Lauren Ralph, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Epidemiologist, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health


Dr. Ralph is an epidemiologist whose research examines the context in which women, and in particular adolescents, make decisions around pregnancy and childbirth, and the consequences of unintended childbearing on women’s health and well-being. Her current work includes research on the longitudinal effect of being denied a wanted abortion on women’s health and well-being; the effect of abortion restrictions, particularly parental involvement requirements, on young women’s experience seeking abortion care. As a current UCSF-Kaiser BIRCWH scholar, Dr. Ralph is expanding these areas of research to characterize adolescents’ capacity for autonomous decision-making around pregnancy and better understand the causal impact of unintended childbearing on women’s educational trajectories. Dr. Ralph is also engaged in research to understand the relationship between hormonal contraceptive use and women’s risk of HIV acquisition, measure women’s certainty about the decision to seek abortion care and other health decisions, evaluate innovative strategies to stimulate demand for contraception, and better understand and address the methodological challenges associated with studying complex, reproductive health behaviors. Across all areas of research, she draws on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to answer research questions that can directly inform policy. Dr. Ralph received her BS from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and MPH and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.


  • University of California, Berkeley, Masters in Public Health and Doctorate
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Science