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Yale Fellowship in Complex Family Planning


Reproductive health care rooted in dignity, equity, and science.


Yale Complex Family Planning provides exceptional care through evidence-based medicine, , clinical training, research, and advocacy focused on abortion and contraception.

Overview of Program

The Yale Fellowship in Complex Family Planning offers excellent clinical training, dedicated research mentorship, participation in education of residents and medical students, and opportunities for advocacy.

History of Reproductive Health at Yale

Family Planning has a celebrated history in the Yale Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences. The Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Dr. Lee Buxton, was arrested along with Connecticut Planned Parenthood's Estelle Griswold in 1961 for operating a contraceptive clinic at a time when providing contraception to married couples was illegal. This case, Griswold versus Connecticut, became the 1965 US Supreme Court decision that established the right to privacy in reproductive matters, laying the foundation for the Roe versus Wade decision. From this history, we draw inspiration for a new chapter of leadership in reproductive health for clinical care, research, advocacy and education through Yale’s Fellowship in Complex Family Planning. The Yale Complex Family Planning Fellowship began in 2015 under the leadership of Drs. Nancy Stanwood and Aileen Gariepy.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our Complex Family Planning Fellowship at Yale School of Medicine is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion as this is essential to the discipline of family planning for patients, trainees, faculty, and the workforce alike. The principles of equity and inclusion are rooted in our programmatic values and are essential to the educational mission of our fellowship. Our curriculum and educational practices reflect to the importance of patient autonomy in complex abortion and contraceptive care. We strive to create just educational and clinical environments where all members can equitably thrive.

Clinical Training

We provide expert Complex Family Planning care and serve as a referral site for abortion care for medically complex patients, patients needing abortion care up to 23 weeks 6 days gestation, and medical and surgical management for patients experiencing pregnancy loss.

We provide general and complex contraceptive care for women, with a focus on and expertise in long-acting reversible methods and contraceptive options for people with underlying medical issues.

Yale Fellows in Complex Family Planning provide care in both inpatient and outpatient settings at Yale New Haven Hospital. There is also an opportunity to provide care at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.


Prior Fellows' Research Projects

Dr. Neena Qasba

  • Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate
  • Project: A pilot study to develop and evaluate a group prenatal contraceptive counseling intervention

Dr. Meredith Pensak

  • Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
  • Project: Development and Feasibility Testing of a Video Game to Reduce High-Risk Heterosexual Behavior in Spanish-Speaking Latinx Adolescents: Pilot Study

Dr. Abigail Cutler

  • Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
  • Project: The Impact of Shouting Your Abortion on Community-Level Abortion Stigma: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Dr. Wendy Leung

  • Current Position: Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Project: The Impact of Shouting Your Abortion on Community-Level Abortion Stigma in Nursing Students: A Pilot Study

Dr. Gabriela Aguilar

  • Current Position: Clinical Instructor, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  • Project: Exploring Race/Ethnicity-Based Discrimination Among Patients Seeking Abortion Care

Dr. Samantha Baer

  • Current position: Assistant Professor, University of South Florida
  • Project: Development and Preliminary Testing of a Professionalism-Focused Interactive, Online Module for Teaching Options Counseling to Medical Students

Dr. Blythe Bynum

  • Project: Building and Evaluating a Group Contraception Counseling Model Aimed at Utilizing Social Networks to Inform Contraceptive Choices and Improve Autonomy in Family Planning Decisions among African American Women aged 18-40

Fellows have access to Yale's rich research infrastructure including:

  1. The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (part of NIH's Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award)
  2. Yale Center for Analytic Sciences (including biostatistics, epidemiology, health economics, health policy, health services and big data research)
  3. Departmental biorepository

Masters Degree Options

Due to a change in program funding, Yale no longer offers a Masters Degree. Society of Family Planning has developed a didactic curriculum to ensure that Complex Family Planning Fellows receive appropriate training in clinical research.


Fellows will be mentored in the arena of advocacy and are encouraged to apply for the Leadership Training Academy conducted by Physicians for Reproductive Health.Other options for advocacy include participation in the ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference.

In addition, Yale participates in a bi-annual Northeast Regional Family Planning Advocacy Training Seminar, designed to provide fellows with practical advocacy skills that can be used at the patient, professional, and policy levels.


  1. Yale Law School – We have collaborative relationships with several faculty in the Yale Law School who are engaged in reproductive jurisprudence and justice work. Interested fellows can participate in cross disciplinary work by providing a medical perspective to the work of the Reproductive Rights and Justice Project and the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice.
  2. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) has 17 health centers across Connecticut and Rhode Island and is the largest provider of reproductive health care and abortion care in Connecticut. Fellows can train clinically at PPSNE and have the opportunity to collaborate with PPSNE in research and programs, tapping into its large clinical volume and research infrastructure.

Teaching Opportunities

Fellows will be an integral part of the educational mission of the Family Planning Section, teaching Yale medical students, OBGYN residents, internal medicine residents, pediatric residents, physicians assistant students, and advanced nursing students as well as visiting students and residents from outside of Yale. Our section does workshops, lectures, case reviews, and clinical teaching with all of these levels of learners at Yale University. We also serve as an educational resource for other local medical schools and universities such as Quinnipiac University and Wesleyan University.

Life at Yale

Yale is more than an institution of higher learning; it is a community where people of diverse cultures and nationalities live, work, and play — connected by their similarities and enriched by their differences.