The ability to provide abortion care requires more than just being trained. RHAP also works with health centers and clinicians to help them navigate the logistical, bureaucratic, and legislative challenges that come with offering this care. We help them figure out how to schedule appointments, make sure their medical records are set up correctly, that their protocols are up to date, and most importantly, that their colleagues are on board. We offer clinical resources, answer questions, and even provide funding to order medication abortion and other start-up supplies.*
When health centers and clinicians overcome these challenges and provide abortion, patients are positively impacted. Here is what our Medical Director, Dr. Linda Prine, had to say about the importance of supporting primary care sites to provide abortion care.
“What really matters for providing safe abortion care is having a good relationship with our patients, and having a system in place for after-hour questions or problems. In addition, getting abortions in a continuity practice, like a family health center, contributes to de-stigmatizing and normalizing the process. When a patient’s own primary care clinician provides them with their abortion they are less likely to feel shamed. And when that clinician also provides their follow up contraception they are more likely to come back to the same clinician when they have side effects or need refills or have questions. In every other area of medicine, we have come to realize that continuity of care and clinician/patient relationships are the key to good medical care. Why would abortion care be any different?
In my practice, we offer many procedures that are also offered by specialists: mole removals, wart treatments, ingrown toenail removals, ear lobe repairs, IUD insertions, abortions, and so on. We do give our patients the option of having these procedures done elsewhere, by specialists. They almost always choose to stay with us, and often say, ‘I know and trust you. Why would I want to go somewhere else to see someone I don’t know?’”
RHAP is proud to support primary care clinicians and their health centers to provide abortion care in their communities. If you are a clinician looking to integrate abortion into your practice, let us know! We’d love to support you in integrating abortion care to your community.
*We do the same to support health centers to provide comprehensive early pregnancy loss care. Check out last month’s feature on how we supported Affinia Healthcare to integrate full-spectrum early pregnancy loss care into practice in St. Louis.