“We are a family here”: Examining abortion providers’ challenges, resiliencies, and community support needs
Awarded 2020
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Amy E. Alterman, MPH
University of California Los Angeles

Amy Elizabeth Alterman is a Ph.D. Candidate in Culture and Performance at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research employs performance as an analytic framework in order to explore the sociocultural and experiential elements of reproductive and sexual health access. Simultaneously, her work investigates the potential of the performing arts to advance health equity. Her interest in performance and health stems from her early professional background in theatre education and as a sex educator at Planned Parenthood. Through these experiences, she was exposed to the power of the arts to promote health equity, particularly when it comes to sensitive or politically controversial health topics. At UCLA, she progressed in her Ph.D. and MPH simultaneously, enabling her to forge a critical feminist interdisciplinary approach and providing a lens to frame her research in the context of practical implications and outcomes for sexual and reproductive health policy and practice. Building on frameworks from Performance Studies, Anthropology, and Public Health, her dissertation explores the dynamic role of performance in abortion care, access, and activism by analyzing the obstacles, resiliencies, and support networks associated with independent abortion clinics in the United States. She specifically examines the ways in which abortion providers negotiate feminist care with their own security needs, including provisions for patient and staff safety, as well as institutional safety. She is seeking support for one component of her dissertation that explores independent abortion provider’s challenges, resiliencies, and needs by analyzing 40 provider interviews from 15 independent clinics across the United States.