230076 Putting reproductive justice into practice through workshops for paraprofessionals

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Kathryn Luchok, PhD , South Carolina Access Initiative, Columbia, SC
Linda Robinson, APRN-BC, MSN, FNP , South Carolina Access Initiative, Columbia, SC
Background: The South Carolina Access Initiative uses a multi-pronged approach to foster broad-based participation in a reproductive health justice movement through needs/strengths assessments, engagement, outreach, and education. Reproductive justice situates in women's contexts across race, age, class, and sexuality, recognizing their right to decide if, when, and under what conditions they will give birth, their right to options for preventing/ending pregnancies and their right to parent children in safe healthy environments.

Objective: We are putting into practice these ideals through workshops for paraprofessionals interested in increasing effectiveness around interconceptual care for their pregnant/parenting clients.

Methods: Workshops are formulated by discussions about current gaps/needs. Starting with the premise that sexuality is part of life; we normalize conversation about all options to empower women to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. Using up-beat and hands-on demonstrations we offer new ways of talking to clients about understanding their reproductive system, family planning, pregnancy options counseling, prevention of STI/HIV, and how to have client-focused positive communications. Each workshop includes dialogue and a call to action.

Results: The 12 workshops to date received glowing evaluations, with participants reporting they are armed with new tools to work with clients, and new information for themselves. “It changed my approach to home visitation…I have officially joined the women's health movement and want to be another Margaret Sangar.”

Conclusion: These workshops allow us to put into practice reproductive justice tenets and equip paraprofessionals to be on the forefront of bringing these tenets to life with their clients.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss how innovative workshops can be a vehicle for fostering reproductive justice among groups that are new to this paradigm. 2. Describe 3 effective tools used in workshops to reshape how participants interact with their clients.

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Women's Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of the South Carolina Access Initiative and hold a PhD in Health Education and Behavior. I have over 20 years of experience in research, teaching, and service related to women's health and reproductive health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.