The Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) seeks to ensure that women and teens at every socioeconomic level can readily obtain birth control and abortion from their own primary care clinician. Through training, advocacy and mentoring programs, RHAP helps family physicians and other clinicians make birth control and abortion a part of routine medical care.
RHAP is guided by the principle that women of all socioeconomic levels have the right to access birth control and abortion services in safe, secure settings. We believe that reproductive health choices are highly individual and must be made by individual families in consultation with caregivers for whom women’s ability to meet their full potential is of paramount importance. We believe that these choices must be supported by health care policies that ensure women have fair and equal access to the means to control their reproductive futures.
The Reproductive Health Access Project:
- Promotes the safe integration of contraception and abortion into primary care
RHAP seeks a new approach to reproductive health care in which women may obtain the full range of contraceptive and pregnancy-termination options from their family healthcare providers. More than one-third of all women in the United States have an abortion at some point in their lives. Many would prefer to have this procedure with the doctor they know and trust, in a supportive, private, and easily accessible atmosphere. Through education and advocacy, RHAP enables healthcare professionals to provide these essential services to their patients.
- Promotes an evidence-based, woman-centered approach to reproductive health care
In the medical setting, many decisions regarding birth control and pregnancy termination are based on tradition or anecdote rather than science. RHAP is part of a growing movement to promote evidence-based practice as the best approach to patient care. RHAP’s family physicians present at medical conferences and produce materials, such as the monthly Contraceptive Pearls, that can be used by health care professionals anywhere to integrate evidence-based reproductive health care into their practices.
- Works to reverse the abortion-provider shortage
In the United States, 87% of counties have no abortion provider. Family physicians, most of whom work in medically underserved urban and rural communities, are the key to expanding women’s access to quality abortion care. Through the Family Medicine Reproductive Health Network, RHAP helps physicians overcome obstacles to integrating family-planning services into their medical practices. Those obstacles include; employers who are resistant to providing these services, unfair malpractice insurance policies, and insufficient funding.
- Improves medical education and expands access to reproductive care
The vast majority of medical schools do not mandate training in contraception and abortion. And a sizable number offer little training in comprehensive reproductive health care. RHAP’s physicians provide mentorship to medical students and residents who want to learn and provide reproductive health care. By establishing the Women’s Health Free Clinic, operated in conjunction with NYU Medical School students, RHAP is educating the next generation of clinicians and providing free care for those who need it. RHAP is also seeking to replicate this educational model across the country.
- Develops the next generation of clinician activists and leaders
RHAP partners with medical students and residents on research projects, clinical presentations, and advocacy projects. Through these collaborations, our trainees gain leadership skills and are prepared to advocate for better reproductive health education, training, and policies.
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