Project description

This is a four-part series centered on the issue of abortion access in the U.S.

There are several factors contributing to this problem.
Most of them are related to policymakers.
New restrictions are making it harder for women to access abortions.
This problem affects particularly low-income women from the most conservative states.
And there is also the matter of a somehow quiet but consistent rise in the number of Crisis pregnancy centers.

The goals this series achieves are:
-Explaining the current situation of abortion access.
-Presenting the statistics using visualizations and maps.
-Getting the experts to explain the issue.
-Using testimonials to provide human faces to the issues.
-Using FOIA requests to gather data.
-Presenting national, regional, state, and local facets of the issues.
-Digging into scientific research.
-Designing cover art for each article.

This series is highly data-based.
Several databases were used to design visualizations.
All of them are linked within the article.

There are also interactive maps and a dashboard.

I put special care in designing a cover for each one of the articles of the series.
This was not only aimed to attract potential readers but also to add value to the work.

The series is pretty straight-forward in terms of narrative.
All pretentious storytelling impulses were set aside in order to enhance the facts.

The creative part of the story lies both on the designs and visualizations.

What makes this project innovative?

As I come from the field of science, this work, although journalistic has a strong evidence-based approach. In terms of format, it is a combination of database work, data visualization (with interactive features), graphic design, field-work, interviews, testimonials, and detailed research. There was also a use of different visualization software (free versions of them). Microsoft Power Bi. Tableau. Google Flourish.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

The series won the 1st place in the 2019 Marian and Barney Brody creative feature article writing awards.

Also, an adapted version is going to be published soon in the one of the most important science-communication media outlets (in the social sciences category).
Both the Editorial team and I think that the series might help policymakers to prevent the occurrence of issues like the ones depicted by my articles.
Abortion might be legalized in Argentina in 2020, and the issue of abortion access might be of critical importance to the fine print of a potential law.

In any case, that is still to be seen.

Source and methodology

Sources: Guttmacher Institute Center for Disease Control Illinois Department of Public Health Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (FOIA Request) Abortion Care Network Illinois General Assembly Family Research Council Planned Parenthood Crisis Pregnancy Center Map Champaign County Health Care Consumers Heartbeat International National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) CareNet American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Scientific publications: -Cartwright AF, Karunaratne M, Barr-Walker J, Johns NE, Upadhyay UD Identifying National Availability of Abortion Care and Distance From Major US Cities: Systematic Online Search J Med Internet Res 2018;20(5):e186 DOI: 10.2196/jmir.9717 -Jerman, J. , Frohwirth, L. , Kavanaugh, M. L. and Blades, N. (2017), Barriers to Abortion Care and Their Consequences For Patients Traveling for Services: Qualitative Findings from Two States. Perspect Sex Repro H, 49: 95-102. doi:10.1363/psrh.12024 -Katelyn Bryant-Comstock, Amy G. Bryant, Information about Sexual Health on Crisis Pregnancy Center Web Sites: Accurate for Adolescents? Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 2016. -Amy G. Bryant, Subasri Narasimhan, Katelyn Bryant-Comstock, Erika E. Levi, Crisis pregnancy center websites: Information, misinformation and disinformation, Contraception, 2014. -Raymond, Elizabeth G. MD, MPH; Grimes, David A. MD. The Comparative Safety of Legal Induced Abortion and Childbirth in the United States Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2012 doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31823fe923 Other news-sites articles: Chicago Tribune Breitbart CBS News ABC7Chicago Elizabeth Nash Senior State Issues Manager, Guttmacher Institute. Andrea Swartzendruber Assistant Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics. College of Public Health, University of Georgia. Ushma Upadhyay Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science. University of California San Francisco. Karla Walsh Executive Director in Birthright Champaign. Claudia Lenhoff Executive Director in Champaign County Health Care Consumers. Brittany Mostiller Program Director of Chicago Abortion Funds. Jenn Stanley Rewire's Journalist. Has covered abortion. Host a podcast about abortion called Choice/Less Abortion testimonials: Nicole. Marie. Kiersten. (Last names were not disclosed by request of the women) This project took about four months of work.

Technologies Used

Data Visualization: Microsoft Power BI Tableau Google Flourish Graphic design: Canva Database work: Microsoft Excel Power Query Google Sheets Writing: Google Docs Information organization and storing: Google Drive Box

Project members

This was an individual project, and that's why I'm submitting it as an individual portfolio. Brant Houston was my supervisor on this project. Pamela Dempsey helped copy-editing.


Additional links


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