The weekend of April 8th the Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) attended and presented at the 35th annual Civil Liberties and Public Policy Conference (CLPP) hosted by Hampshire College. CLPP works to advance reproductive rights, engaging young people in activism through their student led conference, summer internship program, and leadership building projects.
This year, RHAP was invited to lead two presentations, Demystifying MVA Abortions: The Papaya Workshop and The Abortion Provider Training Challenge: The State of Abortion Training Today. As presenters at this conference, RHAP was able to reach a well-rounded audience of different age groups and levels if involvement.
The Papaya Workshop drew a young crowd excited to learn and breakdown the stigma attached to aspiration abortions. Using papayas as uterine models, they performed their own manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) abortion on a papaya. In addition to physically practicing the procedure, participants also learned the importance of patient-centered language. Now, with a more comprehensive understanding of the actual medical procedure, our participants will be better equipped to discuss aspiration abortions as advocates and activists!
The Abortion Provider Training Challenge Workshop drew a crowd of primary care clinicians eager to learn about the state of abortion training in the United States. Only 6% of family medicine residency programs and half of OB/GYN residency programs providing comprehensive training in abortion care—this has resulted in declining number of abortion providers nationwide. The RHAP team facilitated a great discussion about the current training environment and strategies for change used around the country – especially as related to engaging advanced practice clinicians as abortion providers.
In addition to presenting at CLPP, RHAP staff and interns attended a variety of workshops including Abortion Access In Latin America, A Pocketbook Issue: Abortion Access is Economic Justice, and Expanding Healthcare Access for Trans People, and Abortion Access: Threats and Resistance Strategies. These trainings were both enriching and empowering, and created a space to think and talk about a diverse range topics within in our movement.
Spending the weekend with so many of our allies was so invigorating. We returned to New York City fired up and ready to continue our role in building this movement through our work of expanding access to reproductive health care services. We are so thankful to the CLPP team for organizing this amazing event—we are already looking forward to next year!
To Learn more about CLPP, visit their website at clpp.hampshire.edu