Postpartum advance supply of emergency contraception and its effects on reproductive autonomy
Awarded 2021
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Connie Lu, MD
Northwestern University

Connie Lu is a current resident OBGYN physician at Northwestern Memorial Hopsital and John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois. She started her education at Indiana University, where she obtained a dual degree in both Neuroscience and Gender Studies. There, she completed an honors thesis in Gender Studies titled, “Faking it: The effects of normative social constructions on the performance of the female orgasm.” She then attended Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, where she earned her medical degree and completed a Scholarly Concentration in Women’s Reproductive Health. In medical school, she conducted qualitative research on the effect of contraception on women’s sexual experiences, was on the executive board of the local abortion fund, and was an abortion doula in her city. Her experiences in reproductive healthcare and health activism reaffirmed her desire to become an abortion provider and physician activist, making OBGYN the ideal specialty for her future career. This research project hopes to expand on her previous qualitative work by studying the impact of advanced provision of emergency contraception, specifically ulipristal acetate, on postpartum patients’ reproductive autonomy, through a prospective, observational, mixed-methods study. Even in the face of increased access, emergency contraception remains underutilized and is often considered ineffective in decreasing rates of unintended pregnancy. This study hopes to frame its analysis through a reproductive justice lens and explore the ways in which providing greater contraceptive choice and access to a patient-controlled method can expand and strengthen reproductive autonomy.