About The Section

Our Mission

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 our understanding of family planning and reproductive health.

In order to develop effective strategies to improve the lives of women and children, we recognize the importance of understanding the roles of early childhood and youth development, education, contraception, and pregnancy decision-making in the lifelong health of girls, women, families, and communities.

Our Approach

We are dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary collaborations that allow us to situate family planning in its biological, social, and political context. Our priorities are reflected in the four programs within the section:

Researching Effective Methods

Our research program includes both contraceptive clinical trials and community-based qualitative and quantitative research focusing on contraception, unintended pregnancy, and adolescent health.

Educating Families & Clinicians

Through our education program, we work to design and implement sexual and reproductive health programs and interventions, and we are committed to educating the next generation of clinician researchers.

Through the family planning fellowship, we train post-residency physicians in abortion services, contraceptive care and research. We also train residents in abortion care and mentor students from all stages of the educational process.

Our sexual and reproductive health education partners aim to transform sexuality education, teaching young people about agency and respect that will enable critical thinking skills and positive decision-making regarding their health and relationships throughout their lifetimes.

Informing Better Policy

Through our policy program, we advocate policies that reduce disparities and improve sexual and reproductive health, and we make our research findings accessible to those who shape policy. To do this, we develop and maintain strong relationships with community and advocacy groups, host conferences, and distribute readable, evidence-based policy analyses to a broad audience.

Providing Quality Patient Care

We provide three clinical services reflecting the continuum of reproductive health care. In the Ryan Center, we provide comprehensive reproductive health care services including first- and second-trimester abortion services and miscarriage management. In our primary gynecology practice, we provide general gynecology services and contraceptive care for women with complex medical problems. Finally, through the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Clinic, we provide gynecologic care to young women, from birth to young adulthood.