The Book

The Turnaway Study

The results of the Turnaway Study, the largest study to examine women’s experiences with abortion and unwanted pregnancy in the United States — have been collected into the new book The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, A Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having — or Being Denied — an Abortion.

Get your copy

The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, A Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having — or Being Denied — an Abortion is available now from:

Also available on audiobook from:

Read more about The Turnaway Study, available from Scribner, at


The Turnaway Study Reading Guide

The Turnaway Study now offers a reading guide to assist readers in diving deeper into the personal stories, data, and societal influences that impact access to abortion care. You can download the reading guide here:

The Turnaway Study Reading Guide


Book Events & Talks:

Planned Parenthood Comedy Fundraiser – February 7, 2021

Conceiving Equity, 9th annual Roe v. Wade Lecture – January 21, 2021

Oregon State University Research Seminar – October 23, 2020

Writers Bloc with Dr. Meera Shah – October 13, 2020

King’s English with Dr. Dave Turok – September 9, 2020

Politics and Prose Live with Cecile Richards – June 12, 2020

Radio Interviews:

TO THE CONTRARY, PBS – July 24, 2020

THINK, KERA RADIO, NPR in Dallas, TX – July 6, 2020

UP TO DATE, KCUR-FM/KCUR-HD1 | Kansas City Public Media – June 24, 2020


FRESH AIR with Terry Gross, NPR – June 16, 2020

WAMC Northeast Public Radio Productions, NPR, Albany, NY, NATIONAL – June 12, 2020

STUDIO TULSA KWGS Radio in Tulsa, OK, Regionally Syndicated NPR show – June 10, 2020

Jefferson Public Radio, Regionally syndicated NPR, Mendocino, CA & Eugene, OR – June 4, 2020

What people are saying about the book

Gloria Steinem
If you read only one book about democracy, The Turnaway Study should be it. Why? Because without the power to make decisions about our own bodies, there is no democracy. Gloria Steinem
Library Journal
Foster listens to the “turnaway women,” and lets their stories, even more than her own scholarship, disrupt the accepted moral and political narratives that regulate access to abortion. Library Journal Review
Cecile Richards
Based on her groundbreaking 'turnaway' study, Dr. Foster's book offers the first in-depth look at the impact of being denied abortion on mental and physical health, economic wellbeing, relationships, and families. This should be required reading for every judge, member of Congress, and candidate for office — as well as anyone who hopes to better understand this complex and important issue. Cecile Richards
Kirkus Reviews
Their candid stories are riveting, sometimes surprising, and always illuminating — as are the study’s findings. There is 'no evidence that abortion hurts women,' the study concludes. 'For every outcome we analyzed, women who received an abortion were either the same or, more frequently, better off than women who were denied an abortion.' To those who assume women make the decision to abort rashly, the researchers found thoughtful deliberation. Required reading for anyone concerned about reproductive justice. Kirkus Review
Publishers Weekly
Packed with informative charts and graphs, detailed discussions of state laws restricting abortion access, and thorough demographic analysis, Foster’s clearheaded account cuts through the noise surrounding this contentious issue. Policy makers and abortion rights activists should consider it a must-read. Publishers Weekly
Foster has spent the past 10 years investigating the outcomes for women who had or were denied abortions, tracking their emotional, physical and economic health. Foster’s findings are particularly relevant now, as the coronavirus pandemic, the economic downturn and ongoing efforts to restrict abortion access have made the procedure even more difficult for many to obtain. Huffington Post
The Turnaway Study will be understood, criticized, and used politically, however carefully conceived and painstakingly executed the research was. Given that inevitability, it’s worth underlining the most helpful political work that the study does. In light of its findings, the rationale for so many recent abortion restrictions—namely, that abortion is uniquely harmful to the people who choose it—simply topples. The New Yorker
Foster has succeeded in producing a book that will be indispensable to policy makers, lawyers, and advocates as they conduct evidence informed work to promote reproductive justice and improve the lives of women and children. The Turnaway Study is a call to action to trust women; a reminder that women make thoughtful decisions about their bodies, families, and future. Contraception