From the hills to the holler: Navigating self-managed abortion in rural Appalachia
Awarded 2023
Self-managed abortion, post-Dobbs
Amy Alspaugh, PhD, MSN
University of Tennessee

Individuals living in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) designated counties experience worse sexual and reproductive health outcomes compared to those in non-Appalachian counties. While legal abortion has always been disproportionately inaccessible in Appalachia, much of the Appalachian region is now without proximal access to clinic-based abortion after the Dobbs court case. Within this unique backdrop, self-managed abortion (SMA) may offer a route to bodily autonomy in a geographic region where it is desperately needed. To better understand the culturally specific experiences of SMA in Appalachia, we propose collecting first-hand accounts of how residents of Appalachian counties consider, seek, or experience SMA through a sequential explanatory mixed-method study that will consist of a community partner-informed, anonymous electronic survey and follow-up in-depth interviews. The results of this study will inform culturally relevant, regional intervention strategies targeted towards removing barriers to SMA in Appalachia and supporting bodily autonomy in the region.