Midwest Access Project

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Founded: 2007

Mission: The Midwest Access Project (MAP) envisions a society in which integrated, comprehensive reproductive health care is fully accessible to all. They exist to increase the provision of full-spectrum reproductive health care in the region, without barriers to access, through education and training of health care providers and the public.

Chicago, IL


Kristie Monast

Innovative Approach


As it stands, comprehensive reproductive health care is not available to everyone and not all providers or communities have adequate education about reproductive health.

Innovation / New Solution

MAP is collaborating with the Abortion Access Project to assess the training needs of family medicine residents in the Midwest and to increase the number of abortion providers in the region. Additionally, MAP provides program and community education as well as assists providers in finding training.


MAP is developing a library of evidence-based presentation and workshop materials for program and community education.


Expert Comments

  • As an inclusive reproductive health training site, the Midwest Access Project is one of the only organizations that will provide abortion training to clinicians that would be otherwise excluded from other training mechanisms.

  • They have created a regional training center to teach physicians how to do abortions, which is not reliably taught in residency training.

  • MAP is developing a novel approach to address a critical shortage of abortion training opportunities, rethinking both the structure and availability of training with a particular eye toward how training can result in more direct gains in access. Debbie Stulberg is a fantastic thinker, manager and collaborator, and she has great potential as a leader not just within her organization but also for the field.

  • The organization is trying to extend abortion services in Illinois and neighboring states by training physicians and providing technical support.

  • This small start-up provides abortion training in the Midwest. They develop very creative training models and work to fill a regional need. The leadership is very dedicated and knowledgeable.

From the Nonprofit

Dec 13, 2010
Reproductive health is fundamental to the well-being of all people. The Midwest Access Project (MAP) was founded by physicians and reproductive health advocates who observed that many of their patients and clients had difficulty accessing reproductive health services. At the same time, we encountered many local medical students, residents, and health care providers who wanted to offer these services but could not find the necessary training. Nationwide, the shortage of providers is one of the greatest barriers women face in accessing abortion and other reproductive health services. For example, in the U.S., approximately 87% of counties did not have an abortion provider in 2005. In the Midwest, the numbers are even more startling, where 94% of counties did not have an abortion provider.

Unfortunately, many medical schools, nursing schools and other training programs throughout the country do not provide adequate education in reproductive health. This can leave primary care physicians, nurses, and advance practice clinicians - who often serve as sole health care providers in underserved communities - without adequate reproductive health training. Students and practitioners in the field recognize the need for this type of training. A MAP survey of Family Medicine residents in Illinois revealed that while a majority desire training in reproductive health skills such as pregnancy options counseling, comprehensive contraceptive care, and early abortion, most residency programs do not offer such training. Likewise, training opportunities for clinicians already in the field do not exist in the Midwest, often requiring them to travel to the coasts to receive this type of training.

The Midwest Access Project aims to improve access to reproductive health care at the community level through our innovative model of educating health care providers and community health leaders. We provide individual clinician training as well as group lectures and workshops to diverse audiences. We also network with colleagues and advocate for change in the health professions so that future providers will be adequately trained to meet their patients’ full reproductive health needs.

Key Endorsements

  • Abortion Access Project
  • Abortion Provider Expansion Project
  • ACLU of Illinois Reproductive Rights Project
  • Chicago Foundation for Women
  • New Prospect Foundation
  • Fullen-Smith Foundation
  • The Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation
  • Medical Students for Choice
  • Reproductive Health Access Project
  • the Women's Justice Fun

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