Aiken, Abigail R.A. | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D., Public Policy, University of Texas at Austin
  • MPH, Harvard University
  • M.D., University of Cambridge
  • B.A., University of Cambridge
Research Areas
  • Reproductive Health
  • Health Policy
Teaching Areas
  • Social Policy

Abigail Aiken is an associate professor at the LBJ School. Her research focuses on unintended pregnancy, evidence-based obstetric practice, and the impacts of laws and policies restricting access to abortion, including how and why people self-manage their own abortions outside the formal health care setting. She is currently the PI on Project SANA, examining self-managed abortion in the United States. She frequently testifies on reproductive health issues, and provided expert testimony to the Irish Parliament on the 2018 abortion referendum. She has consulted for the CDC, WHO and UN on various reproductive policy issues. She completed her M.D. at the University of Cambridge, her MPH at Harvard University, and her Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Aiken's research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the BMJ, the American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her work has been reported by the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Economist and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

When not in the field conducting research or teaching in the classroom, Dr. Aiken can usually be found running on the Town Lake Trail, lifting weights in her garage or playing outdoors with her energetic 3-year-old son and somewhat reluctant cat.


NewsNovember 15, 2022
Abigail Aiken, an Expert in Evidence-Based Reproductive Care, Wins the 22nd David N. Kershaw Award and Prize

The University of Texas at Austin professor Abigail Aiken has been selected to receive the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize for her contributions to the field of public policy analysis and management.

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Media MentionMay 4, 2022
Abortion pills by mail pose challenge for officials in red states

"The need for abortion will not go away," said Abigail Aiken, an associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin who was the lead author on the research. The result of state restrictions on medical abortions, she said, will lead to "an increase in self-managed abortion, outside the formal health-care setting. What we have seen is that every time states move to restrict abortion, there is an increase in self-managed abortions."

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Media MentionMay 3, 2022
Texas' restrictive abortion law previews a post-Roe America

When Politico published a draft opinion leaked from the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, the nation confronted the reality that Roe v. Wade and constitutional protections for abortion may be overturned as soon as this summer.

But for many in Texas, that day is already here. The second-largest state in the country has been living under the nation's most restrictive abortion law since Sept. 1, when legislators managed to skirt judicial precedent and ban all abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.


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