In an ever-changing world, and in spite of a global pandemic, one thing remains constant: people need access to abortion care. Over the last year, carafem persevered, adapted, and innovated to deliver high quality abortion care when people needed it most.
carafem saw remarkable growth in 2020, with a 50% increase in clients served over the prior year. This increase came primarily from clients seeking care online through our new telemedicine platform, the expansion of our Nashville health center to include in-office abortion procedures, and increased demand in our Chicago area health center for those using Illinois Medicaid as their payment source.
All carafem centers remained open during the COVID crisis to meet client needs in the many communities we serve. carafem’s unique model of care proved to be “pandemic proof,” as we see one client at a time ensuring the safety and privacy of one-on-one time with a provider, and limited contact with other clients during visits.
Much of 2020’s growth came from our virtual visit program. We provide private, convenient online medication abortion visits with a carafem clinician to our clients at home through a secure encrypted video conferencing platform. Over 900 discrete packages of medication abortion pills were shipped to carafem clients in Illinois, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia, and the District of Columbia just last year. The majority of these clients were served in the final quarter of 2020 during which time we had streamlined our service delivery to more effectively reach more clients, particularly in rural areas across the country, than ever before. In light of our success, we plan to expand this service to as many clients as we can across the country.
2020 also was a year where the world, including the field of reproductive health, has confronted issues of systematic racism. carafem has committed to ensuring we do not perpetuate the legacy of harm that has been part of the history of reproductive health. To that end, carafem has affirmed that Black Lives Matter and committed to fight for racial justice — we published a Black Lives Matter statement on June 5th, and convened an internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Team. We commit together to deep reflection and action to understand how we enact racism and to take deliberate steps to dismantle it.
The past year has been one of innovation in the face of adversity. Next year will be focused on using our insights and technological advancements to expand virtual care to as many states as possible to reinforce our mission; increase access to compassionate and convenient reproductive healthcare. We look forward to serving many more clients in the coming year. carafem’s success would not be possible without the enthusiastic work of the carafem team, donors, and volunteers. We thank you for your support.