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Nurses at the Forefront of Change:
Advancing Comprehensive, Compassionate Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare for All
Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health is now accepting presentation proposals for our 6th Annual Conference, Nurses at the Forefront of Change, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from October 26-28th, 2018!
Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health is now Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSRH)! We have recently expanded our mission to include nurses, nurse practitioners, and midwives who are students, faculty, clinicians and researchers. In order to realize our bold and ambitious new vision, we are inviting our network of nursing students, nurses and midwives to help us chart this vibrant future of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) for all. This requires that we be prepared to serve, not only as skilled providers, but also as agents of social change.
The 2018 NSRH Activist Conference will be a space where we can build community, incubate bold ideas, and learn innovative skills. We want to know, from you: What do we as nurses and midwives need to do to make compassionate, comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare available to all?
In addition to interactive sessions, we will hear from nurses on the ground about what they are facing in their nursing programs, in their advocacy work and at their clinics. We will learn about the latest studies and trauma-informed methods in SRH. We will listen and learn from nurses of color about what it means to incorporate Reproductive Justice into nursing. We will work together to advance a new role for nurses as leaders in SRH. We are a powerful and beloved community of care providers...it’s our time to shine!
Proposals should be for 90 minute presentations and include a title, paragraph summary, clearly stated objectives, target audience and desired materials/tech needed. We are looking for presentations that ideally include the following:
Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until August 3rd, 2018. Please email your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use ‘NSRH Conference Proposal’ in the Subject line and send all content as Word or PDF attachments, NOT in the body of the email.
Upon selection, presenters will be offered free conference registration. AV and technical support should be discussed with NSRH staff prior to October 1st, 2018. Additional financial support may be available and should be discussed with NSRH staff, as needed.
Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSRH) has joined with other organizations to oppose proposed changes to Title X that would severely decrease access to essential healthcare services. Following is the response signed on to by ACOG, AAP, ACNM, ACP, APAOG, NPWH, NSRH and SAHM:
America's Women's Health Providers Oppose Efforts to Exclude Qualified Providers from Federally-Funded Programs
May 23, 2018
Washington, D.C. -- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the Association for Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology (APAOG), the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH), Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSRH), and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) released the following statement in response to the Trump administration's proposed rule restricting qualified providers from federally-funded programs:
Organizations representing over 300,000 women and children's health providers oppose all efforts to exclude qualified women's health service providers and limit health care information through the Title X program.
Politicians have no role in picking and choosing among qualified providers. Title X is the only federal program exclusively dedicated to providing low-income and adolescent patients with access to essential family planning and preventive health services and information. Under this proposed rule, more than 40 percent of Title X patients are at risk of losing access to critical primary and preventive care services. Further, patients served by Title X will lose access to meaningful health information. The proposed rule dangerously intrudes on the patient-provider relationship.
Restricting access to care and information will increase rates of unplanned pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and undiagnosed medical conditions. It will reverse decades of progress that have brought our nation to a 30-year low for unplanned pregnancy and record low teen pregnancy rates. These public health victories are due in large part to the good work of the Title X program and qualified providers who offer high-quality patient care. The administration should advance policies that continue this positive trend, not undermine it.
Policy decisions about women's health must be firmly rooted in science, and increase access to safe, effective and timely care. Together we strongly urge the administration to put patients first and withdraw this proposed rule without delay. Our organizations will submit comments to further highlight the dangerous negative impact of women's health and the patient-provider relationship.
NSRH Comments on the Proposed Rule
As nurses, midwives, and providers of sexual and reproductive healthcare, we are concerned and emboldened by this administration's attempt to deny critical healthcare to patients. We know, firsthand, that access to information about healthcare is as important as access to care itself, and this rule serves to restrict us as providers from giving our patients needed healthcare information. Furthermore, restricting funding of essential services directly impacts working class people, denying them access to healthcare as their basic human right. We join our colleagues in calling for the withdrawal of this rule, while remaining committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare to all, regardless of economic status or identity.
You Will Be Able to Respond
The federal government will make a site available for public comments on the proposed rule. We will provide you with a link to the site as soon as it is up and running.
NSRH applauds the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ (ACNM) newly announced Position Statement “Midwives as Abortion Providers,” released the week after the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Report “The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States.”
The American College of Nurse Midwives represents Certified Midwives and Certified Nurse Midwives in the United States and their new Position Statement acknowledging, validating, and supporting “Midwives as Abortion Providers” and abortion as a vital component of sexual and reproductive healthcare is an important endorsement of the role of midwives in abortion care.
Continue reading Stephanie Tillman's comments on ACNM's Position Statement. Ms. Tillman, CNM, is Chair of the NSRH Board of Directors.
After a landmark study, a committee convened by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a comprehensive report, "The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States." The report unambiguously concludes that "legal abortions in the United States - whether by medications, aspiration, dilation and evacuation (D&E), or induction - are safe and effective."
"The report examines evidence related to safety and quality of abortion services by Advanced Practice Clinicians, including Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants, and unequivocally highlights the important role that these clinicians can and do play in abortion provision." Continue reading Stephanie Tillman's comments on the study. She includes links to the full report and other resources. Stephanie is Chair of the NSRH Board of Directors.
Since the report was released, new resources have become available:
Written by Katherine McMahon
The United States has incomparable rates of incarceration, and in 2015 there were 111,495 women in state and federal prisons. It is estimated that in 2005, 80% of incarcerated women were already mothers of young children. Many of the women who are incarcerated are young, have committed non-violent crimes and are first time offenders. There are a variety of factors that contribute to incarceration (race, economic injustice, unequal access to education and employment). Women can enter jail under a variety of circumstances, sometimes already mothers, often already pregnant, and sometimes unknowing of the fact that they are pregnant. In 2006 nearly 50% of all pregnancies were unplanned in the United States. Sometimes when a woman enters a correctional institution she is made aware of her pregnancy for the first time. The policy is for these women to be informed and have the full range of legally available options for continuing or terminating the pregnancy. Incarcerated women should have access to the same medical attention that a woman who is not incarcerated would have full access to.
However, this medical care for incarcerated women is circumstantial and can vary from state to state and even jail to jail. There are very few specifics provided for the prison system to follow under the law, leaving each system to make their own rules and regulations over what medical needs they will cover. Stories of inadequate care abound. Incarcerated women who have asked their guards for medical attention because they believe they are in labor have experienced unnecessary delays. Women give birth in their cells with no medical staff to assist in cases of emergencies with the mother or the child, and even when they have access to medical attention they are often still shackled.
The shackling of women during labor and delivery presents a significant danger to the safety and wellbeing of women and babies. Few states have laws banning the use of shackles during pregnancy, most states ignore the medical advice showing that shackles are unnecessary during labor. Obstetricians report being unable to find the guard to unlock shackles when an emergency cesarean section is needed, delaying emergency care. Women have filed complaints and publicized their stories about their long term health issues and injuries from being shackled during and after labor. Not to mention that this practice of shackling women while pregnant or in labor is demeaning and humiliating.
Pregnant women are entitled to proper medical care by competent medical professionals. Criminal justice reform is needed in order to have stronger federal regulations over what medical care is provided to incarcerated women and how it is provided. Incarcerated women need advocates who are not behind bars, nurses and doctors prepared to fight for proper medical care and criminal justice reform. For more information about pregnant women behind bars check out some of these resources:
Katherine McMahon is a third-year student at the University of Oregon in the School of Journalism and Communications. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Katherine has been involved in social justice since middle school. After working with organizations such as Legal Voice and Planned Parenthood, Katherine plans to pursue a career in journalistic social justice.
Graphic courtesy of Bitch Media.
This blog post was written by Vanessa Shields, who is a member of the Gulf Coast chapter of NSSRH.
I have worked with New Orleans Abortion Fund as an intake volunteer and clinic escort since 2014. The mission of the abortion fund is simple, we provide funding for abortions. Many of us are also clinic escorts at our local abortion clinic where we ensure people visiting the clinic are able to enter the health care facility free from harassment. As a nurse, this volunteer work has enhanced my understanding of the struggles and barriers faced by members of my community to manage family planning and fertility, as well as the health and well-being of their families. My experiences working with the abortion fund have also made me more cognizant of state legislation around restricting access to reproductive health care, much of it scientifically inaccurate and lacking evidenced-based medical input. This is particularly relevant in the Deep South, where legislative efforts to chip away Roe v. Wade are a persistent threat. I am undoubtedly a better patient advocate, and more motivated social justice activist, because of my work with the abortion fund.
I was honored to be published, in the national LGBT publication, The Advocate, last month, on why supporting abortion access is part of my Pride month. Pride, for me, means being an ally for people who have had abortions — because Pride is about celebrating all the ways we live, love, and build our chosen families. Read The Advocate Article!
Vanessa lives in New Orleans, LA with her partner, two perpetually sleepy rescue dogs, and a sassy cat. She graduated from the accelerated BSN at Louisiana State University in 2017 and has a MA in International Politics from the University of Bradford, UK. Vanessa is a nurse for people living with HIV in New Orleans.
Over the past couple of years, NSSRH has been committed to expanding our scope of work beyond “choice”. While abortion care will always remain at the core of the work we do, we are actively moving toward embracing and supporting the Reproductive Justice framework. We have put out an organizational intention statement, updated our mission and vision, and went through a formal name change process. Most recently we created a position statement and core messaging that incorporates who we are, what we do, and why we are needed. As always, we welcome your feedback and thank you for your continued support.
NSSRH is a national grassroots organization dedicated to providing nursing students with the education, tools, and resources necessary to become social change agents within the healthcare system as it relates to sexual and reproductive justice.
Catalyst for social change, advancing holistic health with compassion, dignity and justice. For nursing students, faculty, alumni and allies, NSSRH is a recognized leader in advancing holistic, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH), including abortion, with compassion, dignity and justice. For over a decade, NSSRH has cultivated a bold and growing national network of grassroots nursing student activists to ensure the full spectrum of SRH education is integrated in nursing school curricula. NSSRH provides nursing students with the education, training and tools so they can make a difference in their patients’ daily lives, especially among the most marginalized and underserved communities.
WHO WE ARE
WHAT WE DO
WHY WE’RE NEEDED/IMPACT
Thanks to ConwayStrategic for their partnership in messaging creation.
By Karmann Peters, NSSRH Executive Director
Last week the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives passed a health insurance plan that has been called “cruel” and “out of touch”, not to mention they get lifelong health insurance as members of Congress – which means they are unfortunately making misinformed and cruel decisions for the rest of us.
Time.com reports that there are at least 50 Health Issues That Count as Pre-Existing Conditions, including pregnancy. And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that although rape and sexual assault may not be on the list of pre-existing conditions, some survivors “could face higher costs” as well.
Many in Congress, and America at large, say that there is no war on women, but the House plan seems to paint an entirely different picture for many Americans including women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and those on the margins who may have multiple “conditions”. At a time when many are unsure of whether or not they will be able to access (or afford) family planning clinics for birth control, abortion care, etc., let alone the potential increases of current/future health insurance costs, the level of insolence and aggression coming from the Republicans in the House is quite astounding (…they had a “party” in the Rose Garden after passing the bill through the House to celebrate their victory, this after some of the most cold-hearted members didn’t think the original bill was “cruel enough” to poor and struggling Americans). This is unacceptable.
Do the members of Congress forget that we pay their salary? That we vote them into office and we can vote them out? It seems that they are actually very aware, as many have been ghosting the members of their own communities who voted for them and have slipped out of town hall meetings in order to avoid addressing community concerns. It is up to every one of us to hold them accountable for their actions. We must continue to advocate for the expansion of health insurance coverage, we must speak out in support of our patients and our clinics, and we must stand up together to say ENOUGH!
Sponsored by: Women’s March Sister Marches
Wow. Can you believe it’s been over three weeks since we marched five million strong on Jan. 21st? We didn’t stop there, though. Hundreds of thousands of us have gathered at over 4,750 community meetings, or Huddles, across the world to strengthen our local networks and nail down a plan to win back the world we want.
All of us, together, have built the Women’s March into a powerful global movement. Now, it’s time for us to mobilize and demand that our elected officials Hear Our Voice.
As the third action in our 100 Days campaign, we’re going to collectively generate a wave of thousands of grassroots-led protests, actions, and meetings directly engaging members of Congress when they’re back home for the President’s Day Week.
On Wednesday, February 15th at 7PM ET, a Tele-Town Hall will be held. You’ll hear directly from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, Leah Greenberg of Indivisible, leaders from United State of Women, and Women’s March co-chairs Bob Bland and Linda Sarsour, about how you can take local action to stand up and fight for equality, justice, and freedom.
Registration for participating in the Tele-Town Hall on February 15th is now closed. Check Back here for a livestream and recording of the call, and sign up to get involved with the Hear Our Voice Campaign.
Alexa and the rest of the Women’s March Network Support Team
Our grassroots army is over 5 million marchers strong. For me personally, knowing that we stand together has made me feel stronger, hopeful, and more energized. I hope that we won’t stop. We can’t stop.
On January 21, we launched the 10 actions in 100 days campaign. As a warmup, we sent thousands of postcards to our senators across the country. Now we have to build a network of activists that can handle everything that’s thrown at us — we’re in this for the long haul. So the next action is to get together with family, friends and neighbors in thousands of places around the world for a Huddle.
Get your friends, family and neighbors together and join or host a Huddle near you.
Huddles are meetings where we Marchers and others can get to know each other better, envision the country we want, and make plans on how to win it.
You don’t need to have ever done something like this before. We have a guide available and lots of resources to help you come up with an action plan.
Click here to find or host a Huddle near you!
Building this movement is going to take all of us, in our communities, banding together to build the world we want to see, and making sure the world hears our voice. Join us.
Yordanos and the Women’s March Team