In late September, for the third year in a row, RHAP mobilized over 30 family physicians from across the country to advocate for abortion access at the American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) annual conference in Philadelphia. The AAFP is the country’s largest professional medical organization, and is considered the expert body for family medicine.
For the first time, our Network members authored and brought forth policy resolutions asking the AAFP to affirm its support for safe and legal abortion care. Our family doctors were trained and supported by our organizer extraordinaire Miriam Yeung on building allies within the AAFP. We’re delighted to report that thanks to the efforts of our amazing advocates, the Academy formally reaffirmed their support for Roe v. Wade, the privacy of the patient/clinician relationship, and family physicians performing first trimester abortions. They also reaffirmed their current policy protecting physicians from being criminalized for offering abortion care.
The week started with RHAP’s Medical Director Dr. Linda Prine leading a testimony training in preparation for the AAFP’s Congress of Delegates. As MedPage Today reports, “After hours of debating conflicting amendments and untangling parliamentary procedure, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Congress of Delegates approved a policy nominally backing family physicians trained in providing abortions.”
For the first time, RHAP tabled as an organization at the AAFP’s national conference, which connected us with new clinicians to draw into the Network. RHAP leaders also presented and helped organize several CME trainings, including the first talk on medication abortion ever given at the conference.
There is more work to be done, and we are already working to ensure that the AAFP follows through in speaking out for access to safe and legal abortion services, beyond the first trimester and beyond family medicine. However, this is an important step forward for the AAFP, and for primary care.
Our time in Philly reminded us of why we do what we do. We threw ourselves into the work of mobilizing and advocating for abortion access in primary care practice.
About 1 in 4 pregnancies end in early pregnancy loss, also known as miscarriage. When a pregnancy starts, cells divide fast to make an embryo, and sometimes errors occur. Your body notices this, and the pregnancy stops growing. It is almost never because of something you did.
At the Reproductive Health Access Project, we believe that everyone should have access to high-quality, patient centered care within their own communities. If you’re experiencing early pregnancy loss, what would that look like?
Research has shown that patients are more likely to receive the care they deserve if they engage with clinicians about the best treatment options. All too often, early pregnancy loss is treated in the ER, when in reality, your family doctor, or a primary care clinician can provide the care you need.
That’s why we’re committed to improving access to all forms of early pregnancy loss care within primary care. Evidence-based, dignified treatment for early pregnancy loss includes three options: expectant, medication management, and uterine aspiration.
Through our research, clinical resources, and the Miscarriage Care Initiative, we work closely with family physicians and other primary care clinicians to ensure that they have the tools and resources to offer all three options to their patients. Check out our resources on how to manage early pregnancy loss.
October 15 marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, and you can learn more here. We know that early pregnancy and infant loss can be a very difficult time, and there is support available. First Candle is a great resource for grieving families, and they have a toll-free 24/7 hotline for anyone to call: 1-800-221-7437
Join us in our efforts to educate and destigmatize early pregnancy loss — sign up for our mailing list to receive the latest info on our work.
Lola Lorber hosted an outrageously successful dance party fundraiser for RHAP! She invited DJs and hosted us at Brooklyn’s Starr Bar for a night of fun and funds for reproductive health care access. She helped raise over $1,100 in just one night!
All proceeds will allow us to continue training, supporting, and mobilizing primary care clinicians to bring reproductive health care into their practice. Thank you Lola for helping us fund our mission!
Would you also like to take action and support our work today?
You can start your own fundraiser for RHAP! Use your creativity and passion to take an active role by fundraising and spreading awareness for access to reproductive health care.
If you’d like to fundraise in your community click here to start with our newly launched DIY fundraiser kit!
If you would like to host a fundraiser, dance party, or have other creative ideas, contact our Development Officer at email@example.com.
If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow @reproductiveaccess to get the latest updates on how we’re bringing reproductive health care to primary care practices all over the country.
At RHAP, we’re trying out new ways and new platforms to reach our allies. Feel free to leave a comment or tag us if you have something to say, like how abortion is health care or how your primary care provider should be able to provide abortion care.
And if you’re a primary care clinician, you can share your story about how RHAP’s resources and tools have helped you incorporate reproductive health care into your practice. You can use the hashtag #reprohealthstories!
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