Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health
Section Newsletter
Fall 2010

Message from the Chair

Section Chair Barbara Anderson, DrPH, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, 195 School Street, Hyden, KY 41749  Phone: (951) 742-8165,  E-mail: bandersoncnm@gmail.com

 

Strengthening the reproductive health workforce: An issue of social justice

 

Dear PRSH Section members,

 

Greetings to everyone in our Section and I hope you will be able to attend the 138th Annual Meeting Nov. 6-10 in Denver. The theme of the Annual Aeeting this year is Social Justice.

 

Strengthening the reproductive health workforce is a critical issue of social justice. Our Section has an opportunity to model this conference theme of social justice by reaching out and inspiring young professionals and students interested in careers in population, reproductive and sexual health. I encourage everyone to reach out to at least one young professional or student with a special welcome.

 

Of national and global concern is whether there will be enough young professionals to carry forth the public health agenda. To date, our nation has failed to prepare and employ adequate numbers of public health workers to keep pace with the growing health needs of our nation. Lacking adequate numbers, as well as sufficient numbers of faculty in universities, ensures that public health policy and program agendas will be undermined. Our encouragement and mentorship is an essential step in developing public health leadership. As we did last year, we will be offering a panel on Student Career Trajectories, providing young professionals and students with an opportunity to interface with professionals representing different career pathways in population, reproductive and sexual health. 

 

Our Program Chair and Section Chair-elect Henry Gabelnick will be reviewing the PRSH offerings at the Annual Meeting, but I would like, especially, to invite you to attend two PRSH functions:

 

1.     The PRSH business meeting on Sunday, Nov. 7 with a repeat of our popular “meet and greet” social hour planned by Leslie Kantor at a local restaurant within walking distance (see APHA program for sites).

 

2.    The Awards Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 8 where we will honor the recipients of our three prestigious awards:

·         The Carl S. Shultz Award for Lifetime Achievement

·         The Felicia Stewart Advocacy Award

·         The Outstanding Young Professional Award

 

At the Awards Ceremony, we will also be honoring the 10 recipients of the new PRSH Student Scholarship, awarding partial conference funding for 10 students in the Section. We will also be acknowledging those who have contributed so much to the PRSH Section planning and development this year, and introducing the newly elected team for 2010-2011. Following the Awards Ceremony, everyone is invited to continue the festivities at our annual reception, carefully planned by Susan Newcomer.

 

The booth will be staffed partially by our student scholarship recipients so please stop by and congratulate the winners, view our new PRSH brochure, or pick up a copy of the schedule of PRSH activities at APHA. If you would like to volunteer at the booth, this would be very welcome (contact Paul Whitaker at paulw@familyplanning.org).

 

Thank you to all who have served in our PRSH Section including the Section leadership, the Section and Governing Councilors, committee and Board representatives, and Task Force leaders. Your contributions are so numerous, making the Section function on an ongoing basis.

 

I look forward to meeting each of you at the Annual Meeting.

 

Barbara A. Anderson, DrPH, CNM, FACNM, FAAN

Chair, PRSH Section, APHA

 

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Action Board Report

Board Representative Lisa Maldonado, Reproductive Health Access Project, P.O. Box 21191, New York, NY 10025, E-mail: lisa@reproductiveaccess.org

Developing current, evidence-based public health policy is one of APHA’s core activities.  APHA members drive the policy process ,and this year our Section is engaged in full force.  Our Section submitted or co-sponsored three policies this year.   The two highlighted below will be voted on at the Governing Council meeting during upcoming APHA Annual Meeting in Denver.  We may re-submitting the third policy via the late-breaker process. 

 

·         Protecting Abortion Coverage in Health Reform (policy # A-4)  updates and makes permanent the interim policy on this topic that was adopted by the Governing Council at the 2009 Annual Meeting. Policy author Lois Uttley, MPP, acting on behalf of the PRSH Section, has added several APHA action steps, including: calling on the president and HHS to minimize the impact of the new health reform law’s abortion restrictions; urging governors and state legislatures to allow abortion coverage in state insurance exchanges; calling on insurers to offer abortion coverage in states where it is allowed; and urging Congress and the president to repeal the Hyde Amendment.   For more information about the policy, contact Lois Uttley at lois@mergerwatch.org

 

·         Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV among Performers in the Adult Film Industry  (policy # A-3) was proposed by our colleagues in the Occupation Health and Safety Section.  For more information contact Peter R. Kerndt, pkerndt@ph.lacounty.gov or Mary Miller, mary.miller@lni.wa.gov.

 

All proposed policies are posted on the APHA website at: 

http://www.apha.org/advocacy/policy/2010newproposedpolicies.htm


Section members are urged to voice support for these policies when they come up at the scheduled policy public hearings on the first day of the APHA Annual Meeting, Sunday, Nov. 7, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Check your program books for location of the public hearings within the Colorado Convention Center.

 

We also need folks to help us develop policies for 2010-2011.  We have identified two policies for development: a policy supporting Advanced Practice Clinicians as Abortion Providers and a policy against Federal Restrictions to Abortion Research.

 

To get involved, e-mail Lisa Maldonado, our Section’s representative to the Action Board: lisa@reproductiveaccess.org

Membership Committee Report

Co-Chairs Erica Fishman, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882, Phone: (651) 201-5899, E-mail: erica.fishman@state.mn.us and Chair Rebecka Lundgren, Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC, 20008 Phone: (202) 687-7968, E-mail: lundgrer@georgetown.edu


Our Section is an invaluable resource for information regarding population, family planning, reproductive and sexual health-related sessions.  It also provides an opportunity to meet informally with people who do similar work domestically and internationally. At the Annual Meeting, you are welcome to join us for Task Force meetings, business meetings, Section meetings and of course the social hour on Monday evening. If you are interested in becoming a part of the active leadership, please contact the chair or representative of the Task Force or committee you are interested in. Please stop by the Section booth in the exhibit hall to talk informally with a Section member. 


If you are a member of another Section, yet have an interest in our work and activities, we welcome you to consider adding our Section!  Anyone who is a member of APHA may choose to become a member of our Section.  APHA is offering an associate membership special where you can select up to two additional associate memberships for the price of $30.  Ordinarily you would have to purchase additional memberships a la carte at $20.  However, being sensitive to the economic realities we find ourselves in, APHA has elected to discount the price of two associate memberships by $10.

 

We continue to be very interested in finding creative ways to retain and increase our membership!  If you are interested in assisting us, please send an e-mail to Erica Fishman. 

Nominations Committee Report

Chair Rebecka Lundgren, Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC, 20008Phone: (202) 687-7968, E-mail: lundgrer@georgetown.edu

 

Each year our section has the pleasure of welcoming a new group of Section leaders. Thanks to all Section members who stood for election. It is a pleasure for me to announce the winners for the following positions: 

 

Chair-Elect

§  Andrzej Kulczycki, PhD, MSc, BA

Secretary-Elect

§  Trinity Zan, MA, BA

Section Councilors

§  Larisa Beckwith, MPH, PsyD, MA

§  Tracie Graham, MPH, BA

Governing Councilor

§  Daniel Grossman, MD

§  Farya Karim, MPH

 

We welcome this new group of PRSH Section leaders and look forward to working with you and current Section officers to help us advance our Section’s work. We want to thank all those who ran this year.

Thanks and congratulations to all!

Abortion Task Force Report

Co-Chairs Lisa Maldonado, Reproductive Health Access Project, P.O. Box 21191, New York, NY  10025  E-mail:   lisa@reproductiveaccess.org and Diana Romero, Urban Public Health Program, Hunter College, City University of New York, 425 E. 25th St, Box 807, Rm. 714 New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 481-5073, E-mail: diana.romero@hunter.cuny.edu


Access to safe and legal abortion is limited for women all over the world.  The Abortion Task Force recognizes that abortion is an important component of family planning.  We will only achieve reproductive justice when all women have access to all forms of birth control.


The Abortion Task Force is currently working on reframing abortion within a public health context, developing public health practice and policies that promote and preserve access to abortion and ensuring that APHA’s scientific program includes a focus on abortion public health practice, policy and research.

 

This year Task Force members reviewed all of our Section’s abortion-related abstracts and we are sponsoring a panel at the 2010 Annual Meeting on Abortion as a Social Justice Issue.  Abortion Access:  A Social Justice Issue (session # 3141.0, on Monday, Nov. 8 at 10:30). Our presenters are:

·         “Left without a choice”: Which women are most affected by abortion restrictions?  Amanda Jo Dennis, MBE and Kelly Blanchard, MS

·         Restoring public funding for abortion: A public health and social justice imperative.  Marlene Fried, Stephanie Poggi, Executive Director, NNAF and Lynn Jackson, PhD; Board President, NNAF

·         Framing access to abortion care as a health disparities issue.  Tracy Weitz, PhD, MPA, Christine E. Dehlendorf, MD and Deborah Karasek, MPH

·         Access to abortion for women stationed overseas in the US military.  Kathryn Grindlay, MSPH, Susan Yanow, MSW, Kelsey Otis, MA, Kinga Jelinska, MA, Rebecca Gomperts, MD, Kelly Blanchard, MS and Daniel Grossman, MD

The Abortion Task Force will be meeting during the APHA Annual Meeting.  Please join us:  Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010: 2:00 p.m., session # 247.0. 

We welcome new members.  Anyone interested, please reach out to Lisa Maldonado or Diana Romero or come to the Task Force meeting on Sunday, Nov. 7!

Management/Sustainability Task Force Report

Co-Chairs  Lisa A. Hare, JSI, 1616 North Fort Myer Drive, 11th Floor, Arlington, VA 22209  Phone: (703) 528-7474   E-mail: lhare@jsi.com and Erica Fishman, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882 Phone: (651) 201-5899 E Mail:  erica.fishman@state.mn.us

 

The Task Force serves as a means to increase communication on management and sustainability issues, with a particular focus on sharing experiences between those members working internationally and those working domestically.  This year we revised the listing in the “Call for Abstracts” to clarify our focus:  Program Sustainability, Finance, and Management.  At the Task Force Meeting at the upcoming Denver meeting we plan to have discussions in these areas.  If you have suggestions for specific topics please submit them to the co-chairs at any time. We hope that you can join us for the Task Force meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Please check your program for the room location.

 

For further information on the Management and Sustainability Task Force, please contact either of the Task Force co-chairs: Lisa A. Hare or Erica Fishman. 

Men and Reproductive Health Task Force Report

Chair: Paul G. Whittaker, Family Planning Council, 1700 Market Street, Suite 1700, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Phone: (215) 985-6769, E-mail: paulw@familyplanning.org

 

Ongoing research and programmatic efforts aim to expand male reproductive health services. One of our Section’s sessions at the Annual Meeting is on this topic – Men’s access to sexual and reproductive health services (#3237), Monday Nov. 8 at 12:30 p.m. A poster session on Male involvement (#3274) that same afternoon covers a broad range of issues and concerns.

 

Please join us to discuss these and other issues at the Men and Reproductive Health Task Force meeting at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, Nov. 7, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. We’ll also consider topics that could be promoted as session titles for the APHA 2011 meeting. We’ll be convening with the Sexuality Task Force.

Sexuality Task Force Report

Chair Jenny Higgins, Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University,  60 Haven Ave, B3 , New York, NY 10032 Phone: (212) 304-5766; E-Mail:  jh2527@columbia.edu

 

The Sexuality Task Force continues to sponsor, galvanize and highlight sexual health research, advocacy and programming.  We’re excited to convene again in November.  Even if you’ve never attended a Task Force meeting or panel, we encourage you to join us!  Task Force members represent a lively and committed group, and our business meetings tend to be excellent opportunities to share research highlights, learn about new funding possibilities, and meet new colleagues.  Students especially welcome.

 

Sexuality Conference Highlights

 

Here are some events to add to your conference itinerary:

 

Sexuality Task Force business meeting: Sunday, Nov. 7, 2-3:30 p.m. (session #248.0)

 

Section-wide meet-and-greet: Sunday, Nov. 7, 6-7:30 p.m., location TBA (session 297.0)

 

A sampling of conference panels and poster sessions with a particular focus on sexuality:

 

Monday, Nov. 8

 

3237.0 (Monday, 12:30-2 p.m.): Men’s Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

 

3238.0 (Monday, 12:30-2 p.m.): Adolescent Sex Education

 

3275.0 (Monday, 2:30-3:30 p.m.): Sexuality (poster session)

 

Tuesday, Nov. 9

 

4212.0 (Tuesday, 12:30-2 p.m.): Contextual Factors in Sexual Health

 

4213.0 (Tuesday, 12:30-2 pm): Early Sexual Experiences: Contexts and Impact

 

4308.0 (Tuesday, 8:30-4 p.m.): The Roles of Communication and Education in Sexual Health

 

4379.0 (Tuesday, 4:30-6 p.m.): Sexuality Health and Sexuality

 

Wednesday, Nov. 10

 

5073.0 (Wednesday, 8:30-10 a.m.): Sexual Risk in Adolescents

 

5075.0 (Wednesday, 8:30-10 a.m.): A Closer Look at the Genitals to Improve Sexual Health and Wellbeing

 

5127.0 (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.): Promoting Adolescent Sexual Health

 

See you in Denver,

Jenny Higgins

ih2527@columbia.edu

Other Committee and Task Force Information

Adolescent Health Task Force

Co-Chairs John Santelli, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Clinical Population & Family Health, Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 60 Haven Ave., B-2, New York, New York 10032,   Phone: (212) 304-5634,  Fax: (212) 305-7024,  E-mail: js2637@columbia.edu, Iris Meltzer, Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, One Perkins Square, Akron, OH 44308,  Phone: (330) 543-8914,  E-mail: imeltzer@chmca.org, and Susan Newcomer, DBSB/CPR/NICHD, 6100 Executive Blvd, Building 61E, Room 8B13, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, Phone: (301) 496-1174, E-mail: newcomes@mail.nih.gov  

 

Emerging Reproductive Technologies Task Force

Co-Chairs Susan Berke Fogel, Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research, 5521 Murietta Ave., Van Nuys, CA, 91401, E-mail: sbfogel@pacbell.net  and Judy Norsigian, Our Bodies Ourselves, 5 Upland Road #3, Cambridge, MA 02140, Phone: (617) 245-0200, E-mail: judy@bwhbc.org

On the Hill - International

Craig Lasher , Director of U.S. Government Relations , Population Action International, 1120 19th St, NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20036  clasher@popact.org

 

Much has transpired on Capitol Hill and in Washington since the last Section newsletter in May — principally action at the committee level on the foreign assistance appropriations bills that may result in significant funding increases for international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs and the possibility of important policy changes being achieved through legislation.

 

As the November congressional election approaches, forward progress on most issues is difficult to accomplish.  On Capitol Hill, declining Republican support continues to undermine the bipartisan cooperation that international FP/RH programs have historically enjoyed.  The political fallout from abortion debates in the domestic health care reform effort may limit the ability of the Democratic leadership in Congress to push forward on major policy, such as a permanent legislative repeal of the Global Gag Rule (GGR).  However, failure to enact a permanent GGR repeal may pave the way for FP/RH funding increases as was the case in last year’s appropriations process.

 

House Bill Proposes Remarkable Funding Increase, Disappoints on Policy Change

 

The House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee approved $735 million for bilateral and multilateral funding for FP/RH programs during their markup of the FY 2011 appropriations bill on June 30, a $20 million increase above the Ppesident’s budget request.

 

Any way you measure it, if enacted, the $735 million level proposed for FY 2011 would be a significant increase:

 

·         13 percent above the FY 2010 appropriated level of $648.5 million:

·         3 percent above the president’s FY 2011 budget request of $715.7 million; and

·         over the last three fiscal years, a $271 million — or 58 percent increase.

 

The $735 million includes $675 million for the bilateral FP/RH programs of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and $60 million for a U.S. contribution to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).  The $60 million proposed for UNFPA represents a $5 million increase above the current contribution and $10 million above the amount the president requested.

 

It is disappointing that the subcommittee did not include a permanent legislative repeal of the Global Gag Rule.  Ninety-one House members had signed a letter to Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) urging her to include the permanent repeal language in her subcommittee’s bill, including nine members of the Appropriations Committee.  In addition, more than 80 House members are cosponsoring a freestanding bill — the Global Democracy Promotion Act (H.R. 4879) — that would enact a permanent legislative ban as well.

 

The opening statements of Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX) help reveal some of the larger politics at play in the decision-making surrounding FP/RH funding and policy issues. 

 

 

Senate Committee Adopts Permanent Global Gag Rule Repeal

 

On July 29, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) successfully offered an amendment to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule during the Senate Appropriations Committee’s consideration of the bill that funds the State Department and U.S. foreign assistance programs (S. 3676).

 

The amendment prevailed on a vote of 19 to 11 with all committee Democrats, except Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), and two Republican women — Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) — supporting the amendment.  The other 10 Republicans on the committee opposed the Lautenberg amendment.  Joining Sen. Lautenberg in cosponsoring the anti-Gag Rule amendment were Sens. Collins, Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

 

Although President Obama has rescinded the Gag Rule, serious concerns remain about the prospect of a future president reinstating the policy. While family planning assistance can now be provided to the organiza­tions best situated to deliver services on the ground, the typical five-year term of U.S. government-funded projects extend past the next Presidential election — leaving organizations affected by the Gag Rule (and the communities they serve) potentially vulnerable to an immediate cut-off of funding.  It is this uncertainty that has led to reluctance on the part of some nongovernmental partners and U.S. government officials to enter into agreements with organizations that might be deemed ineligible for funding in the future.

 

The Lautenberg amendment would permanently repeal the GGR by prohibiting the president from refusing to fund foreign NGOs solely because they provide medical services, including counseling and referral for abortion, that are permitted in their country and are legal in the United States and from imposing free speech restrictions on foreign NGOs not imposed on U.S. organizations receiving U.S. foreign assistance.

 

On the funding front, the committee approved $700 million for bilateral and multilateral funding for FP/RH programs, including a $55 million U.S. contribution to UNFPA. The overall Senate committee-passed level is $35 million less than the amount approved by the House subcommittee in June and $16 million less than the president’s budget request.  Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that although the Senate number is less than the House level and the budget request, it is $51.5 million higher than current level. 

 

On UNFPA, the bill deletes the “dollar-for-dollar” withholding from the U.S. contribution of the amount UNFPA plans to spend in China but also retains the standard set of restrictions applied to UNFPA, including the Kemp-Kasten amendment and requirements for a segregated account for U.S. funds, none of which may be used in China or for abortion.  Since the draft House subcommittee bill has not been made public, it remains unclear whether any modification in the UNFPA restrictions was incorporated.

 

On the issue of recognizing linkages between demographic trends and environmental degradation, the Senate bill includes new statutory guidance to USAID to make FP/RH funds available to programs in areas where “population growth threatens biodiversity or adversely affects the capacity of inhabitants to adapt to the impacts of climate change, including declines in agricultural productivity and availability of water;”   According to informed sources, similar statutory language on population and climate change is also incorporated in the House subcommittee-adopted bill.

 

With regard to the Global Health Initiative — one of President Obama’s signature foreign assistance initiative — report language states the Senate committee’s support for the goals of the GHI to coordinate and enhance the U.S. Government’s response to global health challenges” (including FP/RH), but notes its concern that the “inter-agency cooperation and coordination needed to effectively implement this initiative does not yet exist.”  The report language also recommends only $100 million for the GHI Strategic Reserve Fund — half the amount requested by the President — to pilot health activities in the eight GHI Plus countries that have been named, perhaps signaling the expectation of the appropriators to be more closely consulted in the design and implementation of the GHI.

 

Finalizing the FY 2011 Appropriations Process

 

Most Washington observers expect that Congress will work to finalize the FY 2011 appropriations process sometime in December, during a lame duck session after the November election.  Assuming that political gridlock does not result in Congress resorting to a funding freeze under a long-term continuing resolution after a bitterly fought campaign, the final FP/RH funding level for FY 2011 should end up being between $700 million (Senate) and $735 million (House).  But as previously mentioned, even the lower Senate level would be over $50 million more than current spending.

 

The prospects for the Lautenberg amendment to permanently repeal the GGR remain uncertain as the companion House version of the State-foreign operations appropriations bill does not currently contain the provision and election year politics are likely to intrude into the final decision-making process.

What You Can Do

 

As a constituent, voter, and public health professional, your well-informed opinion on these vital programs has tremendous credibility and carries great weight with your Senators and Representative.  Educate yourself and your friends, families, and colleagues on the positions of your members of Congress.  Please let them know what you think about any or all or all of these policies.

On the Hill - Domestic

Laura Hessburg, Senior Health Policy Advisor, National Partnership for Women & Families, 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC 20009, Phone: (202) 238-4803, E-mail: lhessburg@nationalpartnership.org.

 

Health Care Reform Implementation Proceeds Full Speed Ahead

Sept. 23 marked the six month anniversary of the passage of historic health care reform legislation – now commonly referred to as the “Affordable Care Act” or ACA.  The following are select highlights of the highs and lows impacting reproductive health as reform implementation moves full speed ahead:

 

Affordable Access to Birth Control Services in Medicaid: Enactment of a provision to give states the option to move quickly and more easily to expand access to Medicaid family planning services for low-income women who would not otherwise be eligible was a landmark public health victory. The law allows state Medicaid programs to expand eligibility for family planning services up to the same eligibility level they use for pregnant women without going through the lengthy waiver process. It creates the potential to make giant strides in addressing the serious unmet need for contraceptive services while significantly reducing public health care costs. This provision, coupled with the general Medicaid expansion included in the health reform law, can be credited with having the most far-reaching potential for reducing the ranks of the uninsured and dramatically expanding access to primary health care services. On July 2, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a guidance letter to state Medicaid directors addressing implementation of this important provision. Public health advocates are urging states to seize this incredible opportunity to expand access to a comprehensive package of family planning services and encouraging adoption of the range of best practices developed by states through the research and demonstration waivers that have been operating over the past 15 years. In states that currently have family planning waivers, advocates are working to ensure a seamless transition from waivers to state plan amendments.

 

Coverage of No-Cost Preventive Health Services in Private Health Plans: ACA requires all new private insurance plans to cover a range of preventive health services - at no additional cost to the consumer.  Inclusion of this provision was a major achievement, but implementation will largely determine the breadth of the victory. The provision requires that four categories of preventive services be covered without cost-sharing: 1) United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations with an A or B rating; 2) immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; 3) preventive care and screening for children as recommended by existing HRSA guidelines; and 4) preventive care and screening for women as recommended by soon-to-be developed HRSA supported guidelines.

 

The interim final regulations issued in July largely enacted the requirements for the first three categories of preventive services and set a deadline of August 2011 for finalizing the requirements for the women’s preventive services that will be based on newly developed guidelines. The Institute of Medicine will convene a panel to assist HHS in specifying the requirements for the women’s preventive services that should be covered without cost-sharing. This provision, authored by Senator Mikulski (D-MD), is intended to improve affordable access to preventive health services that address women’s unique health care needs such as access to family planning services and counseling.

 

Prohibitions on Abortion Coverage:  Health care reform promises to greatly expand access to high quality, affordable health care services, including family planning services. Nonetheless, insertion of the egregious new abortion prohibition in the reform law dealt a devastating blow to abortion access and reproductive rights. The health care reform law prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. Private health plans in the health care exchange can offer plans that include abortion coverage; however, to ensure that federal funds are not used to pay for abortion care, the law included the unacceptable provision authored by Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE). The Nelson provision requires every enrollee in plans purchased through the exchange to make two separate premium payments – one for abortion care and one for everything else – and then requires health plans to create separate accounts for the payments they receive. The Obama administration clarified these requirements in an Executive Order issued on March 24, 2010.  As promised in the Executive Order, the Administration is expected to release guidelines in September to assist states in determining whether health plans in the exchanges are complying with the segregation of funds requirement. Public health advocates have called on Congress to repeal this harmful and unnecessary provision. Short of repeal, advocates are urging government officials to ensure that compliance with the requirement will not pose insurmountable administrative burdens for health plans.

 

Another strike against efforts to improve abortion access hit in July. The ACA establishes temporary insurance plans to ensure that individuals with pre-existing conditions who have been unable to get health insurance will have coverage. Although nothing in federal law, including ACA, required them to do so, the administration issued regulations prohibiting abortion coverage in these pre-existing medical condition plans (PCIPs or “high risk pools”). This means that women with chronic health conditions – who are more likely to have high-risk pregnancies – will not have access to care they need. Comments on these interim final regulations were due by mid-September, 2010.

 

Funding Available for Sex Education programs:   On July 30, 2010, HHS released Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for both the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) and the Title V Abstinence-only-until-marriage Program. PREP provides states with $55 million a year for five years for evidence-based teen pregnancy, STI and HIV prevention programs that will also address additional adulthood preparation subjects. The Title V abstinence-only program provides $50 million per year in funding to support abstinence-only-until-marriage programs--programs that extensive research has proven to be ineffective. There is no state matching funds requirement for the PREP program; Title V requires a state match of $3 to every $4 in federal funding. Both PREP and Title V were authorized and funded in ACA, and states had until August 30th to indicate their interest in applying but will have until December 10, 2010 to submit their application for the Title V abstinence-only program and until February 1, 2011 to submit their application for PREP. Advocates are urging states to reject the Title V funds and apply for PREP funding to support evidence-based comprehensive sex education programs that help young people gain the knowledge and skills they need to take personal responsibility for their reproductive and sexual health. 

 

Upcoming Vote on Repeal of Abortion Restriction Impacting Military Women

 

Current law bans the provision of almost all abortion services at U.S. military hospitals and medical facilities – even if a woman pays for the procedure with her own private funds. This is particularly burdensome on military women and families serving overseas, where the base hospital is their only access to safe health care facilities. In May 2010, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the FY 2011 Defense Authorization bill offered by Senator Burris (D-IL) that repeals the facilities ban. The full House already approved their version of the Defense Authorization bill, which maintains the restriction. Floor consideration in the Senate will take place in the fall where victory is possible – which means the real battle will take place in a House-Senate conference committee. The ban on privately funded abortion care compromises the health and safety of American servicewomen, spouses and dependents. Military women should be able to depend on their base hospitals for all of their health-care services and have access to the same range and quality of medical care available in the United States. The current policy discriminates against women and their families who have volunteered to serve their country and stands in stark contrast to the rights and freedoms members of the armed services are fighting to defend. 

 

FDA Approves New Option for Emergency Contraception

 

The FDA approved a new emergency contraceptive product - Ella (ulipristal acetate 30 mg) – on Aug. 13, 2010. Ella will be sold in the United States as a prescription emergency contraceptive product that can be used to prevent unintended pregnancy. It should be available for purchase before the end of 2010. This product is an important addition to a woman’s contraceptive options as it will be the first contraceptive product labeled for use as safe and effective for up to five days after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. 

2010 Annual Meeting Program Plans

Section Chair-Elect Henry Gabelnick , CONRAD, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 1911 Fort Myer Drive, Arlington, VA 22209 Phone: (703) 276-3904 E-mail: hgabelnick@verizon.net 

  

 

As our Annual Meeting grows nearer, the excitement grows. More than 1,000 cutting-edge scientific sessions will be presented by public health researchers, academicians, policy-makers and practitioners on the most current public health issues facing the nation today. This year’s theme of Social Justice is particularly relevant to so many aspects of the work reflected in the contributions of the members our Section.  We continue to be thankful for the outpouring of abstract submissions, the hard work of the reviewers and others who have volunteered their time to make an excellent program possible.

 

The Section activities will start off on Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. with the meetings of the Abortion, Adolescent Health, Reproductive Health and Sexuality Task Forces.  The Management and Sustainability Task Force will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m.  Please consider joining one or more of these Task Forces as they are instrumental in carrying forward the work of the Section.

 

A Business Meeting will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, followed by a Meet and Greet.  Your participation in these activities is also encouraged so that you can express your opinions about the activities of the Section as well as getting to see old friends and making new ones.

 

The oral and poster sessions running from Monday through Wednesday offer a wide variety of interesting and informative topics.  I hope that when you review the program you will find many “must-not-miss” abstracts.  A full list of sessions sponsored by our Section can be found by visiting the interactive Online Program. Our second Business Meeting will take place on Tuesday evening at 6:30, and I hope to hear from you in my capacity as the incoming chair about your reactions to the program and suggestions for new topics.

 

Looking forward to seeing you in Denver.

 

Henry Gabelnick

Chair-Elect

In Memoriam

A tribute to Dr. Henry P. David (1923-2009)

(photo credit:  Warren Martin Hern)

 

Henry was one of the best friends in my life.  He taught me a lot about being a caring friend and a thoughtful human being.   He was – and remains – one of the guiding lights of my life.   I miss him, and I will miss him always. 

                            Warren M. Hern

New Resources

Ipas is excited to share the following new resources for expanding access to safe abortion care:

 

Training materials:

·         Medical abortion study guide and training guide: Using medicines for first-trimester pregnancy termination, including a CD-ROM of training resources.

·         Uterine evacuation with manual vacuum aspiration (MVA): A training manual for conducting short courses

·         Providers as advocates for safe abortion care: A training manual

·         Abortion attitude transformation: A values clarification toolkit for global audiences

Medical abortion in early pregnancy: Information, education and communication (IEC) materials and job aids. This package contains model job aids for health-care providers – including counseling tools, method comparison cards, dosage card and gestational dating wheels – as well as text- and picture-based materials for women on the safe use of medical abortion, including how and when to take the drugs, what doses to take, what to expect and when to seek further care. To request a copy of the CD, which contains image files and a guide to adapting the materials, write to medicalabortion@ipas.org.

 

Safe abortion care toolkit, a CD designed to help health managers and providers plan and monitor the delivery of services most critical for reducing deaths and injuries from unsafe abortion.

 

Ipas University offers free, self-paced online courses on topics including uterine evacuation with Ipas MVA Plus, first-trimester medical abortion, what women need to know to successfully use medical abortion pills, and more. (www.IpasU.org)

 

Service Delivery Matters: Technical Updates on Comprehensive Abortion Care is a newly launched newsletter produced by Ipas.  This newsletter shares technical news and updates – including training and service delivery strategies and tools, clinical recommendations, programmatic interventions and research results – for health-care providers, trainers, administrators, technical specialists and others who can positively influence how comprehensive abortion care is delivered (twice yearly). You can contact the Service Delivery Matters team at servicedeliverymatters@ipas.org.

To get the latest news and resources, subscribe to Ipas’s electronic newsletters, including

Ipas News in Brief, Medical Abortion Matters, New Resources, Research at a Glance, and

Service Delivery Matters. (www.ipas.org/newsletters)

 

Several new resources are available from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Program.  A guide to coding for LARC methods (IUDs and the contraceptive implant) and a Billing Quiz are both available in pdf form, free of charge, on the ACOG website:

 

LARC Quick Coding Guide:  http://www.acog.org/departments/larc/LARCQuickCodingGuide.pdf

LARC Billing Quiz:  http://www.acog.org/departments/larc/LARCBillingQuiz.pdf

 

Laminated print copies of the Quick Coding Guide are also available.  In addition, an 11 x 17" LARC poster is available free of charge while supplies last.  To request copies of the laminated coding guide or poster, please email Rebecca Fried, LARC Program Assistant, at rfried@acog.org.  More information about the LARC Program can be found at www.acog.org/goto/larc

Call for Highlights from the 2010 Annual Meeting

Help keep your PRSH colleagues informed!  If you attend the 2010 Annual Meeting in Denver, we encourage you to send pictures of Section activities and/or write-ups on interesting research findings or new approaches to Danielle Suchdev.  We will share the best of these Annual Meeting highlights in the spring 2011 newsletter.

Section Website

Welcome to Marissa Rousselle who will take over the reins as our new Section Webmaster at this year’s Annual Meeting.  She is a recent MPH graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.  At UIC, she focused on issues pertaining to adolescent development with a focus on sexual and reproductive health.  Her master’s research is on the use of Social Networking Sites to communicate about Human Papillomavirus, which she will be presenting in Denver (view her abstract and roundtable meeting time).  Last year Marissa was a Student Fellow of the Maternal and Child Health Section, and she hopes to bring to PRSH her insights from serving on the MCH Communication Committee.

 

A tremendous thank you to Larry Finer who served our Section expertly in this capacity for many years.

 

You can visit our new website and learn more about the Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health Section.

http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/population/

Section Listserv

Get involved in the Section:  Sign Up for Section Listserv

Our Section has set up a Google Groups listserv.  This is a members only, private listserv.  By joining the listserv you will be able to communicate with other Section members and become involved in our Section's program, research, policy and advocacy activities.  Our goal is to use this listserv as the primary vehicle for communicating with Section members.

 

To join the listserv please follow this link: http://groups.google.com/group/apha-prsh?hl=en

or send an e-mail to this address:  prshapha@gmail.com requesting to be added.

Newsletter Submissions

Keep us posted!  Let us know about books or papers you have recently published, upcoming conferences you are involved in, or policy or program news that might be of interest to fellow Section members.  Please send all submissions by Friday, May 6, 2011 to:

Danielle B. Suchdev, MPH

Division of Reproductive Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Doj8@cdc.gov