The Reproductive Health Access Network has grown to include nearly 800 pro-choice primary care clinicians from across the country, many of who are working to advocate for changes both at the local and national levels. This month, we’d like to highlight the efforts of the Eastern Massachusetts Cluster in taking action for policy changes within their state through two separate advocacy efforts.
Family medicine and primary care clinicians from around the Boston area have been coming together to connect with peers, offer support to those integrating abortion into their practices, and take part in advocacy efforts as a Cluster since 2007. The Massachusetts Cluster of the Reproductive Health Access Network is currently led by Dr. Honor MacNaughton, a family physician in Cambridge, and coordinated by Susan Yanow, RHAP’s Network Organizer. It has become a strong community of clinicians from throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Most recently, the Cluster met in May for a productive and invigorating meeting that resulted in some exciting “next steps.”
Currently, the Cluster is engaged in two advocacy efforts to expand reproductive health services covered by Mass Health, the Massachusetts Medicaid program. The first is a multi-year project that resulted in Mass Health removing facility requirements that limited where abortion services could be provided. The Cluster is now working to push the Mass Health rate setting commission so that the new regulations can be fully implemented. The second effort, spearheaded by Dr. Julie Johnston, is the submission of a letter signed by physicians across the state urging Mass Health to cover the insertion of postpartum LARCs.