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Erica Hensley

Erica Hensley is a public health and data reporter based in and covering the South, with a particular focus on reproductive health and equity.

Before joining The Fuller Project, she freelanced and worked as an investigative reporter focusing on public health for one of the first Southern non-profit digital outlets, Mississippi Today, where she was a Knight Foundation fellow and her COVID-19 work helped put national attention on Mississippi’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was the inaugural recipient of the Doris O'Donnell Innovations in Investigative Journalism Fellowship and won Atlanta Press Club's investigative reporting award for her work on lead exposure in Georgia.

Erica received a bachelor’s in print journalism and political science from the University of Southern California and a master’s in health and medical journalism from the University of Georgia. She now splits her time between Mississippi and Georgia.

How abortion restrictions compare, state-by-state

Access to abortion in the U.S. depends on where you live. Increasingly, the South and Midwest are becoming complete abortion deserts. Our interactive map highlights six major restrictions in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Related: How a network of college students is preparing for post-Roe campuses

How a network of college students is preparing for post-Roe campuses

One drop-off at a time, college students are arming themselves with preventive emergency contraception — which could soon be one of the last legal chances to stop a pregnancy.

The mental health crisis facing Black mothers in the South


​​ Research on maternal and infant deaths disparities is now catching up to what many Black women already know: The difference in outcomes is not because of race, but racism. Black mental health advocates and providers in the South are using their own pregnancy-related tragedies to help a community heal.

Related: Why deaths by suicide often go uncounted in states’ maternal mortality studies

Deaths by suicide often uncounted in states’ maternal mortality reviews

The U.S. maternal mortality rate in 2020 reached a high never before seen since tracking began. But most states aren’t counting suicides and overdoses as a part of their formal pregnancy-related death review, which means the maternal mortality rate could be even higher.

The South’s abortion battle has a new front: telemedicine

A new bill making its way through the Georgia statehouse would criminalize access to abortion pills by telemedicine — a common, safe, easy way to end early pregnancies that the federal government first allowed last year.

‘Every shift, we’re just barely making it’: What nurses want us to know about the South’s COVID crisis

The pandemic didn’t create the nursing plight in the South, but burnout and low pay have made it worse.

It’s not just Texas and Mississippi: Abortion access is in jeopardy across the Deep South

As all eyes turn to the landmark case before the Supreme Court, advocates in the South say they’ve been sounding the alarm on access for years.
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