Planned Parenthood offers new services in Oklahoma

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Planned Parenthood Great Plains is recruiting in Oklahoma for its new Center for Abortion and Reproductive Equity (CARE), said Emily Wales, the organization’s new president and CEO. (Photo provided)

Planned Parenthood Great Plains is hiring in Oklahoma.

Nurses and other workers are encouraged to apply to the organization as it adjusts to continue providing reproductive health care services in the wake of Oklahoma’s abortion ban.

After nearly 85 years of providing services in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, Planned Parenthood Great Plains has launched a new initiative, the Center for Abortion and Reproductive Equity, or CARE, in response to the changing political environment.

“As the U.S. Supreme Court stands to uphold politicians’ attempts to roll back reproductive rights, we are building new pathways to equitable access to essential health care by launching CARE,” said Emily Wales, the new President and CEO of PPGP. Wales had been interim chairman and chief executive of PPGP since September 2021.

“CARE will connect patients to abortion services and other vital resources such as mental health services and support programs,” Wales said. “Our commitment is to shout loud and clear that our doors are open, and we affirm a higher standard of care for patients in every community we serve.”

PPGP has stopped providing abortions in Oklahoma, in accordance with new laws that criminalize abortions of conception and provide a $10,000 reward to anyone who successfully prosecutes someone who allegedly helps a woman have an abortion. Oklahoma’s abortion ban is expected to withstand legal challenges after a leaked document revealed the U.S. Supreme Court may soon strike down constitutional abortion protections recognized by the court’s 1973 ruling in Roe vs. Wade.

After Texas law banning abortions after six weeks took effect in September 2021, abortion clinics in Oklahoma saw a 2,500% increase in the number of patients in Texas. The CARE initiative grew out of the patient navigation program started by PPGP to help the thousands of women traveling from Texas to other states to get an abortion.

Now that Governor Kevin Stitt has signed several measures to ban nearly all abortions in Oklahoma, women in Texas and Oklahoma must travel even greater distances to get abortions.

Economically disadvantaged women, including those in rural areas and people of color, are disproportionately affected by the increased cost of travel to seek reproductive health care, Wales said. CARE works with patients who face barriers to abortion care, providing a network of services and resources for patients.

CARE will provide funding coordination, a referral network for therapists, an expert response team to address potential complications before or after care, and mental health support for people who have experienced trauma, mental stress and fear for themselves and their families for seeking an abortion.

CARE will maintain staff and partnerships throughout the PPGP coverage area, although the PPGP health center in Wichita, Kansas will serve as the main base of operations.

The organization’s website lists available positions in Lawton and Edmond seeking advanced practice clinicians (nurse practitioner or physician assistant), a reproductive health assistant administrative position in Oklahoma City, and many other openings in Kansas. , Missouri and Arkansas.

CARE Network participants are not subject to civil liability under Oklahoma’s new law that allows anyone who assists someone to obtain an abortion to be prosecuted, said Anamarie Rebori Simmons, director of communications and marketing for PPGP. Oklahoma law deals with abortions performed in the state, but CARE helps women who travel to other states for abortion care.

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