The goal of the PATH4YOU program is to provide people throughout the state of Indiana with:
- High-quality (best of the best),
- non-coercive (no pressure, no judgment),
- patient-centered (focused on your needs and your values)
- comprehensive contraception access (ALL birth control options available to you, not just a select few)
- Educate people and clinicians – be a trusted source of information
- Empower people to make informed reproductive health decisions
- Foster mutual trust between clinicians & patients
- Respect patient autonomy, avoiding coercion
- Promote health equity & advocate for vulnerable people
- Increase access for all methods of contraception
Infant and maternal morbidity and mortality are especially poor in Indiana due to many factors. Both infant and maternal mortality disproportionately impact low-income women and women of color. Unintended pregnancies tend to have worse outcomes, including preterm birth, low birth weight, and infant death. Family planning and contraceptive care are an often-overlooked element of healthy pregnancy planning.
People need both the knowledge and empowerment to make informed reproductive decisions, so providers must ensure that patients receive comprehensive, evidence-based reproductive healthcare. The PATH4YOU Model is a three-tiered intervention that combines best practices in 1) universal pregnancy intention screening, 2) comprehensive contraceptive counseling and decision support, and 3) same-day contraceptive method access, including long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). To mitigate biased and coercive counseling and prescribing practices, we will work with providers and community partners to refine and provide patient-centered tools for pregnancy intention screening and contraceptive decision support. Therefore, we aim to help providers develop skills, capacity, and supply chain to provide same-day contraceptive access by training clinicians in quick-start protocols and implant and intrauterine device (IUD) insertions.
Our Commitment to Reproductive Justice
Structural racism, reproductive coercion, and social and financial disadvantage serve as challenges to developing responsible and responsive contraceptive programming that meets the needs of racially and financially marginalized communities. In recent years, zealous efforts to expand access to LARC have raised reproductive justice concerns that public health and policy strategies that ‘target’ minoritized and low-income women may result in coercive messaging and counseling practices that ‘push’ LARC onto these populations over other methods. To attend to these concerns, our project aims to utilize a reproductive justice framework and community engagement to develop noncoercive, comprehensive contraceptive access programming.
PATH4YOU will prioritize reproductive justice throughout this project in several ways. This includes presenting all contraceptive options, emphasizing shared decision-making, and creating and engaging a diverse community advisory board throughout the planning, implementation, and evaluation of our project. Mutual trust between clinicians and patients is especially important when discussing reproductive health. It is imperative that providers are aware of implicit biases and how to avoid coercive practices. Our approach will address these to help providers engage in shared decision-making and continue to be a trusted source of health care for their communities.
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