The UCSF Global Turnaway Study

The UCSF Global Turnaway Study is an important study about the experiences of women around the world who are denied legal abortions.

In partnership with
The UCSF Global Turnaway Study is a sponsored project of The University of California, San Francisco.

THANK YOU contributors for your amazing support of  The Global Turnaway Study campaign!

With your many contributions and the incredible anonymous contribution of $80,000 we have raised more than three times our fundraising goal!

We are so excited, and will use the funds to begin pilot data collection in Cambodia, Colombia, and South Africa!

If you still would like to contribute to our study, please click here today!


The UCSF Global Turnaway Study is an important study about the experiences of women around the world who are denied legal abortions.

What's at stake?

Women from every country and culture in the world experience unintended pregnancies. Whether those pregnancies resulted from a lack of access to effective contraception, imbalances of power in sexual relationships, or simply an accident, many women around the world turn to abortion. 

Despite the fact that half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion, most of the world’s women do not have access to safe, legal abortion services.

Global abortion laws, 2012Source: The Center for Reproductive Rights

Even women who live in countries where abortion is legal often face challenges to accessing a safe procedure because, among many reasons, they present too far along in pregnancy—beyond the country’s legal limit.

More than three quarters of abortions in developing countries are performed in unsafe and/or illegal conditions, compared to fewer than six percent in the developed world. 

The consequences of unsafe abortion can be severe; unsafe abortion is the cause of temporary or permanent health consequences for an estimated 5 million women, and tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths each year. 

While these numbers are devastating, what is missing in these data is an understanding of individual women’s experiences and the consequences for their families and communities.

Our Study: The UCSF Global Turnaway Study

The UCSF Global Turnaway Study is an innovative new study about the experiences of women around the world who attempt to obtain a legal abortion but are denied the procedure because they arrive too late for care (are “turned away”).  Talking to women in five countries around the globe (Cambodia, Colombia, India, Nepal, and South Africa) who have been unable to obtain a legal abortion will allow us a unique perspective into the lives of women who are facing the decision to have an illegal and often unsafe abortion or have an unwanted birth. 

Our team

Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) is a collaborative research group in the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Our mission is to ensure that reproductive health care and policy are grounded in evidence through multi-disciplinary research, training and advocacy. 

The UCSF Principal Investigators are Dr. Diana Greene Foster, a demographer with ANSIRH who uses quantitative models and analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of family planning policies and the effect of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives, and, Dr. Caitlin Gerdts, an Epidemiologist at ANSIRH whose research focuses on the measurement of morbidity and mortality due to unsafe abortion in the developing world. 

Project directors Rana Barar and Heather Gould, successfully implemented the US Turnaway Study, a nationwide, longitudinal prospective study of the health and well-being of women who seek abortion including both women who do and do not receive the abortion.

How will your contributions help?

We are in the critical pilot data collection phase and we need to convince larger donors that this study can be done!  For $25,000 we can conduct preliminary feasibility research for the study. But, embarking on a global research study is a huge undertaking.  We need to travel to our research sites to meet with our international collaborators. We need to fairly pay the expert, local research assistants who will interview women in our study sites, compensate local clinics for the additional administrative costs that come along with recruiting women into a study, and, most importantly, reimburse the women who participate in our study for their time, travel and effort. In all, a multi country study of this magnitude will cost 5 million dollars

Why are we crowdfunding?

ANSIRH is the first group of researchers at The University of California, San Francisco to launch a crowdfunding campaign, and harness the power of social media to help spark innovative, important, research. If you care about women's health, the consequences of restricted access to safe abortion, and also about supporting rigorous, scientific studies, please donate to our campaign.  Remember that even the smallest contribution helps, and ALL of your donations are tax deductible!

Other ways to help

There are also other ways to help us achieve our goal!  You can help by posting an update on LinkedIn, updating your Facebook status, tweeting to your followers or sharing our video on your YouTube channel. The more you share this page via Indiegogo, the more Indiegogo will help promote the project.  We are very grateful for your help!




Thank you for reading! Thank you for helping! We will be updating this campaign every step of the way!


Team on This Campaign: