At the age of 19, I worked my first shift as a medical assistant at an abortion clinic in Maine. This experience inspired a graduate career in gender studies and public health, as well as a lifelong commitment to comprehensive and compassionate sexual health care, education, and justice.

After receiving my PhD in women’s studies and MPH in global health from Emory University, I completed one postdoctoral fellowship in HIV/AIDS and sexuality at Columbia University’s HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, then another in contraceptive technology at Princeton University’s Office of Population Research. 

Bucky Badger - Wikipedia

I am currently a Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I teach one of the largest course on women, gender, and health in the country (GWS 103) at the university. I am also affiliated with the Sociology, Center for Demography and Ecology, Population Health Sciences and La Follette School of Public Affairs departments. I recently completed two terms as a board member at the Guttmacher Institute, serve on the editorial board for The Journal of Sex Research, and just concluded my role as a member for the editorial advisory board for Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 

In addition to these roles, I have the privilege to serve as the Director for UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity (CORE). UW CORE is a research initiative focused on reproductive healthcare access and delivery, policy evaluation, and communication to address critical needs in reproductive health and healthcare in Wisconsin. We aim to produce community-based research around the topics of contraception and abortion access in Wisconsin and beyond. 

I grew up in beautiful Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and several of my family members still live nearby in Portland and on Peaks Island. A lifelong swimmer, I’ve swum with teams for 30-plus years in over seven states. I enjoy life in Madison with my sweetie, Bobby, and our nine year-old son, Atticus. 

Higgins (3)


Research Funders 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Turning Discovery into Health             Society of Family Planning    The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy Names... |  Newswire           WWNFF           American Association of University Women - Wikipedia