International Women’s Day. Celebrating Women. Equipping Providers

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Happy International Women’s Day! To all our sisters out there: you are the backbone of communities around the world. We will fight each and every day to ensure you have access to resources that honor your body autonomy. We see you! We celebrate you! We support you!

That’s why we’re ready to step up our game and embrace new strategies. HowToUse will always be here as a medical abortion resource designed by women for women, but we’re hungry for something bigger: systemic change. It’s time that HowToUse becomes a resource for providers as well.

Pharmacists. Doctors. Nurses. Midwives. These are the real gatekeepers that determine the type and quality of reproductive health care that women around the world can access. Providers are our most critical, valued allies in the fight for women’s body autonomy. HowToUse deeply respects our provider allies, and we want to help fully equip them for the work ahead.

Online Medical Abortion Course

On Monday March 5th, HowToUse launched our first online medical abortion coursedesigned specifically for pharmacist and pharmacy workers. The course is free and requires no membership or registration. And pharmacists are just the beginning. HowToUse is already planning to develop additional courses for medical students, nurse/midwives, and community health workers.

So why are our online safe abortion courses such a big deal? Why are we talking about them on International Women’s Day? Rather than give you just one reason why, we thought we’d give you five:

  1. Countries that criminalize the termination of a pregnancy often neglect to address abortion within national health curriculum. That means that a health care provider, like a medical student, can complete their entire training without ever once receiving formal instruction about safe abortion. Considering that the majority of unsafe abortions around the world actually occur in countries where abortion access is restricted, it’s essential that all health providers are equipped with safe abortion information.
  2. Online censorship is a serious threat to reproductive rights organizations. Just last month YouTube canceled channels for safe2choose, WomenOnWeb, and ComoHacerseUnAborto. All HowToUse courses are run through privately owned accounts and hosted on our website, helping to eliminate our dependency on third party channels.
  3. The internet has revolutionized how the globe communicates. Information is increasingly accessible to audiences around the world. Although HowToUse is working hard to connect women to local resources within their respective countries, we’re committed to leveraging the extensive reach of the internet to share our resources far and wide.
  4. HowToUse knows that information is only useful when it’s shared in a language you understand. That’s why we translate our site into 23 different languages. We already offer English and Spanish subtitles for our online course, and we’re working to introduce French, Portuguese, and Swahili in the next week.
  5. Resources designed for health providers do not just benefit providers; they benefit women, too. Now women who are considering a medical abortion can use our pharmacist course to learn what to expect before visiting the pharmacy. Equipped with this information, women are better positioned to ask questions, verify answers, and advocate for their needs.

HowToUse wants to celebrate this International Women’s Day through meaningful action. Join us in sharing our resources with pharmacists, pharmacy workers, and other health care providers around the world. Visit our site to learn more, or check out any of our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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