Here’s the need-to-know information about the abortion toolkit released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Reproductive Equity Now.
After the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a law requiring public colleges to develop medication abortion readiness plans for their student populations.
Now, this tool kit is available to institutions and the public to help develop these procedures.
According to the state, between 600 and 1,380 public college students in Massachusetts seek abortion care annually. The toolkit provides information regarding topics such as finding certified prescribers for medication abortion, how to follow informed consent and reporting requirements for the state, as well as how to start conversations on campus about the subject of medication abortions.
“Our hope is that university administrators will have the support, tools, and resources to implement medication abortion readiness plans and increase access to care for all of their students. Students deserve access to the health care they need, when, and where they need it,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, president of the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation, in a statement to the Boston Business Journal.
In addition, Massachusetts college students were interviewed during the process of creating this toolkit, according to the document. One of their recommendations included considering how universities might support students after their medication abortions. This after-care might include assignment extensions, food delivery, or assisting with transportation needs. Another recommendation included making counseling services, contraceptive access, and sexually transmitted infection testing more available to students.
“In Massachusetts, we know that access to reproductive health care options is critical for safe and informed decision making. Colleges and universities have a responsibility to ensure this access for their students, but they don’t have to go it alone. We’re grateful to the Legislature for taking action to expand access to reproductive care campuses, and we are proud to launch this collaboration with the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation to support colleges and universities through implementation,” Gov. Maura Healey said in a statement.
Public universities must submit their medication abortion readiness plans to the Department of Public Health by Nov. 30. The state will review the plans by Jan. 31.
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