Abortion training experts to launch California’s Reproductive Health Service Corps


December 5, 2023

Historic $18 million investment will diversify workforce and provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health training across disciplines

A consortium of leaders in sexual and reproductive health is launching California’s Reproductive Health Service Corps (RHSC), an unprecedented statewide initiative to improve access to abortion care and training and diversify the state’s reproductive health workforce.

Forty percent of California countieslack an abortion provider. Abortion providers are reporting steep increases in patients traveling from out of state where abortion is no longer available to them. Healthcare learners and providers are eager to help fill those gaps, but many healthcare professionals receive little to no education about their role or skills training in abortion care. 

A key component of the program is diversifying the workforce to reflect the racial, ethnic, linguistic, and economic diversity of communities across California. California’s RHSC program stands out from other state programs by offering full-spectrum reproductive health training to all members of the care team—registered nurses, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, physician’s assistants, licensed midwives, physicians, licensed vocational nurses, doulas, medical assistants, community health workers and paramedics will all be eligible. Over the next four years, the program will help fill provider gaps in underserved areas and provide funding and technical assistance to help clinics integrate services.

The consortium is coordinated by Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare (TEACH) and includes; TEACH; California State University East Bay, Department of Nursing; Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSRH); and University of California, San Francisco’s primary care advanced practice nursing specialties, Black Midwifery Fellowship, and Abortion Care Training Incubator for Outstanding Nurse Scholars (ACTIONS) program. 

The Reproductive Health Service Corps were created throughAB 1918, authored by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris and subsequently funded through Governor Newsom’s 2022 budget. The grant was awarded by the California Department of Health Care Access and Information. The bill was based on recommendations developed by the California Future of Abortion Councilto respond to drastic changes in the abortion access landscape. 

A website for prospective scholars will launch in spring 2024. 

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Assemblymember Cottie Petri-Norris, 73rd District

“This first-in-the-nation effort to recruit and train reproductive health workers will expand access to vital services for women across California. I am proud to have worked with such an extraordinary coalition of advocates and I am grateful for their tireless efforts to make this program a reality.”


Linda Franck, Abortion Care Training Incubator for Outstanding Nurse Scholars (ACTIONS)

“The Reproductive Health Service Corps is a visionary approach to expand access to abortion training for all health professions and addresses a major bottleneck to people accessing reproductive health care. We look forward to working with the consortium partners to show the impact of this vital work.”


Asmara Gebre, Black Midwifery Fellowship (BMF)

 “Each individual deserves access to midwifery-led sexual and reproductive health services. I'm appreciative of California's investment that allows for more people to have access to high quality and evidence based sexual and reproductive health care, education, and training. With the RHSC consortium's forthcoming four years of action, I have high hopes for getting closer to fulfilling Californian’s sexual and reproductive health needs and also inspiring future reproductive health care leaders in the state and beyond.”


Alicia Swartz, California State University, East Bay

“We are inspired to reimagine how nursing programs can teach sexual and reproductive healthcare in a way that is inclusive of abortion care, and integrates sexual and reproductive healthcare training across the lifespan.”


Lina Buffington, Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health 

“NSRH is excited to be a part of this historic opportunity and looks forward to working with experts across the disciplines to ensure that we are cultivating an Interdisciplinary Healthcare Team able to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare to communities throughout CA.”


Flor Hunt, Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Health Care (TEACH)

“TEACH is thrilled to lead this historic initiative, and to broaden our program’s reach to include advanced practice clinicians, new fellows, and underserved areas of the state where patients will be better served through the integration of abortion services into primary care.”


Contact: Rebecca Griffin, [email protected]