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October 2018

RHAP Welcomes Five New Members to Our Team!

RHAP’s team is the largest that it has ever been! We are excited to be joined by new team members who expand our capacity and perspectives within our Program, Development, and Operation departments.  Get to know our new RHAPers:

Jordan Silverman, Program Manager

 Jordan E. Silverman is a public health practitioner with a focus on sexuality, sexual, and reproductive health. She became interested in sexual and reproductive health working as a Volunteer Program Manager at the Planned Parenthood of Maryland. She deepened her experience and understanding of this work while getting her Master of Public Health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Jordan has focused her public health work on improving sexual health outcomes for adolescents and queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals through her programmatic work with GLSEN, the Ali Forney Center, and, most recently, the New York City Department of Education. She is passionate about expanding access to inclusive and affirming health services, and particularly sexual and reproductive healthcare, for all individuals. Jordan joined the Reproductive Health Access Project in August 2018.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy going to yoga, taking ceramics wheel classes, and traveling to natural environments as much as possible.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I have worked on several organic farms and almost pursued a career in farming!

What is one of your favorite reads on Reproductive Justice/Reproductive Health/Reproductive Rights?

In grad school I was introduced to the intersection of environmental justice work with reproductive justice, and I really appreciated being provided a holistic lens that allows us to examine the full experience of a person and how that impacted sexual and reproductive health.  I was particularly touched (and angered) by the experiences of individuals directly impacted by fracking.  Some of my favorite articles are “Fracking Women: A Feminist Critical Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing in Pennsylvania” by Kristen Abatsis McHenry and “Environmental Toxins Threaten Reproductive Health and Justice” by Sara Alcid and Ansje Miller 

Nushin Bhimani, Development Officer

Nushin started her fundraising career and developed a strong interest in reproductive justice while she worked at NARAL Pro Choice America in Washington, DC. She previously worked in development at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta. She is very passionate about finding ways to connect donors and the community to the reproductive justice movement while raising funds to support programs that provide access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Georgia State University and a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University. Nushin joined the Reproductive Health Access Project in September 2018.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy working out! Kickboxing, running, hiking, High-Intensity Interval Training, and weight lifting are some of my favorites.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

 I used to be in a rock band in high school.

What is one of your favorite reads on Reproductive Justice/Reproductive Health/Reproductive Rights?

 Reproductive Justice: A New Vision for the 21st Century by Loretta Ross

Silpa Srinivasulu, Program Manager, Family Planning Services at The Institute for Family Health

Silpa Srinivasulu, MPH works with the Institute for Family Health and RHAP as the Project Manager of Family Planning Services where she manages the Hands-on Reproductive Training (HaRT) Center, a project to increase the provision of comprehensive family planning services in primary care settings in New York City. She also works with RHAP to conduct research and evaluation on our DoulaCorps program, provision of abortion among family medicine providers, and training in medication abortion. Previously, she worked on a community-based participatory research project to research qualitatively the experiences of patients and primary care providers in asking and responding to pregnancy intention screening questions. She also served as a Community Health Specialist with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. In this role, she trained and supervised networks of community health promoters and peer health educators focused on providing primary care and sexual and reproductive health education to families, schools, and youth. She is deeply dedicated to reproductive justice and ensuring that all people have access to high-quality and dignified sexual and reproductive health education, services, and care. Silpa earned her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, at Columbia University, with a certificate in Public Health Research Methods. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Dancing salsa and bachata, riding horses, running in Central Park, and trying to be a better plant mom.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I have a second-degree black belt in karate! 

What is one of your favorite reads on Reproductive Justice/Reproductive Health/Reproductive Rights?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 

Kallie McLoughlin, Operations Associate

Kallie is a graduate of Clark University where she earned her B.A. in Political Science. Her passion for reproductive justice was sparked by her work at Clark’s student-run sexual health resource center where she volunteered as an educator for other students. During her time at Clark, Kallie interned with Planned Parenthood of New York City, ran the campus’ Bedsider chapter for Power to Decide, and completed a thesis comparing state sex education policies in the United States. Before joining the Reproductive Health Access Project full-time in August 2018, Kallie worked part-time as a Development Associate and, previously, Development Intern for the Reproductive Health Access Project.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy crossword puzzles and listening to podcasts.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I am fluent in Greek.

What is one of your favorite reads on Reproductive Justice/Reproductive Health/Reproductive Rights?

Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide by Andrea Lee Smith

Hailey Broughton-Jones, Program & Communications Associate

Hailey identifies her 2014 internship with the Reproductive Health Access Project as igniting her interest in reproductive health advocacy. She earned her B.A. in African American Studies from Wesleyan University. Hailey’s understanding of reproductive justice grew with her on campus organizing. At Wesleyan she helped organize the Black Student Union, volunteered for Clinic Escorts, a student group partnered with NARAL Pro-Choice CT, and completed an undergraduate thesis on Black southern networks that facilitated access to abortion care before and after Roe v. Wade. Hailey joined the Reproductive Health Access Project in August 2018. She is particularly committed to fostering coalitions within reproductive health, rights, and justice fields to address systematic reproductive oppression in marginalized communities.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Working out, going to the beach at all times of the year, and cooking meals with the friend-fam.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I can beatbox.

What is one of your favorite reads on Reproductive Justice/Reproductive Health/Reproductive Rights?

That’s a hard question! There are several good reads in the anthology, Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundation Theory, Practice, Critique. A few pieces that stand out to me from this collection are, “Beyond Pro-Choice versus Pro-Life: Women of Color and Reproductive Justice” by Andrea Smith and “Conceptualizing Reproductive Justice Theory: A Manifesto for Activism” by Loretta Ross.

October is Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month

About one in four pregnancies ends in pregnancy loss. For many people this can be an emotional process, and it is important that they receive care in a setting that is comfortable and safe. RHAP believes that everyone experiencing early pregnancy loss should be able to access high-quality, patient-centered care within their own communities, from their own clinicians. Too often, people experiencing an early pregnancy loss are sent to the emergency room for treatment, which can be frightening, costly, and traumatizing during this difficult time. With the right training and support, family physicians and other primary care providers can treat early pregnancy loss in their own clinic settings.

RHAP is committed to improving access to and understanding of all three forms of care for early pregnancy loss within primary care: expectant, medication management, and uterine aspiration. In June 2018, an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine revealed a more effective method of medication management for early pregnancy loss than the standard of care. The study results demonstrated that using mifepristone followed by misoprostol was more effective than using misoprostol alone. RHAP believes that all patients experiencing an early pregnancy loss deserve to be treated with the most up to date recommendations. Through our research, clinical resources, and the Miscarriage Care Initiative, we work closely with family physicians and other primary care providers to ensure that they have the tools and resources to offer the most up to date care to their patients. This fall, RHAP will be updating all of our materials to reflect this new protocol for medication management of early pregnancy loss, including creating a page on our website to support clinicians in adopting this new recommendation. Please keep your eye out for our new and updated resources on medication management of early pregnancy loss.

Focus on a Cluster: Pennsylvania

“ [Judicial bypass procedures are] based on unclear legal criteria which create the double standard of requiring young people seeking bypasses to be ‘mature’ enough before they may choose to have an abortion but not have a child.” [1]

What is a Judicial Bypass?

In states like Pennsylvania, young people under the age of 18 are not legally allowed to provide consent for their own abortion. In instances where young people cannot – or do not want to – involve their legal guardians in their decision to have an abortion, they can obtain court approval that allows them to sign the required papers for themselves. Generally, the young person must meet with a judge who determines whether they are “mature enough” to make this decision. In Pennsylvania, these private hearings take a matter of minutes and only very rarely are cases not approved. That said, obtaining a judicial bypass is still a burden for young people, and when combined with Pennsylvania’s mandatory 24-hour waiting period, creates a process that is difficult to navigate. However, in other parts of the country, this process is even more arduous. For more information on the national landscape of parental consent laws, check out Parental Involvement in Minors’ Abortions.

On September 13th, clinicians from the Reproductive Health Access Network’s Pennsylvania Cluster met with local advocates and lawyers to discuss the judicial bypass process for minors seeking abortions in Pennsylvania. The robust gathering, hosted by the Reproductive Health Access Network and the Women’s Law Project, provided a space to share frustrations and brainstorm collaborative methods to support young people seeking judicial bypass. The meeting started by walking attendees through the entire process, from when a patient enters the clinic, to connecting them with lawyers and finally obtaining a judge’s approval. [2]

The impetus for this event came from a frustrating experience one of the Cluster’s primary care providers had with a young patient who wanted confidential access to safe abortion care. In supporting her patient, the provider realized that she herself was unclear about the process. The Judicial Bypass process can vary by state, city, and judge rotation – often the process can be obscure for primary care clinicians who would like to share resources for their patients. One of the key obstacles attendees discussed is how young people are intimidated by idea of appearing in court. Even though these private judicial hearings are brief and usually casual, providing young patients accessible and accurate resources is essential to making the judicial bypass process as easy as possible. Organizations like the Women’s Law Project provide critical support for minors and their allies navigating the process. Ultimately, it takes a team of people (from primary care clinicians to lawyers to abortion funds to judges) that are ready and able to support young people to get the care they need.  

Policy Highlights

Providing abortion, contraception, and miscarriage care in the United States shouldn’t be political, but it is. More and more local, state, and national laws and policies are being proposed and passed that affect nearly every aspect of the work we do. While we are not a policy making organization, we do collaborate with other groups and organizations to support policy and advocacy initiatives that align with our mission. Starting this month, we will regularly share with you some of the ways we are working with others to support laws and policies that expand and protect access to reproductive health care.   

Wrote a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown supporting the passage of SB320, groundbreaking legislation that would require all student health centers at public universities in California to offer medication abortion. (Coalition partner: justCARE)

Submitted detailed comments to the New York State Department of Financial Services and the New York State Department of Health regarding two proposed regulations which would expand access to contraception. (Coalition partners: ACOG-District II, National Institutes for Reproductive Health, NYCLU, and Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts)

Signed on to No Cuts to Care coalition, supporting efforts in Oregon to prevent the passage of Measure 106, which would amend the state constitution to prohibit any spending of state funds on abortion care.

Signed on to a letter in opposition to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court that was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Coalition partner: NARAL Pro-Choice America)

Provided testimony to the New York City Council on September 20th in support of the Reproductive Health Act, state legislation what would update and enhance New York state’s abortion laws.

Co-hosted Bold Ignited!: NYC Won’t Hyde, on September 30 to mark 42 years since the passage of the Hyde Amendment, which bars Medicaid coverage of abortion. (Co-hosts include: National Institute for Reproductive Health, Lady Parts Justice, New York Abortion Access Fund, National Council of Jewish Women, and others)


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