Error message

The page you requested does not exist. For your convenience, a search was performed using the query publications 143.

Page not found

You are here

Funded by Society of  Family Planning.

Funding Years: 2014

When abortion access is not legally and readily available, the health consequences for women are dire. However, contemporary abortion debate is so politicized that health consequences of abortion restrictions have receded to the background.

While it is important that physicians who are abortion-providers educate legislators and the public about evidence-based abortion care, they can be dismissed as having professional or financial conflicts of interest. In addition, their public advocacy may put them at risk of harassment or violence. Physicians who are not themselves abortion providers are less vulnerable to these claims and are well-positioned to move the health consequences of restrictive abortion policy to the center of legislative debates and public discourse.

The aim of this project is to explore the willingness/unwillingness of Michigan physicians across a range of medical specialties to speak openly about health consequences of restrictive state-level abortion laws. Further, the project will determine what kinds of tools or support would be necessary to mobilize physicians to do so.

We will conduct 6-8 focus groups with a total of 50 Michigan physicians who support legal abortion (though may oppose abortion personally) to determine what factors would influence their involvement in abortion advocacy. We will explore attitudes towards writing letters-to-the-editor/op-ed pieces in state publications; meeting with legislators; providing testimony in legislative hearings; raising their voices in their practices/academic departments/medical societies.

Focus groups will be recorded and transcribed, and we will perform qualitative analysis using Dedoose to identify salient themes. These data will help us determine if mobilizing physicians who are not abortion providers is a feasible strategy in responding to state-level restrictive legislation, and determine the kinds of support and toolkits necessary to do so. Our data may identify new strategies for responding to the proliferation of state-level abortion restrictions.

PI(s): Lisa Harris


PIHCD Working Group: Michael McKee

Wed, May 06, 2015, 2:00pm to 3:00pm
B004E NCRC Building 16

Michael McKee will be speaking about a grant proposal to help elucidate how stigmatization in health care affects the quality of health care and access to care among Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users and characterize their main sources.  Both preliminary and published data illustrate that Deaf ASL individuals report a repetitive pattern of negative experiences with health care providers and institutions.  Medical advancements and public health safety net systems have failed to achieve health equity for Deaf ASL users.

Faculty member Christian Vercler was published in Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (NIB), a journal which provides a forum for exploring current issues in bioethics through the publication and analysis of personal stories, qualitative and mixed-methods research articles, and case studies. His piece is titled "Surgical Virtue and More", and can be accessed here. Congratulations to Christian for taking the lead on this important issue. 

CBSSM Co-Director Raymond De Vries presented at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues on Sept. 2 about how to insure that the public has a voice in creating bioethics policies.

The September 2nd Presidential Commission meeting in Washington, DC, including Dr. De Vries's talk on the topic of "Fostering and Measuring Success in Ethics and Deliberation", is now available to be viewed online.

The study "Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide of Patients With Psychiatric Disorders in the Netherlands 2011 to 2014", co-authored by Ray De Vries, was featured in JOTWELL: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots). JOTWELL is an online publication that highlights the best recent scholarship relevant to the law. You can view the article here.

Ken Langa was recently named to an Institute of Medicine committee that will examine the evidence on preventive factors and/or interventions associated with decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimer's-Type Dementia, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and age-related cognitive impairment (i.e., primary prevention) and make recommendations to inform public health strategies and messaging and recommendations for future research.

We are pleased to announce that Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., has been appointed director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine.

CBSSM is one of the premier intellectual gathering place of clinicians, social scientists, bioethicists and all others interested in improving individual and societal health through application of social science and bioethics methods to health research, education and public outreach. The center also serves as the home of the Program in Clinical Ethics.

Click here for more details.

Lisa Szymecko, JD, PhD


Lisa Szymecko joined CBSSM in May 2012 as a Research Area Specialist Intermediate, working as the study coordinator for Susan Goold on the DECIDERS and PCORI projects.

Lisa earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, her Juris Doctorate from Detroit College of Law, and her PhD in Resource Development from Michigan State University.

Last Name: 

Press Kit


CBSSM acts at the premier intellectual gathering place of clinicians, social scientists, bioethicists, and all others interested in improving individual and societal health through scholarship and service.

Schedule an Interview

Members of the media interested in interviewing Center members can call the UMHS Public Relations office at 734-764-2220 between the hours 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, or email us directly at