While the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the subsequent Louisiana primer law criminalized nearly all abortion cases, Tulane University Campus Health remains a resource for students dealing with unplanned pregnancies.
Campus Health Staff Physician Dr. Emily Holt said student concerns are a top priority: Campus Health has hired a full-time OB / GYN nurse practitioner and will soon launch a health resource website reproductive.
“We are still spending a lot of time trying to find out what our students need,” Holt said. “What we have found so far is that many patients are interested in learning more about contraception and ways to prevent pregnancy, so we have started to enhance our information … We are also trying to put together resources to help students continue. to have access to abortions if that’s what they want ”.
As abortion laws across the country change, college students nationwide are increasing requests on access to reproductive health services. In Louisiana, everything three abortion clinics want relocate to other states, and to new state law prohibits the sending of abortion pills by post.
One way to prevent unwanted pregnancy is still legal in Louisiana: emergency contraception. According to Planned parenting, Plan B, a popular brand of emergency contraception, should be taken within three days of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.
Plan B is available for free at the Campus Health pharmacy. “No questions,” Holt said. “There is no need to use insurance, so Plan B is highly accessible on campus.”
Holt also said doctors will provide patients with Plan B for future use.
“I am always happy to prescribe it for patients who just want to have it for a just-in-case situation,” he said.
Plan B’s effectiveness begins to decline in patients weighing more than 165 pounds, but Holt said students can make a Campus Health appointment to get a prescription for Shea stronger form of emergency contraception that is effective in patients weighing up to 195 pounds.
If students have already reached the point of unwanted pregnancy, Holt said, they should come to Campus Health immediately.
“As soon as you get a positive pregnancy test, come to Campus Health,” Holt said. “We can confirm the test … and then we will provide what is called ‘all counseling options’.”
Counseling for all options is used by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to help patients with unplanned pregnancies make decisions. Such options include carrying out an unplanned pregnancy – keeping a baby or opting for adoption – or choosing to undergo an abortion, according to their website.
Holt said Campus Health uses all options counseling to have a “discussion of those options that is impartial, non-judgmental. [and] respectful of the patient’s personal circumstances “.
If the student decides to continue with the pregnancy and raise the baby, Campus Health will help the student find a local gynecologist. If the patient wants to consider adoption, Campus Health will help him find an appropriate case manager in Tulane. If the patient wishes to have an abortion, Campus Health will help him find a safe out of state abortion. According to Holt, even before Roe v. Wade was overturned, Campus Health was referring students to out-of-state abortion clinics because the few abortion clinics in Louisiana had such a large influx of patients.
“There are many factors in choosing an abortion clinic,” Holt said. “We can get information and resources for patients on how to navigate all of these resources when choosing an out-of-state abortion clinic.”
Louisiana right to life, a local anti-abortion organization, recommends pregnancy resource centers, adoption agencies, church ministries, and anti-abortion organizations as services for pregnant women to find support. Tulane University Right to Life declined to comment, citing the personal backlash their club members have faced on campus for voicing their views in the past.
Campus Health will also help abortion-seeking students with financial difficulties by connecting them to Tulane Case management and victim assistance services.
Holt said Campus Health is also compiling a resource website for students seeking abortions, but in the meantime, students should turn to the National Abortion Federation and the New Orleans Abortion Fund.