Carole Joffe

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco

About Carole

Joffe’s areas of expertise are reproductive health services, reproductive politics and the workforce in these fields. She has written widely, for both academic and lay audiences, on abortion and contraception. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the National Abortion Federation and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.

In the News

Opinion: "A Beleaguered Abortion Workforce Braces for Things To Get Far Worse," Carole Joffe (with David Cohen), The Hill, July 6, 2022.
Opinion: "Even Texas Allows Abortions to Protect a Woman’s Life. Or Does It?," Carole Joffe (with Jody Steinauer), The New York Times, September 12, 2021.
Opinion: "The Real Challenges of Exercising the Right to an Abortion—and What You Can Do About It," Carole Joffe (with David S. Cohen), Ms., February 27, 2020.
Opinion: "With the Appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, Roe v. Wade Is Likely Dead," Carole Joffe, The Washington Post, July 10, 2018.
Opinion: "Title X Facilities are Already Over-Regulated," Carole Joffe (with David S. Cohen), The Hill, June 12, 2018.
Opinion: "Volunteers are the Unsung Heroes of Abortion Care," Carole Joffe (with David S. Cohen), HuffPost, February 6, 2018.
Opinion: "Race, Class, and the Contradiction of Contemporary Abortion Politics," Carole Joffe, Political Research Associates, January 26, 2018.
Opinion: "When Hurricane Harvey Hit, Texas Abortion Providers Stepped Up," Carole Joffe, Rewire, September 12, 2017.
Quoted by David Montero in "South Carolina Becomes the Latest State Pushing to Restrict Abortions by Cutting Funding," Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2017.
Opinion: "If ‘Roe v. Wade’ Falls, Women Will Go to Jail," Carole Joffe, Rewire, April 6, 2017.
Opinion: "These Black Men Pushed Abortion Access before ‘Roe’," Carole Joffe, Rewire, February 6, 2017.
Opinion: "The Hearings on Trump’s Nominees Begin," Carole Joffe, New York Times, January 11, 2017.
Opinion: "Will Jeff Sessions Protect Abortion Providers?," Carole Joffe, The Hill, December 20, 2016.
Opinion: "The Legacy - or Lack Thereof - of Phyllis Schlafly," Carole Joffe, Rewire, September 12, 2016.
Opinion: "‘Abortion and Parenting Needs Can Coexist’: A Q&A with Parker Dockray," Carole Joffe, Rewire, August 19, 2016.
Opinion: "Zika and the Military," Carole Joffe (with Daniel Grossman), New York Times, August 15, 2016.
Opinion: "A Win for Abortion Providers, Patients, and Supporters - for a Change," Carole Joffe, Beacon Broadside, June 29, 2016.
Opinion: "Asking about Abortion," Carole Joffe, Dissent, March 11, 2016.
Opinion: "Anti-Choice Violence: Why Colorado Springs is Different," Carole Joffe, RH Reality Check, December 2, 2015.
Opinion: "Getting Republicans on Record about How Fetal Tissue Research Has Helped Them," Carole Joffe, RH Reality Check, August 20, 2015.
Opinion: "Religious Right’s Grip on Republican Party Makes Planned Parenthood a Prime Target," Carole Joffe, RH Reality Check, July 28, 2015.
Opinion: "Will Obama’s Child Care Vision Overcome Nixon’s Legacy?," Carole Joffe, Dissent, January 27, 2015.
Opinion: "Will Abortion Opponents Use a Familiar Playbook to Push for a 20 Week Ban?," Carole Joffe, The Conversation, January 22, 2015.
Opinion: "The Hidden Costs of Abortion Restrictions," Carole Joffe, RH Reality Check, October 15, 2014.
Opinion: "Putting Hobby Lobby in Context: The Erratic Career of Birth Control in the United States," Carole Joffe, The Society Pages, July 4, 2014.
Quoted by in "Abortions Declining in U.S., Study Finds," New York Times, February 2, 2014.
Opinion: "Stigma on Steroids: On Kansas Banning Abortion Providers from Schools," Carole Joffe, RH Reality Check, July 11, 2013.


"Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America" (with David S. Cohen) (University of California Press, February 2020).

Examines the rise in legal and regulatory barriers to obtaining an abortion in the United States, as well as provider responses and persistence in this environment.

"The Struggle to Save Abortion Care" American Sociological Association 17, no. 3 (2018): 22-27.

Explores how mission-driven abortion care providers continue working to help their patients, resisting both physical attacks and widespread policy proscriptions.


"Working with Dr. Tiller: Staff Recollections of Women’s Health Care Services of Wichita" Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health 43, no. 3 (2011): 199-204.
Describes the controversial, widely misunderstood and deeply compassionate services offered to women who needed to terminate much wanted pregnancies because of severe or lethal fetal anomalies, based on interviews with the staff of the late George Tiller, M.D.
"Trends in Abortion Care and Access" (with Tracy Weitz) (Spring , 2010).
Discusses the very uneven access to abortion that exists in different regions of the United States.
"Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients and the Rest of Us" (Beacon Press, 2009, paperback 2010).
Discusses the stigmatization of abortion in American society and the impact of the legal, legislative and physical attacks on abortion providers.
"Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion before and after Roe v. Wade" (Beacon Press, 1996).
Describes the provision of abortion in the pre-Roe v Wade era, and the unanticipated difficulties of abortion provision after that landmark decision.
"The Regulation of Sexuality: Experiences of Family Planning Workers " (Temple University Press, 1986, paperback 1987).
An ethnography of a clinic that provides birth control and abortion services, told from the perspective of the lay counselors.