Clinicians who provide abortion care often do not work in the areas where the need is greatest. This work can be difficult, no matter where you live. But it is hardest on those who live in areas where the laws aren’t supportive, where no one speaks about abortion openly, and where abortion is highly stigmatized.
While RHAP is committed to expanding access by integrating abortion into primary care, we also know that it is critical to maintain existing abortion services in clinics. That is why, in collaboration with ANSIRH, we launched the Physician Matching Project in 2011.
The project’s concept is simple: match experienced abortion-providing clinicians willing to travel to centers struggling to find doctors to provide abortion care.
Since launching the project in 2011, RHAP has systematically reached out to independent abortion facilities across the country to assess their need and willingness to participate in this project. At the same time, through our various networks, we have connected with family physicians and ob/gyns who have extensive abortion care experience to gauge their willingness to travel to provide care.
We have registered 45 clinics and more than 100 physicians with the Physician Matching Project! RHAP has made matches in Alabama, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.
The work doesn’t end there. It isn’t enough to match a trained clinician willing to travel to a clinic in need. The administrative and regulatory obstacles to employ a traveling clinician are seemingly endless and can take months to unravel. While the responsibility to sort these issues out ultimately lies with the clinic in need, we have learned a lot about the barriers physicians face getting licensed in some states (for example, Texas makes it very difficult and Mississippi makes it virtually impossible!). We are inspired by how hard clinics work to ensure that everyone in their state has access to abortion care and by the incredible commitment physicians demonstrate for providing this important care.