Joseph E. Potter

Professor of Sociology and Faculty Research Associate, University of Texas at Austin

Connect with Joseph

About Joseph

Potter’s interests surround the areas of reproductive health, population and development, and demographic estimation. Since the Fall of 2011, he as been leading an eight-year project—The Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP)—to evaluate the impact of legislation enacted by the Texas Legislature affecting both funding for family planning and access to abortion care. Earlier, Potter was Principle Investigator of the Border Contraceptive Access Study (BCAS), an NICHD funded project on oral contraceptive use along the US-Mexico border in El-Paso, Texas. 


Many Low Income Women in Texas Do Not Get the Effective Contraception They Want after Giving Birth

  • Joseph E. Potter
  • Kari White
  • Daniel A. Powers
  • Chloe Dillaway
  • Amanda Stevenson
  • Kristine Hopkins
  • Daniel Grossman

In the News

"Texas Disaster Highlights Big Problem with Defunding Planned Parenthood," Joseph E. Potter (with Kari White), Waco Tribune-Herald, February 11, 2017.
"Defunding Planned Parenthood was a Disaster in Texas. Congress Shouldn’t Do it Nationally," Joseph E. Potter (with Kari White), The Washington Post, February 7, 2017.
Joseph E. Potter's research on the impact of Texas’ Planned Parenthood ban discussed by Richard Mark Kirkner, "Texas a Test for Defunding of Planned Parenthood," Managed Care, February 1, 2017.
Joseph E. Potter's research on the impact of House Bill 2 discussed by Laura Kurtzman, "Official Abortion Rate Declined in Texas after Law Restricted Access to Clinics," ScienceDaily, January 19, 2017.
"Long Acting and Reversible Contraception," Joseph E. Potter (with Kari White), The Weekend, November 5, 2016.
"Restore Family Planning Services to Reduce Maternal Mortality Rate," Joseph E. Potter (with Kari White), My San Antonio, September 5, 2016.
"Health Cuts by Legislature Have Made Texas Childbirth Riskier," Joseph E. Potter (with Kari White), The Waco Tribune-Herald, August 30, 2016.
"Misinformation Skews Public Support for Abortion Laws," Joseph E. Potter (with Kari White), The Houston Chronicle, May 19, 2016.


"Contraception after Delivery among Publicly Insured Women in Texas: Use Compared with Preference" (with Kate Coleman-Minahan, Kari White, Daniel A. Powers, Amanda Stevenson, and Chloe Dillaway). Obstetrics & Gynecology 130, no. 2 (2017): 393-402.

Assesses women's preferences for contraception after delivery and compares use with preferences.

"Nativity, Country of Education, and Mexican-Origin Women’s Breastfeeding Behaviors: The First Ten Months Postpartum" (with C. Emily Hendrick). Birth 44, no. 1 (2017): 68-77.

Finds that women completing schooling in Mexico had higher rates of overall breastfeeding throughout the study period than women educated in the United States, regardless of country of birth, and that women born in Mexico who completed their schooling in the United States were least likely to exclusively breastfeed.

"Change in Distance to Nearest Facility and Abortion in Texas, 2012 to 2014" (with Daniel Grossman, Kari White, and Kristine Hopkins). JAMA 317, no. 4 (2017): 437-439.

Finds that, following the 2013 Texas House Bill 2, one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, the number of Texas facilities providing abortions declined from 41 in 2012 to 17 in June 2016.

"Women’s Knowledge of and Support for Abortion Restrictions in Texas: Findings from a Statewide Representative Survey" (with Kari White, Amanda Stevenson, Kristine Hopkins, Daniel Grossman, and Liza Fuentes). Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 48, no. 4 (2016).

Assesses women’s knowledge of specific abortion restrictions in Texas and reasons for supporting these laws. 

"Women's Experiences Seeking Publicly Funded Family Planning Services in Texas" (with Kristine Hopkins, Kari White, Daniel Grossman, Fran Linkin, and Celia Hubert). Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 47, no. 2 (2016): 63-70.

Assesses women’s experiences obtaining affordable family planning services in the wake of substantial budget cuts to state family planning programs.

"Barriers to Postpartum Contraception in Texas and Pregnancy within Two Years of Delivery" (with Amanda Stevenson, Kristine Hopkins, Kari White, Daniel Grossman, and Celia Hubert). Obstetrics & Gynecology 127, no. 2 (2016): 189-196.

Assesses pregnancies that could have been averted through improved access to contraceptive methods in the two years after delivery. 

"Perceived Interest in Vasectomy among Latina Women and Their Partners in a Community with Limited Access to Female Sterilization" (with Daniel Grossman, Kari White, Kristine Hopkins, and Celia Hubert). Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 27, no. 2 (2016): 762-777.

Assesses male partners’ perceived willingness to undergo vasectomy through surveys with 470 Mexican-origin women who did not want more children in El Paso, Texas.

"The Impact of Reproductive Health Legislation on Family Planning Clinic Services in Texas" (with Kari White, Kristine Hopkins, Amanda Stevenson, Daniel Grossman, Abigail Aiken, and Celia Hubert). American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 5 (2015): 851-858.

Evaluates the effect of legislation in Texas that dramatically cut and restricted participation in the state’s family planning program in 2011.  Finds that 25% of family planning clinics in Texas closed, organizations served 54% fewer clients, and long-acting reversible contraception was less widely available.

"Clinic Versus Over-the-Counter Access to Oral Contraception: Choices Women Make along the U.S–Mexico Border" (with Kristine Hopkins, Daniel Grossman, and Jon Amastae). American Journal of Public Health 100, no. 6 (2010): 1130-1136.

Assesses motivations for oral contraceptive users living in El Paso, Texas for patronizing a U.S. clinic or a Mexican pharmacy with over-the-counter pills, and to determine which women were likely to use the over-the-counter option.