News and Events

Recent News from PopFam


The Supreme Court Decision to Uphold the Travel Ban Is Unhealthy and Unjust

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Professor and Chair Terry McGovern shares her op-ed: The Supreme Court Decision to Uphold the Travel Ban Is Unhealthy and Unjust.



Popfam Faculty and Staff React to Proposed Polices that will lead to Poor Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes.

"Although family planning is considered one of the great advances of the 20th century, there are stark disparities in access around the world. The Trump administration’s reimposition of the global gag rule has aggravated this, causing many women and communities to suffer. We must continue to work hard to ensure that people can choose when and if to have children."

Dr. Wendy Chavkin, Special Lecturer/Professor Emerita of Population and Family Health and Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, weighs in on family planning as a human right for United Nations World Population Day



Proposed Amendment to Title X Regulations Constitutes a Domestic Gag Rule: if the provider mentions abortion, even if asked, no Title X funding.

There is abundant evidence that this rule harms women and girls, and disproportionately harms women and girls of color.

All of the major public health experts emphasize that pregnant patients must be offered accurate information and necessary referrals related to their health:

Women pay the price:



Science Shows Breastfeeding is Beneficial to Health

News that the United States government sought to block a World Health Organization resolution to encourage breastfeeding has drawn criticism from clinicians and public health experts. The American Public Health Association condemned the move, writing, “scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports breastfeeding and its many health benefits for both child and mother.” Mailman School faculty, some of whom contributed to this body of research, outlined a number of the ways breastfeeding is beneficial.

“Breastfeeding saves lives by providing no-cost infant nutrition and immunologic protection,” says Terry McGovern, JD, the Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor and Chair of Population and Family Health. “This is particularly important in resource-poor settings throughout the world. Baby formula is needlessly expensive and is not the optimal choice for the health of the infant and mother.”

According to a 2016 Lancet review of scientific literature, babies who are breastfed for longer periods have fewer infections than those who are breastfed for shorter periods or not at all—an advantage that extends into adulthood. Breastmilk may also play a role in the development of the infant microbiome, supporting the development of helpful bacteria.