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The REACH Healthcare Foundation was established to help all people in our communities achieve equitable health outcomes.
Our focus on health care coverage and access, and reducing health disparities across our service area, has included significant investments in maternal and prenatal care. This includes support to increase the capacity of community health clinics that provide reproductive health services and education, outreach and enrollment in Medicaid, CHIP, WIC, SNAP and other public programs that are proven to reduce maternal and infant mortality, as well as special initiatives to improve health care access to people experiencing geographic, socioeconomic, language and other barriers to care.
Given our focus on health, the Foundation’s leadership opposes public policies that limit or negatively impact access to medical treatment and procedures for any population group, as is proposed in the Kansas constitutional amendment that will be on the August 2, 2022, ballot. The Kansas Constitution currently protects a woman’s right to make personal health decisions, including all aspects of her reproductive health such as contraception, family planning and pregnancy termination. The Kansas Constitution currently values the rights of all persons to make decisions about what is best for their physical, mental and emotional health outcomes.
If adopted, the proposed amendment would restrict women’s rights to make personal health decisions regarding abortion procedures – with no consideration for the woman’s life, health, condition or circumstance.
Our experience at REACH tells us that women living in isolated communities, including rural areas far from health care specialists, and those with unforeseen life and health conditions, will be faced with the additional burden and health risks associated with not being able to safely receive expert medical guidance and assistance. Further, we know that restrictions on health care access nearly always disproportionately impact low-income populations and people of color.
The REACH Healthcare Foundation holds firm to its longstanding guiding principle that access to quality health care is a fundamental human right. Abortion rights and reproductive health, albeit complex and emotionally charged subjects, are no exception. Whether by choice or necessity, it is critical that any individual faced with time-critical decisions about their health has access to the care they need, without interference or delay. The ability of people to make personal health decisions without fear of reprisal and interference from the state is also essential to their mental health, autonomy and well-being.
The REACH Foundation stands firm in its support of maintaining the rights of women of all ages, who comprise half of the state’s population, to Kansas’s current constitutional protections to make their own reproductive health decisions.