Understanding r/abortion: A mixed-methods study of an online health community for abortion
Awarded 2022
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Elizabeth Pleasants, MPH
University of California, Berkeley

Elizabeth (Betsy) Pleasants is a Doctoral Candidate in the Doctor of Public Health Program (DrPH) at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. She was born and raised in North Carolina but now lives in Oakland, California. She received her Master’s in Public Health in the Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH) program at UC Berkeley in the Spring of 2019. She has experience working with various groups on public health research and programs related to contraception, abortion, HIV prevention, perinatal care, health equity, access to information, and healthcare policy. She currently works with the Fung Fellowship for Health + Tech, the Wallace Center for MCAH Research, and Ibis Reproductive Health. She has an interest in mixed methods approaches to researching and intervening upon sexual and reproductive health issues, particularly in access to family planning information and services. Her dissertation research, Understanding r/abortion: A mixed-methods study of an online health community for abortion, will explore community members’ use of an abortion subreddit in 2022, in consideration of the changing landscape of abortion access and technology use in the United States. This project will combine the analytic efficiency of computational linguistics with the nuanced understandings emerging from hybrid thematic qualitative analysis to explore how this community is used pre and post-Roe, overall, and with a specific interest in barriers to abortion access and strategies for overcoming those barriers. This work will provide real-time insights into the abortion experiences, concerns, needs, and outcomes of people who may never make it to clinical abortion care.