Changemakers in Family Planning: Lucrecia Mena-Meléndez
Abortion and contraception
Awarded 2023
Changemakers in Family Planning
Lucrecia Mena-Meléndez, PhD
Indiana University

Dr. Lucrecia Mena-Meléndez is a first-generation Latina immigrant, scholar of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning, and leader. She is passionate about advancing equity in abortion, family planning, and SRH in the US and Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly among minority populations. Her research broadly examines how social-demographic (eg, ethnoracial identity, rural-urban residence) and structural (eg, health policy, healthcare) factors influence SRH disparities. Dr. Mena-Meléndez earned her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Most recently, her research examines US abortion attitudes in service of developing and assessing better scales and survey items for English and Spanish surveys, with the Abortion Attitudes Project (AAP) at Indiana University–Bloomington. In light of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, she plans to expand her research program to examine the impacts of Dobbs on Latinx individuals’ decision-making, health outcomes, and community-based responses.

As an SRH scholar, her long-term goals include conducting evidence-based research to promote equity in SRH, informing policy applications that are patient- and community-centered, and advocating to improve SRH in partnership with minority populations.