Planned Parenthood offers new services in Oklahoma

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

Planned Parenthood Great Plains is hiring in Oklahoma.

Nurses and other workers are invited to apply with the organization as it adapts 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 shifting political environment.

“While the US Supreme Court is poised to validate politicians’ attempts to turn back the clock on reproductive rights, we are building new roads towards launching access to essential health care by CARE,” said Emily Wales, the newly named president and CEO of PPGP. Wales had served as interim president and CEO of PPGP since September 2021.

“CARE will link patients to abortion services and other vital resources such as mental health services and support programs,” Wales said. “Our commitment is to shout loudly 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 keeping with new laws that criminalize abortions from conception and provide a $10,000 award to anyone who successfully sues a person who may have helped a woman seeking an abortion. Oklahoma’s abortion ban is expected to withstand legal challenges after a leaked document revealed the US Supreme Court may soon overturn the constitutional protection for abortion recognized by the court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

After Texas’ law banning abortions after six weeks went into effect in September 2021, Oklahoma’s abortion clinics saw a 2,500% increase in patients from Texas. The CARE initiative grew out of the Patient Navigation program PPGP launched to assist the thousands of women traveling from Texas to other states to obtain an abortion.

Now that Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed several measures to ban almost all abortions in Oklahoma, women from Texas and Oklahoma must travel even farther distances to obtain an abortion.

Economically disadvantaged women, including those from rural areas and people of color, are affected disproportionately by the increased cost of travel in order to obtain 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, though PPGP’s Wichita, Kansas, health center will serve as its primary base of operations.

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

Those participating in the CARE network are not vulnerable to civil liability under Oklahoma’s new law that allows anyone to assist a person obtain an abortion to be sued, said Anmarie Rebori Simmons, director of communications and marketing for PPGP. Oklahoma’s law abortions performed in the state, but CARE is assisting women traveling to other states for abortion care.

.

Leave a Comment