Admin Toolkit To Help Colleges Plan For Abortion Care Services

Photo: Getty Images

BOSTON (State House News Service) — Massachusetts' public colleges and universities need to submit a medication abortion readiness plan by next week, and Gov. Maura Healey released a new resource Wednesday to help college administrators make abortion care more accessible for students.

In July 2022, Massachusetts passed a law intended to protect reproductive and gender-affirming care, which required public higher education institutions to develop a plan to provide, or make referrals for, medication abortions, in consultation with the Department of Public Health. Those plans are due Nov. 30.

Under the law, some colleges and universities may directly provide the pills in campus health centers, and others will provide information and referrals to doctors. Requirements of a school to meet the law's mandate will vary depending on an assessment of their institutional capability, according to the administration.

Between 600 and 1,380 public college students in Massachusetts receive abortion care every year, but at least eight higher education schools in Massachusetts are located 15 miles or more away from an abortion clinic, a release from Healey's office said.

The governor announced Wednesday that she and Reproductive Equity Now Foundation launched the Medication Abortion Toolkit for Public Colleges and Universities to help them prepare the medication readiness plans.

Among the information included in the toolkit is advice on liability insurance, confidentiality, security concerns, administrative and clinical tools for clinicians, and a guide to establishing referral relationships with nearby or telehealth abortion providers.

"In Massachusetts, we know that access to reproductive health care options is critical for safe and informed decision making. Colleges and universities have a responsibility to ensure this access for their students, but they don’t have to go it alone," Healey said in a statement. "We’re grateful to the Legislature for taking action to expand access to reproductive care campuses, and we are proud to launch this collaboration with the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation to support colleges and universities through implementation."

Written by Sam Drysdale/SHNS

Follow WBZ NewsRadio: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iHeartmedia App | TikTok

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content