Every quarter, we like to give you a short update on the activities of the Reproductive Health Access Network, our community of reproductive health care primary care clinicians who work nationally and locally to integrate abortion, contraception, and miscarriage care into their primary care settings. Currently, there are 2,100 Network members who live and work in 46 states and Washington, D.C., Canada, and even 11 other countries! Family physicians make up about 65-70% of our Network constituency, with a growing number of internal medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants, adolescent pediatricians, and other specialties represented. Network members come together nationally and regionally at major conferences and also work on-the-ground in 21 states through our Cluster (chapter) structure.
Since our last update, the Georgia Cluster came together for the first time. We also launched a brand-new Cluster in New Mexico! As the Network expands, our Clusters have been able to mobilize in new and exciting ways, pushing their community-based work to new heights. For example, the NYC Cluster recently hosted a physician who has provided medication abortion in Africa to speak to a crowd of at least 50. In Washington state, Cluster leaders invited experts to speak about the potential effects of the Title X “gag rule” in the state. In Ohio, members came together for a happy hour discussion at the annual Ohio Academy of Family Physicians meeting, and in Massachusetts, Cluster leaders led a medication abortion clinical training. Up next is a meeting in Philadelphia, co-hosted with the Women’s Law Project, to discuss the judicial bypass process (and how to work through it) in Pennsylvania. Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, and Rhode Island are just a few of the other Clusters also planning meetings this fall.
Finally, one of our major ongoing efforts has been to mobilize our family physician Network members to become advocates and leaders within the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Over the past year, we have identified and are working with about 30 family physicians across our Cluster states (and beyond) who are stepping up to become leaders within the AAFP. These “AAFP Network Liaisons” have successfully given academic reproductive health-related talks, been elected to commissions at the state and national level, and authored at least eight resolutions related to the expansion and protection of reproductive health in family medicine. This fall, we’re sending a contingent of 25 family physicians to the AAFP’s national meeting in New Orleans, where they will present and testify in favor of six reproductive health-related resolutions, attend a leadership development training, and lead or assist with 15 clinical talks on reproductive health care. We are looking forward to yet another busy fall and conference season!
If you are a clinician and would like to join the Network, please sign up here. If you are a provider living in an area where we have a Cluster and would like to be connected, please email Laura Riker, Senior Program Manager, at email@example.com.