Lori Freedman, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

For the past decade, Dr. Freedman has researched the ways in which reproductive health care is shaped by our social structure and medical culture. Her recent book, Willing and Unable: Doctors’ Constraints in Abortion Care, is based upon 40 in-depth physician interviews. It examines how abortion politics affect medical practice, focusing on the challenges of integrating abortion into physician practice. Unexpected findings from these interviews led her to research and write about the intersection of religion and health care, especially in the case of Catholic-owned hospitals. This research experience has spawned her interest in how physician employers use conscience clauses in medical practice at individual and institutional levels.

Dr. Freedman’s interest in reproductive health care research was born at San Francisco General Hospital,where she worked as a research assistant for several contraception-related studies. Dr. Freedman is currently embarking on a two new studies:

  • One is focused on the bedside bioethics of religiously affiliated health care institutions and their employees
  • The other is focused on the experiences of nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants newly trained in abortion care.



  • University of Oregon, Bachelor's Degree
  • University of California, Davis, Doctorate in Sociology