Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

Friends of Family Planning learned Wednesday evening, Dec. 28, 2022 of Gov. Charlie Baker’s ongoing support for abortion care in Massachusetts and we are thrilled to know that the Island’s sexual and reproductive health clinic, which we have helped to support since 1985 and is managed by Health Imperatives, is one of 11 sites receiving a share of $4.1 million dollars of state funding.

FOFP has been strongly advocating for abortion services on Martha’s Vineyard for several years. Like so many Americans, we believe that access to abortion services should be considered a basic health care right.

Thanks to our community partners and with the support of state Rep. Dylan Fernandes and state Sen. Julian Cyr we have taken a giant step forward. Thank you, Governor Baker and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders. You have all championed this crucial service which we will soon have on the Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Cape. Thank you for this marvelous New Year’s gift.

With the addition of medication abortion services to the already existing services provided at Health Imperatives, we have a strong foundation for family planning care on our Island, but there is still work to be done. Medication abortion differs from a surgical abortion and is increasingly common. A person takes two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, about 24 to 48 hours apart to complete the abortion. It can be done up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy. As of 2020, more than half of all abortions in the United States are medication abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

FOFP will continue our efforts to make all abortion services and access to sexual and reproductive healthcare available to all people on Martha’s Vineyard.

Join us in our mission as “we support compassionate, inclusive, life spectrum sexual health care for all people in our community.”

Terre D. Young

West Tisbury

The writer is president of Friends of Family Planning.