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Abortion referrals in Pennsylvania public four year colleges’ student health centers: a prospective study

Priyanka Anand, University of Pennsylvania

Project abstract

Over half of women who obtained an abortion in 2014 were in their 20s. 66% of women who obtained an abortion that year had some college education or a college degree, and 91% of those 20 or older had graduated high school. This data show that many women who obtain abortions attend college (Jerman et al., 2016). However, no comprehensive study has been undertaken evaluating how college students find abortion providers and obtain abortions.

In this study, our primary objective is to assess the quality and availability of abortion referrals through college student health services in Pennsylvania. We will call student health centers at 4-year universities in Pennsylvania, using a simulated patient requesting an abortion referral. Our secondary outcome will be to examine the effect of minor status on referral access at universities. In addition, we will determine student health insurance coverage of abortion services and distance from college campuses to the nearest referred abortion provider. The results of this research will provide a better picture of the abortion referral landscape for a key demographic of potential abortion patients, and could help guide policy and trainings for health center staff.


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