Biography: Diana Greene Foster, PhD, is a demographer who uses quantitative models and analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of family planning policies and the effect of unwanted pregnancy on women’s lives. She is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco and Director of Research at the UCSF ANSIRH Program. She led the Turnaway Study, a nationwide longitudinal prospective study of the health and well-being of women who seek abortion including both women who do and do not receive the abortion in the United States. She is currently collaborating with scientists on an NIH-funded Turnaway Study in Nepal. Dr. Foster received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, her MA and PhD in Demography and Public Policy from Princeton University. She is the author of the 2020 book, The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women and the Consequences of Having – or Being Denied – an Abortion. She is the recipient of the 2021 Harriet B. Presser Award for the study of gender and demography from the Population Association of America.
Consequences of receiving versus being denied a wanted abortion in the United States
Abstract: Diana Greene Foster will discuss the context and findings of The Turnaway Study. The Turnaway Study answers the question, Does abortion hurt women? and the converse, What are the harms when women are unable to get a wanted abortion? Dr. Foster will review the challenges of studying abortion and what has happened in the absence of rigorous data. She will describe the study design of the Turnaway Study and present its major findings about women’s mental health, physical health and the wellbeing of their children. She will describe the reasons people give for seeking to end an unwanted pregnancy and what that tells us about whether one can trust women’s decision-making abilities around pregnancy.