Session 1

Abortion and Public Health

Bayla Ostrach, MA, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice in the Family Medicine Department at Boston University School of Medicine, and Affiliated Faculty at Boston University’s Department of Anthropology. A Fellow of the Society of Family Planning, her applied medical anthropology research explores reproductive justice, publicly funded health systems, syndemics, and the role of social and mutual support in people’s ability to overcome obstacles. She began working directly in the field of reproductive health and abortion care in 1999, and has since worked with and volunteered at multiple clinics in Oregon, Connecticut, and Catalunya. Dr. Ostrach’s ongoing fieldwork primarily occurs in Catalunya (on publicly funded reproductive health care and community-based solidarity movements focused on inclusivity) and with people seeking and providing abortion in the United States. She is the author of Health Policy in a Time of Crisis: Abortion, Austerity, and Access (Routledge Press, 2017).

Courtney L. Everson, PhD, is the Dean of Graduate Studies, Co-Chair of the Ethical Review Board, & Academic Faculty at the Midwives College of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. Dr. Everson is also the Director of Research Education for the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Division of Research (DOR); and serves on the Boards of Directors for the Association of Midwifery Educators (AME), the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), and the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH). As a Medical Anthropologist, Dr. Everson's research and teaching specializations include: perinatal health; human childbirth; adolescent pregnancy and parenting; psychosocial stress; social support; doula care; midwifery care; research and clinical ethics; evidence-informed practice; interprofessional collaboration; mixed methodologies; health inequities; culturally safe care; social justice; and marginalized communities. Dr. Everson actively publishes in academic forums, and is an invited, avid speaker at local, national and international venues. Courtney is also a practicing birth doula and perinatal health educator in the Denver-metro area of Colorado.


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