Conference Program

Fostering Resiliency Through Community

December 4 – 5, 2021

Important: All times are in Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Pre-Conference Events
Wednesday December 1
5:00 – 7:00pm Medical Students as Advocates for Reproductive Health: An Interactive Workshop (Limited enrollment, pre-registration required) Sarah Horvath, MD, MSHP, FACOG; Stephanie Lambert, MD; Jordan Fletcher, MD, MPH; Halina Yee, MD

This interactive advocacy workshop will start with a (very) brief history and overview of current abortion care restrictions in the United States. We will then learn the Spheres of Advocacy, which will help you find your advocacy niche – it’s not all lobbying and media! We will introduce a tool for effectively organizing your stories, facts, and talking points. Finally, we will break out into small groups where each of you will create your own effective tool for accomplishing your MSFC goals. (4 Breakout rooms – letter to faculty or administrator, letter to the editor or op-ed, invitation/call to action, an additional room to be added for any of the same topics if group size is too large).

Thursday December 2
5:00 – 7:00pm Curriculum Reform Workshop and Q&A Session (Limited enrollment, pre-registration required) MSFC with Jeff Koetje, MD; Deb Bartz, MD

It is unfortunately not uncommon for a medical school’s curricula to lack specific family planning content. MSFC chapters engage in reform efforts to add more content, edit the content in place, or remove inaccurate content from their school’s curricula. Whether you are interested in starting curriculum reform or overcoming obstacles in the process, this interactive session is for you! Learn from MSFC staff, curriculum experts, and fellow students on building a strategy, available tools, and trouble-shooting any challenges.

Thursday December 2
5:00 – 7:00pm Break the Silence: Reproductive and Sexual Health Stories Documentary Screening and Virtual Happy Hour Discussion Trailer

Synopsis: Using an inclusive and intersectional approach grounded in reproductive justice, Break the Silence refocuses attention onto the actual lived experiences of women. Cisgender and transgender women from a variety of racial and ethnic, age, sexual orientation, and class backgrounds candidly recount their histories with sexual education, early sexual experiences, abortion, birth control, masturbation, relationships, gender transition, menstruation, STIs, gynecological exams, sexual assault, pregnancy, pleasure, and much more. By connecting the dots between our personal sexual and reproductive experiences and the broader social structures they unfold within, Break the Silence challenges us to reconsider unexamined beliefs and catalyzes vital conversations about the kind of world we want to live in.

Conference Day 1 | Saturday December 4
10:00 – 11:00am
Keynote – From Reproductive Violence to Reproductive Justice – Dorothy E. Roberts with introduction from MSFC Executive Director Pamela Merritt

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty, published in 1997, documents a long history of regulation of Black women’s childbearing in the United States and explains its crucial importance to reproductive, gender, and racial politics. Today, these devaluing ideologies support an expanded criminalization of pregnancy that encompasses fetal protection laws, abortion bans, and carceral systems. At the same time, the rise of an exciting reproductive justice movement has provided a new framework for envisioning a more humane, free, and equitable society. In an era where reproductive freedom is increasingly under assault, it is crucial for medical students to understand the politics of reproductive violence and the potential for reproductive justice.

11:00 – 11:15am
Break
11:15am – 12:15pm
Concurrent Sessions
Abortion Techniques: A Hands-on Training (Limited enrollment, pre-registration required) Molly Findley, DO, MPH, MS; Christopher Cantwell, MD; Sharon Gerber, MD, MPH; Lesley Spencer, MD, CCFP, FRCP; Kelly Thibert, DO, MPH

Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is a safe and easy method of providing early surgical abortion. It is also used for miscarriage management, treatment of failed medical abortion, or endometrial biopsy. MVA provides a low-tech alternative to electric vacuum aspiration that is gentler, quieter and used throughout the world in low resource settings. The session provides a hands-on learning opportunity using papayas as a uterine model.

Exhibitor Panel

Hear from a panel of this year’s exhibitors as they share more about their organizations and missions. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to network and make meaningful connections to help guide you on your path to providing pro-choice reproductive healthcare and abortion services in the future.

Building Autonomy and Agency with Abortion Self-care in Humanitarian Settings Caroline Tatua, MD; Tamara Fetters, MPH

This panel presentation brings together three humanitarian and sexual and reproductive health experts to present lightning talks about their experiences with, thoughts on, and potential for abortion self-care in humanitarian settings. After setting the stage, your panel facilitators, Caroline Tatua (International Rescue Committee- Health Technical Advisor) and Tamara Fetters (Ipas lead for research in humanitarian settings) will then open up the conversation to panelists and attendees for a facilitated question and answer session.

Sexual and Reproductive Health of Trans and Nonbinary Folx Joshua St. Louis, MD, MPH, AAHIVS

Trans and nonbinary folx experience dramatic disparities in access to appropriate sexual and reproductive health. In this session, participants will review societal and institutional biases that prevent trans and nonbinary folx from receiving adequate healthcare services. Participants will then take a deep dive into reproductive health concerns that may be relevant to trans and nonbinary patients, including prevention of sexually transmitted infections (notably HIV) as well as contraception and management of unintended pregnancy.

Self-care as an Abortion Provider Martha Simmons, MD, FAAFP

Caring for one’s mental and physical health is an integral part of preventing burnout for medical students, residents and attendings. Abortion providers face some unique challenges in pursuing self-care strategies including protestors and restrictive state laws. This session will go beyond bubble baths and facials to focus on strategies for self-care as an abortion provider and is appropriate for all attendees.

12:15 – 12:45pm
Break
12:45 – 1:45pm
Concurrent Sessions
Contraception and IUD Placement (Limited enrollment, pre-registration required) Rachael Phelps, MD

Bayer cordially invites you to attend: A Virtual Peer to Peer IUD Educational Program. This program will review clinical information and placement steps for Mirena® (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52mg, Kyleena® (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 19.5mg, and Skyla® (Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 13.5mg and is intended for US participants. Educational kits with materials that can be used during the program will be mailed to enrolled participants.

Abortion Training in Residency Panel Jessica Beaman, MD, MPH; Anwar Jackson, MD; Atsuko Koyama, MD; Josh Yap, MD, MPH; Marji Gold, MD; Kristin Simonson, MA

The goal of this session is to provide information on abortion training available in residency, hear from a panel of physicians (ob-gyn, family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics) about their abortion training experiences and how they have influenced their post-residency practice. The session will end with a Q&A dialogue between panelists and attendees.

Ethical and Legislative Considerations of Permanent Contraception Andrea Henkel, MD

This session will discuss current trends in contraception use and family building goals in light of prior forced and coercive sterilization practices in the United States. Best practices for counseling and addressing regret will be demonstrated. We will review methods and timing of permanent contraceptive methods and evaluate the outcomes of those denied permanent contraception. As the largest barrier to provision of permanent contraception remains the federally mandated consent for sterilization for those with Medicaid insurance, we will examine patient-, physician-, and policy-level barriers and strategize improved systems to ensure equitable access to desired contraception.

Shame in the Provision of Reproductive Healthcare and Abortion Christine Henneberg, MD, MS

This interactive workshop will address sources and forms of shame in the patient-provider interaction. Through a short presentation, several written exercises, and exchange of ideas, we will explore how we interpret, absorb, and reflect our patient’s shame, and how shame in our own lives informs the work we do with our patients. Participants should bring paper and a pen (in addition to their screens) and be prepared for some short writing/note-taking exercises.

How We Heal: Combatting Systemic Racism in Medicine to Achieve Reproductive Justice Charisse Loder, MD

In this session, we will consider how the history of medicine is rooted in racist practices that continue to impact reproductive healthcare today. We will incorporate the viewpoints of reproductive healthcare professionals and/or advocates to consider how systemic racism impedes our achievement of reproductive justice. Finally, we will consider how to change healthcare delivery or join advocacy initiatives to combat racism.

1:45 – 2:00pm
Break
2:00 – 3:00pm
Concurrent Sessions
Provider Panel Christine Henneberg, MD, MS; Sarah Halleran, MD; Charisse Loder, MD; Martha Simmons, MD, FAAFP; Christopher Cantwell, MD

Join abortion providers as they share their stories in an informal dialogue. Hear why they chose to provide abortion as part of their practice; where they practice; what they find meaningful and rewarding about their work; what is challenging about their work; and if they have been harassed or targeted by anti-choice groups/individuals and how they deal with it.

Prenatal Diagnosis of Fetal Abnormalities and Abortion Stephen Chasen, MD

A significant proportion of abortions after the first-trimester are performed for fetal indications. Ongoing efforts to improve diagnosis of fetal structural and genetic abnormalities include achieving earlier detection with the goal of ensuring availability of abortion. This session will focus on conditions that can be diagnosed in utero, and will address the timing of prenatal diagnosis in the context of legal restrictions on abortion. Other areas of discussion will include specific fetal abnormalities that can complicate abortion, and the circumstances of third trimester abortion.

Abortion Access During the Covid Pandemic DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG

The session will help attendees understand the scope of unintended pregnancy in the U.S, summarize targeted restrictions for abortion providers, and discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted access to abortion care.

Promoting the Reproductive Autonomy of Individuals with Disabilities Jordan Fletcher, MD, MPH; Halina Yee, MD

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are owed equitable access to reproductive and family planning services, yet this population experiences significant inequalities in contraceptive knowledge, contraceptive use, sexual/sexuality education and rates of sexual assault and sterilization. Acknowledging the diversity of individuals with physical, cognitive and sensory-related disabilities, this session aims to review the history of forced reproductive sterilization in the United States, summarize existing inequities to contraceptive access, comprehensive sexual education, and sterilization patterns, and discuss how we can combat historic discrimination and contemporary bias to provide conscientious care and prioritize patient autonomy.

Moving from Compassion Fatigue to Compassion Satisfaction Shireen Mansouri, MD, CCFP, FCFP

In this session we will review the scientific literature on compassion, as well as discuss why the term Compassion Fatigue is likely incorrect. We will then look at some of the barriers to compassion and then discuss ways to cultivate compassion satisfaction and resilience.

Conference Day 2 | Sunday December 5
10:00 – 11:30am
Closing Plenary Session – Supporting Self-Managed Abortion: Legal, Clinical, and Community Perspectives Rebecca Wang, JD; Lauren Paulk, JD; Suzanne Poppema, MD; Dhammika Perera, MBBS, MPH, FFPH, PhD; Susan Yanow, MSW

Join us for an interdisciplinary session discussing themes related to self-managed abortion in the US and internationally. Hear from our panelists as they discuss: the general legal landscape of self-managed abortion, telemedicine and youth access to abortion care; the historical perspective from US clinical studies and the need for self-managed abortion in the US; an international medical perspective of challenges to SRHR advocacy, an examination of what SRHR resilience means and where the world is moving to in abortion care access and contraception. Lastly, the panel will discuss the need to demystify, demedicalize, destigmatize and decriminalize self-managed abortion and how physicians and clinicians can support those who are self-managing abortions.

11:30 – 11:45am
Break
11:45am – 12:45pm
Concurrent Sessions
Contraception and IUD Placement (Limited enrollment, pre-registration required) Rachael Phelps, MD

Bayer cordially invites you to attend: A Virtual Peer to Peer IUD Educational Program. This program will review clinical information and placement steps for Mirena® (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52mg, Kyleena® (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 19.5mg, and Skyla® (Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 13.5mg and is intended for US participants. Educational kits with materials that can be used during the program will be mailed to enrolled participants.

Provider Panel Janet Jacobson, MD, MS; Keith Reisinger-Kindle, DO, MPH, MS; Maya Bass, MD, MA, FAAFP; Rachel Zigler, MD, MSCI; Erin King, MD

Join abortion providers as they share their stories in an informal dialogue. Hear why they chose to provide abortion as part of their practice; where they practice; what they find meaningful and rewarding about their work; what is challenging about their work; and if they have been harassed or targeted by anti-choice groups/individuals and how they deal with it.

Caesarean Scar Ectopics Grace Ferguson, MD, MPH

Cesarean scar ectopic pregnancies are increasing in prevalence and diagnosis and present a challenge for management. In this session, we will review the diagnosis, myriad of treatment options and ethical considerations around treatment.

Telemedicine Abortion, Our UK Experience Dhammika Perera, MBBS, MPH, FFPH, PhD

During this session, we will take a brief look at UK abortion law and its implementation prior to 2019, the changes that occurred in 2019, and how they paved the way for 2020. Hear how the pandemic heralded common sense to abortion care in the UK and learn about their 2020 and 2021 telemedicine experience.

Abortion Access Beyond Roe: Self-managed Abortion After Dobbs Rebecca Wang, JD; Lauren Paulk, JD

Roe ostensibly protects the abortion right, but it does not guarantee abortion access. With the Supreme Court poised to seriously erode abortion rights this term, how can providers be prepared to care for patients who have, or want to, self-manage their own abortion care? How can providers both uphold patient confidentiality and push back against the criminalization of pregnancy outcomes? If/When/How will provide information on self-managed abortion during COVID-19 and beyond, and help ensure providers are positioned to support their patients in exploring options, and ensuring quality care, all while understanding their legal obligations.

12:45 – 1:15pm
Break
1:15 – 2:15pm
Concurrent Sessions
Abortion Techniques: A Hands-on Training (Limited enrollment, pre-registration required) Grace Ferguson, MD, MPH; Jennifer Chin, MD; Amy Harrington, MD; Sarah Gutman, MD, MSPH; Keith Reisinger-Kindle, DO, MPH, MS

Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is a safe and easy method of providing early surgical abortion. It is also used for miscarriage management, treatment of failed medical abortion, or endometrial biopsy. MVA provides a low-tech alternative to electric vacuum aspiration that is gentler, quieter and used throughout the world in low resource settings. The session provides a hands-on learning opportunity using papayas as a uterine model.

Provider Panel Shireen Mansouri, MD; DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG; Stephen Chasen, MD; Sara Pentlicky, MD, MPH; Kavita Vinekar, MD, MPH

Join abortion providers as they share their stories in an informal dialogue. Hear why they chose to provide abortion as part of their practice; where they practice; what they find meaningful and rewarding about their work; what is challenging about their work; and if they have been harassed or targeted by anti-choice groups/individuals and how they deal with it.

The Myth of Unintended Pregnancy Marji Gold, MD; Casandra Cashman, MD; Rithi Mathias, MD

This session will include current evidence and case presentations to stimulate the participants to re-think the concern about “unintended pregnancy” among abortion providers, and to develop their language and practice behaviors to enhance patient care and their own learning. During the session, participants will review the evidence on “pregnancy ambivalence”, or the concept that people may have conflicting feelings about pregnancy. Participants will also be able to examine the problems associated with using the concept of “pregnancy intendedness”, where pregnancies are classified as intended or planned vs. unintended or unplanned. In small groups, participants will practice counseling strategies that acknowledge the ambivalence that may exist around pregnancy and that are respectful of patient values and autonomy.

First Trimester Bleeding Janet Jacobson, MD, MS

Bleeding in the first trimester is a common and concerning presentation. Pregnancy related complications that can cause bleeding in early pregnancy include miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and molar pregnancy. Approximately 1/3 of viable pregnancies will also have bleeding in the first trimester. A systematic approach to bleeding in the first trimester can help you and your patients manage this difficult clinical problem. This session will build a framework using common clinical tools to arrive at the diagnosis and provide appropriate counseling and treatment options to your patients.

Applying a Reproductive Justice Framework to Practice Maya Bass, MD, MA, FAAFP

This session will introduce students to the history of reproductive coercion and our role as providers to minimize coercion and retraumatization of our patients. We will use cases of patients from low access areas to dive into the foundation of Reproductive Justice.

2:15 – 2:30pm
Break
2:30 – 3:00pm
Closing Address MSFC Board President, Kalin Gregory-Davis
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