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Amy Tsui, Johns Hopkins University

PAA 2017 Presidential Address: Contraception, a Social Vaccine
When Apr 17, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Seminar

About one third of US mothers and fathers equally report their recent births as unintended, either mistimed or unwanted.  If classified as a disease, unintended pregnancy could qualify as an epidemic and public health threat given the societal and lifetime consequences of poor birth spacing.  Today’s birth control methods are highly effective and the majority of reproductive-aged women protect themselves and their partners from unplanned pregnancy by using contraception.  Contraceptive practice, while normative but not perfect, has led one journalist to question its role in narrowing the achievement gap between poor and rich children.  This talk frames contraception as a social vaccine, a biomedical intervention with high efficacy that has conferred immunologic memory in individuals voluntarily adopting to reduce their personal risk of unplanned pregnancy and in so doing providing a level of herd immunity to those around and coming after them.  Contraception’s direct and indirect benefits for health, cognitive development and economic wellbeing are highlighted.

Amy Tsui

About the Speaker

Amy Tsui is Professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She is a former director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.  Her research interests relate to contraception, fertility and related reproductive health behaviors in low-income settings.  She serves as a Senior Technical Advisor to the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 project which conducts rapid monitoring surveys of family planning indicators in 11 countries using smart-phone technology.  She has published on the evolution of the international family planning movement, estimation of maternal deaths averted by contraceptive use, and variation in unwanted fertility with contraceptive service access in developing countries.  She is the 2017 President of the Population Association of America.

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