Online Program

Political and Legal Barriers to Abortion Training and Care in the Midwest

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Lorie Chaiten, J.D., Reproductive Rights Project, Roger Baldwin Foundation of ACLU, Inc., Chicago, IL
The Midwest region is host to some of the most harmful legislative and policy-based barriers to providing and accessing reproductive health care, and in particular abortion. These restrictions include, among others, limits on the use of medication abortion, medically unnecessary clinic and administrative regulations, state-mandated lectures and forced ultrasound requirements, limits on insurance coverage for abortion, gestational bans and laws that allow health care providers to refuse to give their patients information and care because of the provider’s religious objections to doing so. Although Illinois is not a progressive state, and its government imposes a number of burdensome restrictions on reproductive health care – litigation, legislative and policy successes have served to limit some such restrictions and have created an environment with greater access to abortion care than elsewhere in the region. As a result, Illinois also presents increased opportunities to offer abortion training not offered in traditional medical training programs. In this presentation, I will describe the political and legal barriers to abortion access and training in Illinois and throughout the Midwest and set the stage for a presentation of the Midwest Access Project’s experience and strategies to overcome such barriers and the work of the Chicago Doula Circle. My presentation will focus on trends in legislative and policy restrictions in the Midwest region as well as specific opportunities and challenges in Illinois for increases in access to care and training for frontline providers.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the political and legal environment in the Midwest for purposes of understanding barriers to abortion access and training in the region.

Keyword(s): Abortion, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an attorney who has engaged in reproductive rights and justice advocacy for nearly 30 years, with a specific focus on Illinois and the Midwest. I am currently the Director of the Reproductive Rights Project for the ACLU of Illinois and am a lecturer in the law at the University of Chicago Law School on the topic or reproductive rights and justice.
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.