Perspectives and preferences of young women regarding pregnancy options counseling during adolescence
Awarded 2020
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Laura Kirkpatrick, MD
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Laura is a third-year resident in Child Neurology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh aiming to become a clinician-investigator focused on improving sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young adults with neurologic conditions. Laura has a longstanding interest in family planning, including professional and volunteer commitments with the National Abortion Federation (NAF) Hotline Fund, DC Abortion Fund, and Medical Students for Choice. Her interest in pregnancy options counseling with adolescents began while working at the NAF Hotline Fund and continued when she witnessed gaps in appropriate options counseling during medical school and residency. To that end, she designed and implemented a curriculum in pregnancy options counseling for pediatric residents. In this project, Laura will conduct qualitative interviews with young women who have experienced adolescent pregnancy about their preferences and experiences regarding pregnancy options counseling. There is a paucity of literature on patient perspectives on options counseling, and none specific to adolescence. Under the guidance of a panel of community stakeholders including young women who have experienced adolescent pregnancy and their parents, as well as professionals who serve pregnant adolescents, she will use study findings to enrich and revise my existing curriculum on pregnancy options counseling. Laura intends that her findings will also stimulate further research on best practices for options counseling with adolescents.