Research seminar: Diana Greene Foster, Ph.D.


Consequences of receiving versus being denied a wanted abortion in the United States

October 23, 2020


Diana Greene Foster, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Director of Research, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)
Director, Bixby Population Sciences Research Unit

Foster as the Principal Investigator on the Turnaway Study, a nationwide longitudinal prospective study of the health and well-being of almost 1,000 women who sought abortions from thirty abortion facilities across the country, including both women who did and did not receive the abortion. This is the largest study to examine women’s experiences with abortion and unwanted pregnancy in the United States. She subsequently wrote the 2020 book, The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women and the Consequences of Having – or Being Denied – an Abortion.  She is currently collaborating with scientists on a Turnaway Study in Nepal.

Foster is a demographer who uses quantitative models and analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of family planning policies and the effect of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives. She has worked on the evaluation of the California State family planning program, Family PACT. This work demonstrated the effectiveness of the program in reducing the incidence of unintended pregnancy. She created a new methodology for estimating pregnancies averted based on a Markov model and a microsimulation to identify the cost-effectiveness of advance provision of emergency contraception. She is currently leading 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.