The PRH Act
Our efforts to engage the medical community in patient-centered policy advocacy began with the Patients Reproductive Health Act (PRH Act). The PRH Act says you have the right to make your own reproductive healthcare decisions free from harassment, intimidation, political interference, or false information.
Introduced in Wisconsin in 2016 in partnership with the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, the PRH Act initiative is a multifaceted package of ideas and policies built on three foundational ideas:
When working on the PRH Act, our partners in Wisconsin found that it was especially helpful to create a fact sheet to give to legislators, constituents, and other stakeholders to ensure they understood all of the components of the Act.
Take a look at our Wisconsin fact sheet as a starting place if you’re working on proactive legislation using a medical framework.
When working on proactive legislation, its critical that all stakeholders understand how to talk about the legislation to others. To access the PRH Act Messaging Guidelines, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the password.
As you can see in the PRH Act Messaging Guidelines, break out your messaging for proactive legislation into a big picture soundbite, general talking points, and subject specific talking points.
Utilize their unique voices. Make sure that the work they are doing takes advantage of their medical expertise to use their time and skills most effectively. Give them opportunities to share experiences about their patients’ challenges and successes in accessing care, explain the medical benefits or harms of policy, and discuss what policy will do to their ability to care for their patients. Keep them focused on medicine, not politics.
Provide support and guidance. Health care providers are experts in medicine, but not legislative process. If you would like assistance in conducting an advocacy training for health care providers, contact Lauren Boc at email@example.com
Remember that health care is delivered in teams. In addition to physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, social workers, providers in training like medical students and nursing students are interested in prospective legislation and how it will affect their patients.
Recognize that providers’ schedules may be set far in advance. Make any requests for testimony or legislative visits as early as possible.
Consider incorporating health care providers into your advocacy work in a sustained way, such as on your board or through a medical advisory committee.
Physicians for Reproductive Health gratefully acknowledges the vision, leadership, and generosity of our Campaign Leadership Council, a dedicated group of individual supporters who worked tirelessly to raise support to create and promote the Patients Reproductive Health Act. Our gratitude also to two anonymous foundations as well as the Educational Foundation of America and the Mary Wohlford Foundation which gave vital support for this legislative initiative.
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