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Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Variation in Pregnancy Options Counseling and Referrals, And Reported Proximity to Abortion Services, Among Publicly Funded Family Planning Facilities
CONTEXT As frontline providers, publicly funded family planning clinics represent a critical link in the health system for women seeking information about pregnancy options, yet scant information exists on their provision of relevant services. Understanding their practices is important for gauging how well these facilities serve patients’ needs. METHODS A 2012 survey of 567 publicly funded family planning facilities in 16 states gathered information on referral‐making for adoption and abortion services, and perceived proximity to abortion services. Chi‐square, multivariable logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to assess differences among facilities in referral‐making and reported proximity to abortion services. RESULTS Abortion referrals were provided by a significantly smaller proportion of providers than were adoption referrals (84% vs. 97%). Health departments and community health centers were significantly less likely than comprehensive reproductive health centers to refer for abortion services and to have a list of abortion providers available (odds ratios, 0.1–0.2). Rural facilities were more likely than urban ones to report a distance of more than 100 miles to the closest first‐trimester abortion provider (relative risk ratio, 11.4), second‐trimester abortion provider (8.7) and medication abortion provider (8.0). Health departments were more likely than comprehensive reproductive health centers not to know the location of the closest first‐trimester, second‐trimester or medication abortion provider (2.5–3.5). CONCLUSION A better understanding of disparities in provision of pregnancy options counseling and referrals at publicly funded family planning clinics is needed to ensure that women get timely care.

Women's Knowledge of and Support for Abortion Restrictions in Texas: Findings from a Statewide Representative Survey
CONTEXT States have passed numerous laws restricting abortion, and Texas passed some of the most restrictive legislation between 2011 and 2013. Information about women's awareness of and support for the laws’ provisions could inform future debates regarding abortion legislation. METHODS Between December 2014 and January 2015, some 779 women aged 18–49 participated in an online, statewide representative survey about recent abortion laws in Texas. Poisson regression analysis was used to assess correlates of support for a law that would make obtaining an abortion more difficult. Women's knowledge of specific abortion restrictions in Texas and reasons for supporting these laws were also assessed. RESULTS Overall, 31% of respondents would support a law making it more difficult to obtain an abortion. Foreign‐born Latinas were more likely than whites to support such a law (prevalence ratio, 1.5), and conservative Republicans were more likely than moderates and Independents to do so (2.3). Thirty‐six percent of respondents were not very aware of recent Texas laws, and 19% had never heard of them. Among women with any awareness of the laws, 19% supported the requirements; 42% of these individuals said this was because such laws would make abortion safer. CONCLUSIONS Many Texas women of reproductive age are unaware of statewide abortion restrictions, and some support these requirements because of misperceptions about the safety of abortion. Advocates and policymakers should address these knowledge gaps in efforts to protect access to legal abortion.

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<May 2016>