PhD Candidate Ortal Wasser Awarded Society of Family Planning Research Fund Grant
By NYU Silver CommunicationsSep 23, 2021
PhD candidate Ortal Wasser has received an Emerging Scholars in Family Planning Grant from the Society of Family Planning (SFP) to support her dissertation research on the financial burden of accessing abortion care in the United States and its associations with pre-abortion mental health.
In her dissertation research, Ortal will examine the relationships between different financial barriers and people’s psychological wellbeing at the time of abortion seeking. “Exploring these relationships,” she said, “is essential for reducing the substantial burden experienced by people seeking an abortion, especially for individuals from marginalized communities and vulnerable groups that are disproportionately impacted by abortion restrictions and barriers to care. This project will also shed light on disparities in access to abortion care across sociodemographic, economic, geographic, and pregnancy characteristics. Results will support researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and community-based advocacy organizations in their effort to reduce abortion-related financial strain and expand access to abortion services.”
Ortal’s areas of interest are reproductive health, rights, and justice. She is particularly interested in exploring structural and social barriers to abortion services, as well as examining the impact of abortion legislation on marginalized communities. After earning her MSW from the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and before joining NYU Silver’s PhD program, she worked as a clinical social worker and volunteered in Planned Parenthood. Today she is an advocate in All-Options, providing counseling and support for people in their experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.
Professor and PhD Program Director Victoria Stanhope said, “Ortal is a talented young scholar whose research will advance reproductive justice and equitable access to family planning services and abortion care. It is gratifying that the Society of Family Planning recognizes her potential to make significant contributions in this important field.”
According to SFP, the goal of the Emerging Scholars in Family Planning Grant is “to cultivate the next generation of scholars by supporting their work and welcoming them into the family planning research community.” In addition to the dissertation research funding, Ortal will receive a mentorship contract with a designated mentor from the SFP community, as well as funding to cover conferences, open-access publication, networking opportunities, and membership to SFP for the years of the award period.