April 2022

Welcome to our New RHAP Store!

The Reproductive Health Access Store has been completely revamped with the help of WAKE (Women’s Alliance for Knowledge Exchange) and their Tech2Empower USA program! Tech2Empower USA connects leaders of social justice and women’s rights nonprofits from across the United States with dedicated, skilled Advisors from top companies who volunteer their time and talents to tackle challenges identified by the organizations as critical to their work. Through Tech2Empower, RHAP was able to partner with Uber Freight to work on revamping our store.

The store was last updated in 2013. As you can imagine, a few things have changed since then. With that in mind, the main goal of this project was to create a more attractive store, with an engaging and user-friendly experience. We wanted the store to better market our patient education resources and clinical tools so more clinicians and health centers could purchase and utilize these materials to improve their reproductive health care provision and counseling. And our Tech2Empower team helped us do all this and more!

One of the newest changes to the store is an improved mobile experience, letting you browse more easily from your smartphone. Other amazing new features include the option to search for resources via their topic/subject, like contraception, abortion, or early pregnancy loss. And, it’s now easier to explore the store and still be able to return to the store homepage or visit the main RHAP resource page.

We would like to thank Shradha Balakrishnan, Julie Bui, and Katie McDonald from Uber Freight, as well as WAKE, and Tech2Empower for helping us with this project. We truly could not have accomplished all of this without you. Thank you for dedicating your time, effort, and skills to this project. We are so excited for everyone to start using our brand new Reproductive Health Access Store. While you are browsing the store, if you notice anything about the store that could be further improved please don’t hesitate to email us at store@reproductiveaccess.org with your suggestions. Thank you.

By: Brandy Bautista (she/her), Program Coordinator


New Resource: “Elena’s Aspiration Abortion”

We are so proud to provide accessible, evidence-based, and free educational materials on abortion, contraception, and early pregnancy loss for patients and clinicians alike. With persistent and ongoing attacks to abortion access, we are working hard to update and provide relevant and person-centered abortion care resources to continue to dismantle stigma, debunk myths, and improve access. So we are thrilled to present our latest resource to the RHAP community – a mini comic book/zine called “Elena’s Aspiration Abortion.”

“Elena’s Aspiration Abortion” follows one person’s experience having a manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) abortion procedure after determining that an abortion was the best decision for themselves and their family. The zine brings to life our evidence-based resources through Elena’s story. We depict abortion options counseling, walk through the steps of an abortion procedure with consent and respect, offer what to expect after the procedure, and illustrate the possibility of early abortion care in primary care – with the same clinician who provides one’s usual health care.

Some may be unaware or misinformed about what an early abortion procedure entails. We hope this zine can convey that MVA is not only a safe, person-centered option, but that it is also possible to provide in a primary care setting. We hope by telling Elena’s story, we can combat the reproductive stigma that is so pervasive and harmful in our society.

We also recognize that providing abortion care in primary care is not a reality for all communities in our current climate, due to the onslaught of unjust, harmful, and medically-unnecessary abortion bans that disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, people striving to make end meet, those living in rural areas, and many others. For us, “Elena’s Aspiration Abortion” illustrates just one of the many different options for person-centered abortion care access that we are fighting to realize.

We invite you to read through the zine, print it out, share it around, and post it on social media (and tag @RHAP1/@reproductiveaccess so we can be part of the conversation!). We’d love to hear your thoughts about our newest resource, and how you plan to use Elena’s Aspiration Abortion. Contact us to share your thoughts and reactions at info@reproductiveaccess.org. And, we’d like to give a special THANK YOU to Ghazal Qadri, the incredible artist who brought our vision to life!

By: Silpa Srinivasulu (she/her), Director of Programs and Evaluation


Resource Highlight: Yoga for Abortion Providers

A yoga flow created by yoga instructor Ashley Flowers and Regional Clinical Network Leader Maya Bass.

Ashley Flowers is the owner of Ashley Flowers Yoga (https://ashleyflowersyoga.com/). Based in Portland, Maine, Ashley provides a range of indoor, outdoor, and virtual classes for beginners and seasoned practitioners. Prior to launching Ashley Flower Yoga, Ashley started her career in Environmental Education.

Maya Bass, MD, MA currently works as an Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director in the Department of Primary Care at Cooper University with an interest in resident and medical student education, reproductive health, underserved care, wellness, chronic pain, and addiction.  At RHAP, Dr. Bass is the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional Clinical Network Leader, supporting clinician activists in RHAP’s Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island Clusters.  

Yoga for Abortion Providers

How did you two meet?

Ashley Flowers: Maya and I met at least 17 years ago and became fast friends. We both share a love of folk music and I’m pretty sure we met for the first time at the Falcon Ridge Folk music festival in upstate New York, although we have both been attending that festival and the Philadelphia folk festival for most of our lives. We also share a deep love of hula hooping, being outside, and yoga! 

What sparked the creation of this resource?

Ashley Flowers: Maya shared with me that through her teaching she saw a need for abortion providers to work on a few areas of self-care in order to offer the best care to their patients and support their own health and well-being.  Maya highlighted that for clinicians who provide abortion care tension in the neck and back can be a challenge. We also focused on movement of the arms, hands, and shoulders as procedures require a degree of strength and flexibility. Providing abortion care in the current hostile environment is especially stressful. Creating a practice that centered relaxation was also important to us.

What was the collaborative process behind creating this guide?

Ashley Flowers: Maya is also trained as a yoga instructor and is a dedicated student of yoga which is what gave her the idea to offer a practice for abortion providers. Since I teach yoga full time, Maya reached out to me so we could work on this together– merging her knowledge of clinicians and patients in this context and my experience in using yoga to help students address specific physical, mental, and emotional needs.

Maya Bass: After connecting we ran through different poses that I had been using for my own areas of discomfort. Using zoom we played around with different postures and determined which would be the most beneficial and could still be practiced in any setting. We wanted to use poses that could still be practiced behind a desk while wearing scrubs, or in a hallway with no place to sit or lay down. 

What are your hopes for this resource?

Ashley Flowers: In its most historical sense, yoga is the art and science of getting to know yourself. When we use yogic practices to understand the strengths and limitations of our own bodies, it begins to uncover the inner wisdom and awareness that leads us into the healing practices that are best suited for the needs of individuals’ life.

I hope that this sequence can offer abortion providers a moment of respite to work on their physical and mental health. I think when we take care of ourselves, that puts us in the strongest position to take care of others. So ultimately, I hope that this practice creates healthy clinicians, and thus healthier patients. 

Maya Bass: I think there is an additional feeling of love and support that comes from something being made especially for you.  By making this flow specifically for the people working in this community we are sending them a little extra love and support. 

Anything else you would like to add?

Ashley Flowers: It was really special to be able to work with Maya in a professional setting. I have always known that Maya is an incredible human, but even after all this time, I continue to be inspired by the depth of the caring and compassion that she brings to her work!

Maya Bass: The creation of this flow was filled with love, collaboration, and a good amount of joy. We hope that all of that good energy translates well into this practice!


Have a Donor Advised Fund? Check out #HalfMyDAF

Did you know that there’s over $160 billion in Donor Advised Funds across the country? The #HalfMyDAF challenge aims to move that money to nonprofits by offering matching grants. If you are a DAF holder and make the commitment to spending down half of the money in your DAF by September 30, 2022, the grants you make are eligible for matches from #HalfMyDAF. Your Donor Advised Fund grant could go even further for the Reproductive Health Access Project. 

#HalfMyDAF will give dollar-for-dollar matching grants of up to $10,000 on June 24th and again on September 30th, 2022. There is also a chance for RHAP to receive a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $100,000. The more DAF donations RHAP receives, the higher the chance that we will receive a matching grant.

You can learn more about the #HalfMyDAF challenge at halfmydaf.com and access instructions on how to get started. Support RHAP today!

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