Minnesota is a state with the potential to address a core inequity in access to reproductive health care – cost. In 2022, NIRH is supporting Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a non-profit organization committed to providing holistic reproductive care for its patients, to educate legislators on the implications of low Medicaid reimbursement rates on abortion provision in Minnesota. The purpose of the initiative is to establish equitable reimbursement rates that allow providers to extend care into the second trimester while also remaining financially viable, providing access to underserved populations, with a direct impact on low-income people and people of color. In 2021, NIRH supported Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, and Whole Woman’s Health of the Twin Cities’ new clinic in Bloomington, Minnesota, as they engaged in multiple strategies to keep patients and providers safe, create a culture of respect and support for abortion access, and fight abortion stigma in the state. The collaboration between NIRH and WWHA will included pursuing policy change and efforts to build a sustainable community to support abortion access in Bloomington.
Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, working with their partners Gender Justice and Our Justice, laid the groundwork in 2022 for a campaign to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for abortion care and winning funding for abortion providers in the 2023 legislative session. This included critical work to demonstrate the significant disparity between costs for providing abortion care in the state with the current Medicaid reimbursement rates, and explaining how this disparity threatens the sustainability of independent abortion providers in the state at a time when it provides a crucial access point for abortion care in the Midwest. Whole Womans’ Health Alliance also worked with the state’s Reproductive Freedom Caucus, including hosting an Abortion 101 session for legislators.
In 2023, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance is seizing on the moment offered by a pro-choice trifecta in state government to push forward a range of proactive abortion policies, focusing their efforts on increased Medicaid reimbursement for abortion care. Whole Woman’s Health Alliance is also working to win municipal funding for abortion care. This partnership is a collaboration between NIRH and All* Above All.