Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Volume 39, Number 1, March 2007


This issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health opens a new chapter in the journal’s history. Perspectives, for 38 years a product of the Guttmacher Institute, is now published by the Institute in partnership with Blackwell Publishing, a leading publisher of scientific and professional journals. Under this new arrangement, the editorial function continues to reside with Guttmacher, and production, marketing and distribution are handled by Blackwell.

Why the change? Like all nonprofit organizations, the Guttmacher Institute has been grappling with how to best use its resources—human and financial—to maintain its programs in the face of shrinking funding options. With commitments to a large number of grant-driven publications stretching our editorial and production staff to their limits, the time was right to seek a new approach to producing the journal. Blackwell’s reputation as a publisher that values collaborative relationships made it an appealing choice, and our experiences thus far in this partnership bear out that reputation.

What does this change mean for our authors, reviewers and readers? The journal’s mission and its editorial staff and procedures remain unchanged. Our commitment to publishing the best quantitative and qualitative research on reproductive health and rights, and making it as accessible as possible to our multidisciplinary audience, is as strong as ever. Submissions undergo the same rigorous review and, if accepted, the same careful editing that are among the journal’s hallmarks.

Blackwell brings to the partnership an ability to promote Perspectives and expand its readership in ways that the Guttmacher Institute cannot do on its own. Through its Blackwell Synergy platform, it also brings the opportunity for enhancing our online presentation. Among the features that Blackwell Synergy offers are extensive linking capability both within and outside of Synergy, fast searching across publishers’ platforms and the option to save searches, and table of contents alerts.

Of course, any significant change entails trade-offs, and this one is no exception. The cost of a subscription to Perspectives will increase— nominally for individuals and more substantially for institutions—and only subscribers will have access to the journal on Blackwell Synergy. (Subscription information is available on here.)

We realize that the latter change especially is likely to draw some unfavorable reaction from readers who are accustomed to having free online access on the Guttmacher Institute’s Web site, and we weighed this consideration very carefully before entering this arrangement. We have every confidence that as Blackwell succeeds in increasing the availability of Perspectives through libraries and other institutions, most, if not all, of our current readers will continue to have access to the journal online. We hope that readers see this change as productive. Let us know what you think. Meanwhile, here’s what you will find in this issue:

•David M. Fergusson and colleagues examine the relationship between pregnancy and abortion history before age 21 and selected economic and social outcomes at ages 21–25 in a cohort of New Zealand women (see article). They find that after adjustment for confounding factors, most advantages related to abortion were attributable to characteristics that were present before pregnancy; however, young women who had abortions had better educational outcomes than those who became pregnant but did not terminate their pregnancies.

•On the basis of qualitative data from an ethnically diverse sample of women in British Columbia, Canada, Jean Shoveller and coinvestigators report on the knowledge gaps and conservative cultural and social mores that impede women’s ability to obtain emergency contraception when they need to (see article).

•A pregnancy and STD prevention program that used a counseling model based on motivational interviewing had no long-term effects on contraceptive use in a sample of North Carolina women, according to results of an evaluation conducted by Ruth Petersen and colleagues (see article). The authors suggest that repeated counseling sessions may be necessary to improve contraceptive decision-making.

•Karen Benjamin Guzzo and Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to explore the frequency with which young unwed mothers have subsequent births with a new partner and the risk factors associated with doing so (see article). They find that “the path to multipartnered fertility often begins with having a child under less-than-ideal circumstances and with a less-than-desirable partner.” In a related Viewpoint (page 56), Lorraine V. Klerman argues that economic policies that help women and men accrue assets before and during marriage might be the most effective measures for reducing the incidence of multipartnered fertility.

•Nearly half of a sample of adolescent mothers studied by Leslie G. Raneri and Constance M. Wiemann (see article) had a repeat pregnancy within 24 months; the factors predicting this outcome reflected individual-, dyad- and community-level characteristics. The researchers stress the need for programs aimed at preventing repeat adolescent pregnancy to take into account “the complex and interrelated dynamics of adolescents’ lives.”

•Jennifer J. Frost and coauthors (see article) take a new approach to measuring unintended pregnancy by developing a typology that classifies women according to their contraceptive use patterns, and their resulting exposure to the risk of unintended pregnancy, over a yearlong period. The findings suggest that six million U.S. women are exposed to the risk of pregnancy without contraception for at least some part of each year.

The Editors