CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Amanda Stevenson

Executive Committee Member

Fellow, Institute of Behavioral Science

Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder

Amanda Jean Stevenson is a sociologist trained in demographic and computer science methods. She studies the impacts of and responses to abortion and family planning policy. She is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. In her current research, she uses demographic methods to study the impacts of reproductive health policies, and computational methods to study social responses to these policies.

At Boulder she leads the Colorado Fertility Project, a team using massive restricted-access administrative data at the Census Bureau to evaluate the life course consequences of access to (as opposed to use of) highly effective contraception. With funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the team is developing an individual-level longitudinal dataset Integrate administrative records and surveys to build a large-scale, individual-level longitudinal dataset, to be called Reproduction in People’s Lives (RIPL), describing the life course of nearly all US residents.

She also co-leads a collaborative project using mixed-methods to evaluate the impacts of parental involvement laws and the judicial bypass process for minors seeking abortion care.

Her analyses of the impact of reproductive health policies have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Science Advances, the American Journal of Public Health, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the journal Contraception. She translates her results into policy-relevant findings for non-academic audiences. For example, she regularly testifies on the demographic impacts of legislation, she developed an app to disseminate local impact estimates from her policy evaluation work, and her research has been cited by the United States Supreme Court, and in The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The Austin-American Statesman, The Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Times, and other outlets.

Another line of research examines the social responses to reproductive health policies. In this project, she uses Twitter responses, website content, media coverage, and in-depth interviews to examine the social movement response to Texas’ 2013 abortion restrictions. The case provides an opportunity to investigate how social movements negotiate intersectional critiques from within their ranks. She focuses on the role of emotions and relationships in transmitting intersectional framing and analyses to central actors and the ways in which elites’ adoptions of intersectional rhetoric shifts power within a movement.