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.

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, Aiken can usually be found running on the Town Lake Trail, lifting weights in her garage or playing outdoors with her energetic 2-year-old son and somewhat reluctant cat.


FeatureJanuary 21, 2022
Texas Reproductive Health Policies: A View From the Frontline

The state of Texas recently implemented policy changes in women's reproductive health in the form of the Heartbeat Act (SB8) and restrictions on medication-induced abortion (SB4). On Jan. 20, 2022, the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Dell Medical School convened a virtual panel discussion to discuss the impacts of these policy changes from the perspective of frontline reproductive health care professionals in Texas. Specifically, the panelists provided an overview of the new policies, assessed which communities are most impacted, and described how doctors and health care providers are adapting.

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Media MentionDecember 7, 2021
In Texas, anyone who mails abortion pills can now be sent to jail

"Self-managed abortions have played an increasingly important role in places that have sought to ban the surgical procedures, said Abigail Aiken, an associate professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin who researches self-managed abortions.

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Media MentionNovember 11, 2021
What does an at-home abortion look like in 2021?

The practice is often assumed to be dangerous, but Abigail Aiken's data suggest that ordering abortion pills online, and inducing a miscarriage at home, is as safe as going to a clinic.

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