A recent paper published by the University of California San Francisco discusses how health sciences librarians can support public health experts in efforts to counter misinformation on abortion. Inaccurate and misleading information negatively impacts providers and patients, especially the most vulnerable, in accessing abortion care. The publication explores how health sciences librarians, whose mission is to share evidence-based health information with the public, have played a role in opposing misinformation and how they can be a powerful public health partner.
The paper also offers ways for public health professionals to connect with health sciences librarians, such as library conferences, through library listservs, and social media – to share information and build partnerships for information dissemination. The paper suggests considering librarians as a stakeholder group and as collaborators with the potential to raise awareness of public health issues related to abortion among students, teachers, researchers, providers, patients, and community members.
The article was published in the American Journal of Public Health where PHDL users can have direct access to the PDF.
The paper is also available via open access through Open Access Publications for the University of California.
Among the article’s many points:
In the article’s conclusion:
No medical procedure is subject to more system-level misinformation than abortion, demonstrating how reproductive politics continues to be centered on a system of dominance based on sex, gender, and race. This isa reproductive justice issue, as denying or limiting access to accurate information does not allow individuals to make reproductive decisions free of coercion or undue burden. The core professional values of health sciences librarians prioritize access to evidence-based health information for everyone, with the goal of facilitating informed health care decisions. Drawing on their training, experience, and professional values, health sciences librarians can play an important role in countering state-mandated misinformation and improving general understanding of abortion.
Jill Barr-Walker, Teresa DePiñeres, Peace Ossom-Williamson, Biftu Mengesha, Nancy F. Berglas, “Countering Misinformation About Abortion: The Role of Health Sciences Librarians”, American Journal of Public Health , no. (): pp. e1-e4.https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306471