Contraception 91 (2015) 359
New research at the 2015 National Abortion Federation Annual Meeting: putting research into practice Each year, National Abortion Federation's Annual Meeting brings together researchers, clinicians, advocates and students to learn about and share the latest research in abortion care. It is a remarkable opportunity for findings to be shared directly with the clinicians who will put that research into practice: implementation science at its best. In April of this year, the National Abortion Federation held its 39th Annual Meeting. As the professional association of abortion providers, the National Abortion Federation is committed in utilizing recent research results to improve abortion care for women globally. Abortion has been a part of women's reproductive reality for thousands if not tens of thousands of years. The duty of health care providers is not to judge but to help. Through experience and research, we have developed safe, and ever simpler, more accessible methods of pregnancy termination that have prevented countless women from dying and countless children from being orphaned. Still, approximately 47,000 women continue to die each year from unsafe abortions . Abstracts submitted for presentation at the 2015 Scientific Paper Sessions were assessed through a juried ranking process undertaken by the Annual Meeting's Scientific Committee. Specifically, we evaluated the abstracts according to four criteria: the potential impact on abortion care; the appropriateness of the methods used and clarity of reporting those methods; the completeness of reporting of the results; and the appropriateness of the conclusions given the data presented. This issue of Contraception contains the abstracts accepted for oral presentation and includes a broad swath of both social science research and clinical research. Despite the medical knowledge on how to provide abortions safely, many nations still restrict women's access. New research presented at the meeting suggests that low levels of knowledge about abortion and exceedingly high levels of stigma serve as barriers to abortion care in northern Ghana. Sadly, many parts of the United States are moving backward to an age when abortion was highly restricted and inaccessible to many women. This year, new research highlights the barriers to safe abortion care in Texas and in state-mandated information on fetal development nationally. In Kentucky, data on monthly variations in abortions suggest that state-imposed financial barriers may delay abortions. On a more positive note, research on second-trimester http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2015.02.010 0010-7824/© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
abortions in South Africa has the potential to improve abortion care globally. Finally, several of the scientific presentations reflect the field's growing interest in long-acting reversible contraception, and it is possible that improvements in post-abortion contraceptive services will help reduce levels of unintended pregnancy. As a result of the research presented at National Abortion Federation's Annual Meeting, and the commitment of those who will implement its findings, we hope to prove Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla wrong. When asked why women are still left to die in so many settings, he responded “because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving” . It is clear from the work presented that these investigators have made this decision and through their work, women's health and the societies in which they live will benefit. Matthew F. Reeves National Abortion Federation Washington, DC 20036, USA E-mail address: [email protected]
Paul D. Blumenthal Stanford University, Palo Alto CA 94304, USA Rachel K. Jones Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY 10038, USA Mark D. Nichols Oregon Health and Science University Portland, OR 97239, USA Vicki A. Saporta National Abortion Federation Washington, DC 20036, USA References  World Health Organization. Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimate of the incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2008; 2011 [Geneva].  Horton R. Offline: 107 602 707 791. Lancet 2013;381:278.