Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Heather Boonstra, Director of Public Policy

Heather Boonstra is the Director of Public Policy in the Guttmacher Institute's Washington, DC office and is responsible for promoting the Institute’s sexual and reproductive health agenda in federal law and policy. Ms. Boonstra is a regular contributor to the Institute’s policy journal, the Guttmacher Policy Review, and oversees a portfolio of projects on abortion, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and the integration of family planning and HIV services in the United States and globally. Ms. Boonstra came to Guttmacher in 1999 as a Senior Public Policy Associate, after working with the Reproductive Health Technologies Project and as a consultant with the Center for International Health and Information, Save the Children, and the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health. Ms. Boonstra graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oregon and holds an M.A. in religion from Yale University, where she studied medical ethics.

Recent publications include:

Boonstra H, Fetal tissue research: A weapon and a casualty in the war against abortion, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2016, 19:9-15.

Boonstra H, On Roe anniversary, let’s remember the US women for whom abortion is a right on paper only, The Hill's Congress Blog, 2016,

Boonstra H and Young Holt B, Multipurpose prevention technologies hold great promise, but more US investment is needed, The Hill's Congress Blog, 2015,

Boonstra H, Multipurpose prevention technologies for the developing world: U.S. investment is critical, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2015, 18(3):62-69.

Boonstra H, Meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents in school-based health centers, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2015, 18(1):21-26.

Boonstra H, Barot S and Lusti-Narasimhan M, Making the case for multipurpose prevention technologies: the socio-epidemiological rationale, BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2014, 121(s5):23-26.

Boonstra H, What is behind the declines in teen pregnancy rates?, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2014, 17(3):15-21.

Boonstra H and Nash E, A surge of state abortion restrictions puts providers— and the women they Serve—in the crosshairs, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2014, 17(1): 9-14, 28.

Boonstra H, Leveling the playing field: The promise of long-acting reversible contraceptives for adolescents, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2013, 16(4): 13-18.

Boonstra H, Insurance coverage of abortion: Beyond the exceptions For life endangerment, rape and incest, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2013, 16(3): 2-8.

Boonstra H, Medication abortion restrictions burden women and providers—and threaten U.S. trend toward very early abortion, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2013, 16(1): 18-23.

Boonstra H, Absence of balance: sweeping refusal policies in PEPFAR and the proposed Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2012, 15(3): 14-19.

Boonstra H, Progressive and pragmatic: the National Sexuality
 Education Standards for U.S. public schools, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2012, 15(2):2-7.

Orner PJ et al., Access to safe abortion: building choices for women living with HIV and AIDS, Journal of the International AIDS Society, 2011, 14:(54).

Boonstra H, Linkages between HIV and family planning services under PEPFAR: room for improvement, Guttmacher Policy Review 2011, 14(4):2-7.

Boonstra H, Advancing sexuality education in developing countries: evidence and implications, Guttmacher Policy Review 2011, 14(3):17-23.

Boonstra H, Teen pregnancy among young women in foster care: a primer, Guttmacher Policy Review 2011, 14(2):8-19.

Landry DJ et al., Review of the role of faith- and community-based organizations in providing comprehensive sexuality education, American Journal of Sexuality Education, 2011, 6(1):75-103.

Boonstra H, New pregnancy assistance fund under health care reform: an analysis, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2010, 13(4):11-14.

Boonstra H, Off base: The U.S. military's ban on privately funded abortions, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2010, 13(3):2-7.

Boonstra H, Winning campaign: California’s concerted effort to reduce its teen pregnancy rate, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2010, 13(2):18-24.

Boonstra H, Key questions for consideration as a new federal teen pregnancy prevention initiative is implemented, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2010, 13(1):2-7.

Boonstra H, Worldwide, young people speak up for their sexual and reproductive health and rights, but U.S. policy lags, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2009, 12(4):7-11.

Boonstra H, Home visiting for at risk families: a primer on a major Obama administration initiative , Guttmacher Policy Review, 2009, 12(3):11-14.

Boonstra H, The challenge in helping young adults better manage their reproductive lives, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2009, 12(2):13-18.

Boonstra H, Advocates call for a new approach after the era of ‘abstinence-only’ sex education, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2009, 12(1):6-11.

Boonstra H, Despite consensus and mounting evidence, challenges to improved HIV–reproductive health linkages remain, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2008, 11(4):7-10.

Boonstra H, The Impact of government programs on reproductive health disparities: three case studies, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2008, 11(3):6-12.

Boonstra H, Making HIV tests ‘routine’: concerns and implications, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2008, 11(2):14-18.

Boonstra H, Matter of faith: support for comprehensive sex education among faith-based organizations, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2008, 11(1):17-22.

Boonstra H, Renewing a focus on prevention in U.S. global AIDS policy, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2007, 10(4):14-18.

Boonstra H, Young people need help in preventing pregnancy and HIV; how will the world respond?, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2007, 10(3):2-7.

Boonstra H, The case for a new approach to sex education mounts; will policymakers heed the message?, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2007, 10(2):2-7.

Boonstra H, The heart of the matter: public funding of abortion for poor women in the United States, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2007, 10(1):12-16.

Boonstra H, Meeting the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of People Living with HIV, In Brief, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006.

Boonstra H et al., Abortion in Women’s Lives, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006.

Boonstra H, Condoms, contraceptives and Nonoxynol-9: complex issues obscured by ideology, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2004, 8(2):4-6, 14.

Jones RK and Boonstra H Confidential reproductive health services for minors: the potential impact of mandated parental involvement for contraception. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2004, 36:182-191.

Boonstra H, The role of reproductive health providers in preventing HIV, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2004, 7(4):7-10.

Boonstra H, Comprehensive approach needed to combat sexually transmitted infections among youth. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2004, 7(1):3-4,13.

Boonstra H, U.S. AIDS policy: priority on treatment, conservatives' approach to prevention, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2003, 6(3):1-3.

Boonstra H, Critics charge Bush mix of science and politics is unprecedented and dangerous, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2003, 6(2):1-2,14.

Boonstra H, Emergency contraception: steps being taken to improve access, The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2002, 5(5):10-13.

Boonstra H and Gold RB, Overhauling welfare: implications for reproductive health policy in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association. 2002, 57:41-46.

Boonstra H et al., The “boom and bust phenomenon”: the hopes, dreams, and broken promises of the contraceptive revolution, Contraception. 2000, 61(1):9-25.


For all media inquiries,
please contact:
Rebecca Wind
212-248-1111 ext. 2203

Heather Boonstra