There is a lot at stake for reproductive health in 2016. In the spring the Supreme Court will hear two cases, Whole Women’s Health v. Cole and Zubik v. Burwell, the outcomes of which will either further limit or expand access to abortion and contraceptive care. And, this year’s presidential election will certainly boil down to two candidates who hold completely different positions on abortion and contraception.
In 2016 the Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) will leverage our networks, resources, and expertise to help ensure that everyone can safely access quality reproductive health care. Here are some of the areas we’ll be focusing on in the coming months.
Engaging in advocacy that supports access to reproductive health care. This year we will ramp up our participation in several coalitions that are proactively promoting federal legislation that expands access to reproductive health care. In March we are launching a voter education campaign to ensure that everyone can make informed decisions in the ballot box. We’ll be focusing our efforts on gathering clear, unbiased information on the candidates’ positions on reproductive health and developing a state-by-state guide to ballot initiatives that could impact reproductive health care access.
Making our patient education materials and clinical tools even more accessible. We want everyone, everywhere to be able to access our patient education materials so that people can make informed health care decisions. This year we’ll be releasing Chinese versions of all our patient education materials and, with funding from the Lalor Foundation, we will translate our materials into Korean, Vietnamese, and Hindi. We are also revising our process for developing patient education materials so that we fully comply with the International Patient Decision Aide Standards. This means that everyone can be sure that the information on our educational materials is rigorously researched and that the language and layout has been field-tested with clinicians and patients. Stay tuned!
Strengthening and expanding our most successful programs. In the summer of 2015, we launched an evaluation of our Reproductive Health Care and Advocacy Fellowship, this month we will start an evaluation our Miscarriage Care Initiative, and this spring we’ll evaluate our Hands-on Reproductive Health Training Center. The goal of each evaluation is to document the impact of each initiative, zero in on its strengths, and identify areas that can be improved. We’ll use this information to guide our expansion plans. One of our goals in 2016 is to expand our Fellowship program. We currently have four fellows each year: three in New York and one in Massachusetts. Building on what we learn from the evaluation, we hope to expand the fellowship in more areas across the country. More information on that to come!