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The Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research at the University of Chicago is committed to helping women and girls reach their full potential by bringing a life-course perspective to reproductive health.
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We conduct clinical and social science research to improve the reproductive health of women and adolescents. Our research explores how biological, interpersonal, and structural factors affect family planning attitudes and behaviors. see more >
The Section is the proud to provide comprehensive family planning services through our clinics. see more >
Through our policy program, we advocate for policies that reduce disparities and improve the health of families by guiding research priorities and making research findings accessible. see more >
Through our education program, we help individuals and communities achieve sexual and reproductive health. see more >
The Section and its partner, the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), have formed a team for Comer Children's Hospital's Race for the Kids on October 6! Click here to learn more, join or sponsor us!
The Section and its partner, the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), have relaunched the Section blog! Formerly exclusively for research, the blog will now provide policy, program and research updates and perspectives from faculty, staff and experts. Read the latest post here.
"Interventions Using New Digital Media to Improve Adolescent Sexual Health: A Systematic Review", co-authored by Section faculty Dr. Melissa Gilliam and former research staff Summer Martins, MPH, has been named one of 2013's most downloaded pediatrics and neonatology articles in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Click here for the abstract and more information.
Section faculty Dr. Sabrina Holmquist has been promoted to Associate Professor. Since joining The University of Chicago in 2006, Dr. Holmquist has dedicated herself to the educational experience in women's reproductive health for students, residents and fellows. Congratulations!
The Section of Family Planning has been named a 2013-14 partner of the Urban Initiative for Reproductive Health to advance abortion care and access. The Section will receive support to develop a toolkit for health care and social service providers on the current legal landscape of abortion access in Chicago. Click here for more information.
Effective August 15, 2013, Illinois requires adult family member involvement in a young woman's decision to seek an abortion. Click here to learn more about the law, what it means for women and the Section's research on parental involvement laws. Click here if you are a patient seeking to learn more.
Section partner Game Changer Chicago is still seeking high school students for The Source, a five-week transmedia experience running July 8-August 16. An additional orientation has been added on July 8. The interactive game will be held online and at The University of Chicago. Part of the Chicago Summer of Learning, the interactive game will be held online and at The University of Chicago. The Source will incorporate investigatory tasks, problem-solving, puzzles and digital media production opportunities. Spots are open, but spacing is very limited - if you know a teenager who likes a challenge, sign up today!
Section partner Game Changer Chicago is still accepting high school students for The Source, a five-week transmedia experience beginning July 8. The interactive game will be held online and at The University of Chicago, and will incorporate investigatory tasks, problem-solving, puzzles and digital media production opportunities. Spots are open, but spacing is very limited - if you know a teenager who likes a challenge, sign up today!
Deciding to Talk to a Parent about Abortion: The Experiences of Minors Before Illinois Required Parental Notice [PDF]
This research brief highlights initial findings from a study of young women seeking abortion in Illinois prior to enforcement of a parental notification law. Minors were asked whether they involved parents in their abortion decision and described motivations for wanting to include or exclude a parent.
Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception: Improved Access for All Ages but Barriers Remain [PDF]
This brief describes the recent FDA approval of over-the-counter access to emergency contraception for all women and explores the obstacles that remain in the form of cost and religious refusal.
Use of the IUD Among Adolescent and Young Women, 2002-2010
A new publication by Section researchers in the Journal of Adolescent Health determined factors associated with IUD use among adolescent and young adult women, populations where IUD use remains low.
Understanding Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) [PDF]
A new fact sheet describes how deceptive practices of CPCs can limit women's access to complete and accurate medical information, thereby undermining women's access to reproductive health care.
Policy and Politics of Reproductive Health: Publications from our Conference
In collaboration with the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, we are pleased to announce the publication of several articles from presenters at our 2011 conference on health care reform and reproductive justice. Articles by Harold Pollack, Adam Sonfield, Debra Stulberg, Amy Dworsky, Kym Ahrens, and Amanda Dennis can be found here.
Improving Detection and Treatment of Cervical Cancer among Racial & Ethnic Minorities
Section researchers systematically reviewed the literature to determine which interventions improve the screening, diagnosis or treatment of cervical cancer for racial and/or ethnic minorities. The authors concluded that, among other things, patient navigation with telephone support or education may be effective at improving screening, diagnosis, and treatment.
Partner Roles in Adolescent Mothers' Contraceptive Use
Qualitative research from the Section highlights the varying roles played by male partners in the contraceptive decision-making of adolescent mothers. The study revealed that while most partners supported adolescents' contraceptive use, others discouraged use over concern about hormonal methods or a desire to have another baby in the near future.
Minors Express Mainly Negative Opinions about Parental Notification Laws
In a study published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, the majority of abortion-seeking minors interviewed believed that a parental notification law would diminish minors' reproductive autonomy and potentially expose them to unwanted pressure or interference in their abortion decision. At the same time, many felt that voluntarily involvment of a trusted adult could benefit minors.