Abortion Studies

We completed an evaluation study on the impact of an abortion storyline on ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. It found that viewers who watched the episode “Papa Don’t Preach” were more knowledgeable about medication abortion than those who had not seen the episode, and had more positive attitudes about whether abortion should be legal.

Scene from the Grey’s Anatomy episode “Papa Don’t Preach,” which featured a storyline on medication abortion.

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)—One episode “Papa Don’t Preach,” Season 16, aired Nov. 7, 2019

  • Methods: online study of viewers.
  • Results: Episode exposure significantly improved medication abortion knowledge. Abortion-related state policy significantly moderated the influence of exposure for respondents in states with favorable abortion policies.
  • One preliminary conclusion: increases in medication abortion knowledge were tied to explicit educational dialogue
  • Status: Published, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2021; 53:13-22