Lee Hasselbacher

Research Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
Chapter Member: Chicagoland SSN

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About Lee

Hasselbacher's research focuses on exploring implementation of reproductive health laws and policy, with the aim of improving health outcomes and reducing disparities. Overarching themes in Hasselbacher's writings include access to contraception and abortion, the role of health insurance, religious refusals in health care, and consent and confidentiality for young people. Hasselbacher contributes to state and national coalitions and working groups leveraging research to inform advocacy.


In the News

Guest to discuss What Does the Legal Battle Over Abortion Pill Mifepristone Mean for Illinois? on Reset/WBEZ Chicago, Lee Hasselbacher, April 12, 2023.
Lee Hasselbacher quoted by Alys Brooks, "Medical Students Can’t Provide Abortions If They Never Learn How" Rewire News Group, August 6, 2020.
Lee Hasselbacher quoted by Kristen Thometz, "Report: Patients Misdiagnosed in Catholic Hospitals to Get Contraception" WTTW, December 13, 2019.
Lee Hasselbacher quoted by Amy Littlefield, "Catholic Ban on Contraception Is Driving Doctors to Fabricate Diagnoses" Truthout, December 5, 2019.
Lee Hasselbacher quoted by Alys Brooks, "In Illinois, Struggles Putting Pro-Choice Legislation Into Action" Rewire News Group, November 21, 2019.


"What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Patient and Provider Perspectives on Postpartum Contraceptive Care in Illinois Catholic Hospitals" (with Lori Freedman, Debra Stulberg, Zarina J. Wong, Lee Thompson, and Angel Boulware). Contraception 107 (2021): 62-67.

Examines hospital restrictions on postpartum contraception due to religious affiliation restrict access, cause unnecessary delays in care, and lead to misdiagnosis and marginalization of contraceptive care. Reviews that restrictions also cause moral distress to providers who balance career repercussions and professional integrity with patient needs.

"Beyond Hobby Lobby: Employer’s Responsibilities and Opportunities To Improve Network Access to Reproductive Healthcare for Employees" (with Debra Stulberg, Lori Freedman, Erin Wingo, Alexis Cacioppo, and Ashley McHugh). Contraception X 4 (2022).

Suggests large employers have leverage to improve access to reproductive health services and providers. Argues that large employers could pressure insurance carriers to address network gaps in access to care resulting from religious restrictions.

"Lessons Learned: Illinois Providers’ Perspectives on Implementation of Medicaid Coverage for Abortion" (with Carmela Zuniga, Aalap Bommaraju, Terri-Ann Thompson, and Debra Stulberg). Contraception 103, no. 6 (2021): 414-419.

Implements Medicaid coverage for abortion requires proactive and responsive state institutions, streamlined reimbursement processes, and adequate reimbursement rates. Shows how in Illinois, successful implementation depended on clinic adaptability, external support, and advocacy.

"“My Hands Are Tied”: Abortion Restrictions and Providers’ Experiences in Religious and Nonreligious Health Care Systems" (with Luciana Hebert, Debra Stulberg, and Yuan Liu). Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 52, no. 2 (2020): 107-115.

Presents that with pregnancy complications or seeking an abortion at Catholic and Protestant hospitals denials may be faced, delays encountered, and fewer treatment options may occur than they would at secular hospitals. Considers they may also experience financial obstacles and stigmatization as a result of restrictions.