March 10th is National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, but RHAP is celebrating all month long! Join us in celebrating the resilience, compassion, and dedication to patient-centered care of abortion care clinicians. To our clinician community: We thank you, we value you, and we want to show our gratitude this Abortion Provider Appreciation Day!
This national day of action began in honor of Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider who was murdered in 1993 by an anti-abortion extremist. Three years later, the Abortion Care Network announced their campaign #CelebrateAbortionProviders, to honor his life, his work, and abortion providers across the country. Sprouting from a campaign and into a national holiday, Abortion Provider Appreciation Day has become an annual tradition of celebrating and appreciating abortion care providers through love notes, art, acts of kindness and support, and more!
We are thankful that abortion care providers all over the country continue to provide their patients with the care they need and deserve, even when faced with violence and threats against them, their families, their clinics, and their livelihoods. And that’s not to mention the aggressive, medically-necessary legislative limitations they contend with every day.
As an organization dedicated to expanding reproductive health access in every community, we understand that our work doesn’t stop at mobilizing primary care clinicians and integrating abortion care. At our core, we aim to center the experiences and needs of our clinicians, however that may look. For example, we host Healing Circles, RHAPpy hours, learning circles, and other national events that are aimed at community building, peer support, and emotional well-being. We create and foster spaces through our one-of-a-kind Network community and our Reproductive Health and Advocacy Fellowship. We’re fortunate to work with caring, dedicated, and passionate clinicians located all over the country.
This is just one day out of the year to pour on the gratitude, but it shouldn’t stop there. In honor of Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, all donations made to RHAP, now and through the end of March, will be in honor of our clinician leaders. For each donation made, we will send a postcard to a clinician Network leader or a RHAP fellow in a state of your choosing. You’ll also be able to personalize the note of gratitude. Celebrate Abortion Provider Appreciation with a donation to RHAP this month!
We know that with everything going on these days in the government, the media, the workplace, our personal lives, and more, keeping up on what’s happening in reproductive health, rights, and justice can be difficult. Check out a few major updates – and some easy, quick advocacy actions for you to take – below!
- Women’s Health Protection Act: On Monday, February 28th, the U.S. Senate made history when they voted on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). For the first time, Senators voted on federal legislation that protects access to abortion care across the country – a bill that is supported by a majority of voters in the United States. While WHPA did not receive the votes needed to overcome the filibuster this year, the fight is far from over – expect to see WHPA in Congress until it becomes law. Monday’s vote brings us one step closer to a future where everyone, everywhere has equal access to abortion care, regardless of who they are or where they live. This is why we must acknowledge the 46 Senators who supported WHPA, and the will of the people. Take a few moments to thank these Senators here: https://bit.ly/2PdwbzN
- During the 2022 State of the Union, President Biden, while not using the word “abortion,” stated, “The constitutional right affirmed by Roe v. Wade, standing precedent for half a century, is under attack as never before.” Read here about why advocates were hoping for more. While President Biden acknowledged the attacks on reproductive health care, we know that his administration must do more to take immediate action. If you are an abortion provider and/or you have had an abortion, please take a moment to sign onto this open letter to President Biden.
- March 1st marked six months since Texas SB 8 went into effect, a draconian six-week ban that has deprived many Texans of their fundamental right to abortion care and forced them to travel out of state to seek care. Recent data from Planned Parenthood shows that since SB-8, health centers in states surrounding Texas saw a nearly 800% increase in abortion patients from Texas, compared to the previous year. Not only does this place additional financial, physical, logistical, and emotional burdens on Texans seeking abortion care, but it creates further strain on abortion access in surrounding states. Even more devastating is that for many Texans – especially communities that already face systemic disparities to care – this care is entirely out of reach. Abortion funds and clinics across Texas continue to work tirelessly to get Texans care out of state. Please consider supporting these organizations doing critical on-the-ground work in Texas by donating here. To learn more about how Texans can access abortion services, visit needabortion.org.
- Finally, in late February President Biden announced that his nominee to fill Justice Stephen Breyer’s seat on the Supreme Court is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Judge Jackson, who currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, is the first Black woman to ever be nominated to the Supreme Court. She is a former public defender and has a history of ruling in favor of human rights, including reproductive rights. Judge Jackson’s nomination comes at a critical moment for civil rights and liberties, as anti-abortion and anti-trans politicians continue to pass restrictions on sexual and reproductive health care and gender-affirming care. Tell the Senate to confirm Judge Jackson here.
RHAP provides free, evidence-based clinical tools and patient education resources for clinicians and patients on abortion, contraception, and early pregnancy loss (miscarriage) care. These resources are provided in a variety of different languages, with more resources being continuously translated/updated. We field-test all of our new resources and new translations with clinicians and patients to make sure our resources are relatable, understandable, and useful to the community.
Our current focus is updating and translating our most utilized patient education resources and those that focus on self-managed care into Spanish, Hindi, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional. Some of our more recently updated resources include: The Shot (Depo Provera) User Guide, Depo-Provera Sub-Q User Guide, Copper IUD User Guide, Pill User Guide, Non-Prescription Birth Control Methods (Spanish), Birth Control Across the Gender Spectrum (Spanish), IUD Fact Sheet, and Progestin-Only Birth Control (Spanish). If you would like to learn more about our translation and field-testing process, take a look at our previous newsletter article.
RHAP is also always looking for potential field testers to review and provide feedback on our resources, especially new translations. If you are a Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, and/or Arabic reader/writer, please reach out to our Program Coordinator, Brandy Bautista (email@example.com) to be included. All field testers receive a $100 honorarium per resource for their time and effort.
Check out our resource library to view and download our resources for free, or visit our store to purchase physical copies for your patients and clinic. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to developing, updating, translating, and field testing our resources over the years. It is truly a community effort to build a resource library that is created by patients and clinicians for patients and clinicians.
RHAP’s Board is growing! We are excited to be joined by new leaders who are expanding our board’s skills, perspective, and ideas! Get to know our new RHAPers:
Sky Lee, MD AAHIVS (she/her)
Sky Lee is a board-certified Family and Addiction Medicine physician and certified by American Academy of HIV Medicine to provide HIV care. She has previously worked as a rural hospitalist, provided primary care in urban federally qualified health centers, taught the next generation of family medicine physicians at UC Davis and created protocols and given technical assistance for hospitals throughout California to improve access and care for people with substance use disorders with the California Bridge Program. As with addiction medicine, reproductive health including contraception, prenatal care, and abortion are within the scope of primary care. Reproductive health care can and should be provided by patients’ primary care providers. Dr. Lee’s primary interests are to improve care and access for vulnerable populations, to empower both patients and providers to be advocates for their communities, and to dismantle white supremacy within ourselves and in medicine.
Anna Lowell, DO, MPH (she/her)
Dr. Anna Lowell, DO, MPH is a Board-Certified family physician deeply committed to reproductive health and currently works in primary care as well as Planned Parenthood clinics throughout Florida. She chose family medicine as her career path because she can morph into a listener, observer, teacher, advocate, and ultimately healer all in a day’s work!
Dr. Lowell graduated from the Mount Sinai Downtown Residency in Urban Family Medicine in New York City and also completed a fellowship with the Physicians for Reproductive Health’s Leadership Training Academy. She has served as Co-Leader of RHAP’s Florida Cluster, Chair of Contraceptives Access Work Group with Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, member of FAFP Government Relations Committee, speaker for RHAP, MSFC, AMSA, AAFP, FMEC and STFM presentations, and mentor for AMSA’s Reproductive Health Project. Her special areas of interest include underserved medicine, integrative medicine, HIV primary care/HIV prevention, LGBQT+ care, adolescent health, global health, academic medicine, and integrating abortion care into primary care practice.
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