Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH, was born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts. As a person of South Asian descent, primarily raised by her mother who immigrated to the U.S. from Tanzania, she is drawn to reproductive health from a social justice perspective.
Her work encompasses two overarching themes: the effects of women's empowerment and gender equity on reproductive health and improving access to contraception and abortion care. Dr. Upadhyay has expertise in abortion safety, abortion access in the U.S., medication abortion, and state-level abortion restrictions such as physician admitting privileges laws and telemedicine bans for abortion. She is planning research that aims to assess the safety and efficacy of demedicalized models of medication abortion care, including telehealth for abortion care and a missed period pill.
Dr. Upadhyay is also Co-Director the UCGHI Center of Expertise in Women’s Health, Gender, and Empowerment. She has developed and validated the Reproductive Autonomy Scale and the Sexual and Reproductive Empowerment Scale for Adolescents and Young Adults, both of which researchers can use to quantitatively measure people’s power in matters related to contraceptive use, pregnancy, and abortion.