would tell their parents about those decisions. The researchers recommended efforts that focus on providing parents with the necessary tools to discuss sexual health with their daughters, rather than on parental involvement laws mandating such communication during pregnancy.

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

Common Methods for Estimating Chlamydia Screening Rates Inaccurate, Study Finds
Inconsistent methods for calculating chlamydia screening rates have made it difficult to accurately assess how many women undergo annual testing, which is recommended for all sexually active women under age 26. In this study, University of Washington-Seattle researchers compared methods that rely on self-reports and insurance data, finding that neither method alone is sufficient to accurately estimate screening rates.