Lori Freedman

Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)

Lori Freedman, PhD, Medical Sociologist. For the past decade, Lori Freedman, PhD has researched the ways in which reproductive health care is shaped by our social structure and medical culture. Her recent book, Willing and Unable: Doctors’ Constraints in Abortion Care, is based upon 40 in-depth physician interviews and examines how abortion politics affect medical practice, focusing on the challenges to integrating abortion into physician practice. Unexpected findings from the interviews led her to research and write about the intersection of religion and health care, especially in the case of Catholic-owned hospitals. This research experience has spawned her interest in how physician employers use conscience clauses in medical practice at individual and institutional levels. Dr. Freedman’s interest in reproductive health care research was born at San Francisco General Hospital (1998) when she worked as a research assistant for several contraception-related studies. Dr. Freedman is currently embarking on a two new studies: The first focused on the bedside bioethics of religiously affiliated health care institutions and their employees and a second focused on the experiences of newly abortion trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants. Dr. Freedman received her BA at the University of Oregon and her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Davis.