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IDPH Offering $2 Million in Training Grants to Improve Reproductive Health Services

Press Release - Wednesday, January 24, 2024

State Accepting Applications Until February 9 for Grant Funding to Increase Capacity to Provide Safe Access to Abortion and other Reproductive Care

CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced it is accepting applications until February 9 for $2 million in grants from qualified Illinois groups to provide training to improve access to safe, high-quality reproductive health care including abortions. The Abortion Provider Capacity Building Grant Program is open to local health departments and non-profit community agencies that have a track-record of providing reproductive health training and services.


The first-of-its-kind in Illinois, state-funded training effort follows the U.S. Supreme Court's 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that eliminated the constitutional right to abortion in the United States and allowed states to restrict access to abortion. While Illinois guarantees the right to an abortion under state law, many surrounding states have imposed restrictions on access to abortion. Although the number of abortions provided for Illinois women declined slightly in 2022, the number provided in Illinois for out-of-state residents increased 49%, according to IDPH data.


"Access to a safe abortion depends on the availability of trained providers," said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. "Illinois has seen an increased demand for abortion services in the wake of the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision. Under Governor JB Pritzker's leadership, the State of Illinois is committed to providing resources to improve training and mentorship so our health care providers can deliver Illinoisians and those who come to our state with a full range of reproductive health services." 


Governor Pritzker announced last year that the state of Illinois was taking a number of steps to improve access to abortion and other reproductive care in Illinois. This included the creation of the CARLA (Complex Abortion Regional Line for Access) hotline, a partnership involving state agencies, hospitals and the Chicago Abortion Fund. The hotline is designed to help patients with complex medical needs who need hospital-based services to navigate the universe of abortion providers and receive the appropriate level of care.


IDPH is also in the process of creating a Reproductive Health Public Navigation Hotline that will aid patients, regardless of complexity, including those travelling from out of state, in finding and navigating care.  The Public Navigation Hotline will route medically complex patients into the CARLA system and lower risk patients into the non-hospital network of care. 


The new program builds on these efforts and is designed to increase the number of providers trained to provide comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion services, by implementing a mentorship initiative through which clinicians can directly observe and learn from providers. It is also intended to provide a collaborative learning opportunity in which clinicians can learn how to safely prescribe medication abortion. The program also requires grantees to prioritize training that includes trauma informed and gender affirming service delivery, and a focus on addressing health equity.


The IDPH effort aligns with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' support for the expansion of abortion education and an increase in the number and types of trained abortion providers to ensure access to safe abortions.


The grant opportunity is being offered through IDPH's Office of Women's Health & Family Services. The application process is open to local health departments and community-based organizations with 501c3 non-profit status. Applications will be processed through IDPH's Electronic Grants Administration and Management System (EGrAMS) which is open to qualified groups.

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