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Pritzker announces several reproductive care initiatives

Monday, Jul 31, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker today joined state leaders, healthcare providers, and advocates to announce several initiatives and programs targeted to lower barriers of access to reproductive care for families. These programs focus on navigating systems, reducing costs for patients, and supporting healthcare facilities, building on years of investment in and prioritization of reproductive care in the public health system.

“Unlike some other states, in the fourteen months since the Supreme Court made the archaic and destructive decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, Illinois has doubled down on our commitment to protect and expand reproductive rights for patients and providers alike,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This most recent batch of nation-leading policy expands access even further—because in the Land of Lincoln, we will not go backwards. Illinois will remain a safe haven for women — and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure widespread, equitable access to reproductive rights.”

“Illinois continues to lead in the fight to protect women and anyone seeking reproductive care. While others attempt to roll back rights and restrict bodily autonomy, our state is forging ahead to build the groundwork for comprehensive, accessible reproductive healthcare,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. “By addressing barriers to seeking an abortion and supporting providers who meet patients’ needs, these cross-agency initiatives demonstrate what it means to stand on the right side of history in the fight for reproductive justice.”

The initiatives announced today include:

Partnership between IHFS, IDPH, UIC, RUSH, and the Chicago Abortion Fund to create a hospital navigation program: CARLA (Complex Abortion Regional Line for Access), launching in August, is designed to give appropriate and expeditious treatment to patients who present for abortions at clinics who need a higher level of care than can be provided at the clinics. The nurse-staffed and specially trained hotline will aid patients with complex medical needs in scheduling appointments within hospital systems, acquiring required pre-operative testing, and arranging payment, transportation, and childcare for treatment.

Request for Proposals for a public facing hotline for abortion service navigation: IDPH received $10 million for this program in the FY2024 budget. The Reproductive Health Public Navigation Hotline will aid patients, including those travelling from out of state, in finding and navigating care. Illinois has seen a massive influx in patients travelling from out of state as other states in the region and beyond have passed increasingly restrictive anti-choice legislation, necessitating increased support for those navigating these systems.

Creation of a Family Planning Program for Medicaid: The program provides comprehensive coverage for family planning services for people otherwise not eligible for Medicaid based on income threshold. This plan raises the income eligibility above threshold for the regular Medicaid program and includes services such as an annual preventive exam, family planning counseling, all Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved methods of contraception, permanent methods of birth control (tubal ligation or vasectomy), and basic infertility counseling. Additional examples of services include cervical cancer screening and treatment, screening mammograms, breast cancer gene (BRCA) genetic counseling and testing as applicable, vaccines that support reproductive health, abortion care, and transportation for family planning visits. By leveraging federal Medicaid funds in addition to the Title X grant dollars, Illinois is making family planning services more affordable and accessible for residents across the state.

Capital Grant Program: The first-of-its-kind Illinois Reproductive Health Facilities Capital Grant Program will be administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and provides $5 million in capital funding through Rebuild Illinois to support reproductive health care providers in Illinois that are experiencing increased demand for their services. The capital grants fund improvements and repairs, new construction, security upgrades, and equipment to increase capacity and enhance safety, which includes the purchase of vehicles for mobile care units.

Authorization of reproductive health reimbursement for state employees who work out of state: Approximately 1,600 female state employees or dependents live out-of-state, including some in states where access to reproductive healthcare has been seriously restricted. The Travel Reimbursement Program, modeled after an existing state program for organ donation and adoption, will cover transportation and lodging for state employees who must travel to access safe and sufficient reproductive healthcare.

Discuss.

       

1 Comment
  1. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Jul 31, 23 @ 11:58 am:

    On the surface this isn’t a bad move, but do HFS and DHS have the appropriate level of staffing to adequately support this program?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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