Over 70,000 reached

The Referrals Initiative has trained 1,159 sites through a total of 684 trainings, reaching 8,243 participants over the course of six program years. In 2018, Provide achieved its highest volume of trainings (259), sites trained (630), and participants trained (3,524) to date. The 3,524 professionals we trained in 2018 estimate that they see an average of 20 clients every year with unintended pregnancies. Approximately one-fifth of pregnancies in the United States currently end in abortion. This means that the providers we trained in 2018 have the potential to reach over 70,000 clients annually with improved options counseling, and an estimated 14,000 clients annually with referral for abortion.


more sites trained


more training participants


more trainings

After training, 2 out of 3 participants who previously did not refer for abortion indicated that in the future, they will refer for abortion when their client requests it.


Letter from ED and Board Chair

Transformative. This is a word we hear often from the clinicians, case managers, social workers, counselors, and administrators who participate in our abortion referrals trainings. In 2018, we continued to significantly expand the reach of this transformative work.  What began in 2013 as a 3-state pilot-project is now a mature program active across the entire U.S. Southeast, with special partnerships with health departments and domestic violence coalitions in 6 additional states.  Through a combination of dedicated programming and rigorous evaluation, we are now a foremost authority on abortion referrals in the United States and a leader in working with a diverse range of health and social service providers to build a stronger system of care for people seeking abortion.

Our strength could not come at a more needed time. Health disparities are growing wider, significant political efforts are underway to undercut access to essential health services and insurance coverage, and constitutional rights we hoped were secure feel increasingly tenuous. Provide understands the challenge of meeting people’s health needs in difficult and restrictive environments.  Our work is located in many of the places that feel the impact of these changes first, and hardest.  Our commitment is unwavering.

Provide is also in the midst of our own transformative moment as we prepare to say farewell to our Executive Director, Melanie Zurek, who has led the organization through programmatic and organizational evolution during the past 15 years.  Melanie, the Board and the staff have approached this transition with the same care and forethought that is applied to Provide’s programs, and we expect to welcome new leadership before the end of 2019.  As we undertake this internal journey, our work will continue to be guided by our deep commitment to health workers, to their patients and clients, to our work in the U.S. Southeast, and to the profound impact that we all can make.

In partnership,

Melanie Zurek, ED & Katherine Bourne, Board Chair

Connect the Dots

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Abortion is an incredibly common health care need. According to the latest data, nearly 1 million people obtain an abortion each year. In the clinical sense, the delivery of abortion services is not complicated. Yet for many, diminishing availability of abortion care can make locating abortion services difficult, and for some, put it completely out of reach with lifelong impact.

Health and social service providers play a vital role in connecting patients and clients to the care that they need. Provide is a nonprofit that works in partnership with these professionals and their agencies to respond more comprehensively to patients and clients who experience unintended pregnancy. We offer CEU-eligible professional development training and technical assistance on non-directive pregnancy options counseling and how to give accurate, informed and non-judgmental referrals for unintended pregnancy and abortion care when sought.

Our success lies in our connection to you. By opening your doors, committing your resources and time, and bringing your unique knowledge of your clients and practices, we have successfully partnered to build a stronger system of care.


What You Are Saying About Us

Survey and interview responses from 2018

Our Approach

“It really opened space for people who have never talked about abortion – or have never talked about reproductive rights or justice, or why that’s important to the work that they’re doing – in a way that can feel less personal and less political. They were really able to maintain patience front and center of all of that, and kind of de-stigmatize a lot of the thoughts and stereotypes around abortion in general.”

- Medical Student, Louisiana

“I thought it was well done. It was very gentle, I thought it seemed to be trauma-informed, it was engaging and definitely had some good hands-on activities, and the trainers were really great.”

- Domestic Violence Worker, Ohio

were “very satisfied” with the way topics were addressed


were “very satisfied” with the information provided by the presenters


were “very satisfied” with the teaching methods and activities

The percentage of participants who reported being “not satisfied” was approximately 1% on all measures.

Our Connection to You

“I think the part that was the most pleasantly surprising to me was when it went from this big, in general, like, ‘Okay, if you have someone come into your office who has an unwanted pregnancy, how do you navigate that?’ to, the part that I thought was really well done was when they got really specific, and more knowledgeable about Louisiana laws and Louisiana resources. It certainly wasn’t something that I was expecting to come away with, because Provide seems to be this big, national organization, so I wasn’t expecting to really feel like they fully understood the exact climate that we were in in Louisiana, and that was a really pleasant surprise and I think that’s what made it really meaningful for me as well.”

- Primary Care Case Manager, Louisiana

“The way the material was presented – with person-centered language – really paralleled what we’re doing here in Western North Carolina in behavioral health. We’ve tried to take a cultural change and shift within the industry and so the training really matched the messages and the mission that we’re on, as far as the community in behavioral health, so that was really cool. And the presenters were really approachable, and it was really comfortable. There were exercises, it wasn’t just a lecture, it was really good exercises during the day. I mean, I talk about the training all the time to people.”

- Substance Use Care Coordinator, North Carolina

“It felt like Provide was really equipped to have a lot of conversations in a more conservative workplace about ‘Here’s ways that you can support clients while also navigating the rules around your specific workplace of what you can and can’t share with clients surrounding services that are available.’”

- Primary Care Case Manager, Louisiana

Tools & Resources

“I was recently faced with a situation in which a woman came to receive family planning services and found out she was pregnant. The pregnancy was unintended, and she requested information on termination. Honestly, if I had not attended the Provide training, I do not know if I would have had confidence in myself as a professional to effectively counsel her. I was able to use the STAR Model, and the client and I were able to effectively cope with the situation. The client was able to get the resources/information she needed from me, and I felt prepared enough to handle the situation.”

- County Health Department Social Worker, North Carolina
agreed by the end of the training that “I have the skills and information I need to effectively refer a client with an unintended pregnancy for pregnancy termination if she requests it.”
agreed by the end of the training that “I have the skills and information I need to effectively counsel a client with an unintended pregnancy on all her options.”

Increased Capacity

“I recently had a patient who came to me with some possible suspicions that she may be pregnant, and I had brought up and asked, ‘Are you aware of what your options are? Do you know about the various facilities and community efforts that could help you make your decision, or that could assist you in whatever decision that you decide to go through with?’ And she said, ‘I’m so glad that you brought that up. I’m so glad that you said something, and I’m so glad that you’re okay with talking about it, because a lot of people aren’t willing to consider what some of your options are. And the fact that you just said that, lets me know that you’re here for me no matter what.’”

- Substance Use Counselor, Kentucky

Continuing Education

Our training includes free national and state-based* CEUs for social workers, therapists and counselors, case workers, physicians, advance practice clinicians, registered nurses, and medical assistants.

*States include Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Special Partnerships in 2018

  • We continued our partnership with the Colorado Health Foundation to bring our Referrals Training to health and social service providers in Northeast Colorado.
  • We partnered with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to bring our Referrals Training to the CDPH Bureau of Maternal, Infant, Child, and Adolescent Health’s Nursing and Support Services staff. Also in attendance were local domestic and sexual violence advocates, community health providers, educators and counselors.
  • We partnered with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence to bring our Referrals Training to domestic and sexual violence professionals at eight sites across the state of Florida.
  • We partnered with the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence to bring our Referrals Training to domestic and sexual violence professionals at three regional sites across the state of Nebraska.
  • We partnered with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) to bring our Referrals Training to domestic and sexual violence advocates, educators, counselors, and interns on how to make referrals on the full spectrum of pregnancy options so that advocates and their clients are equipped with accurate, medically-based information. The professionals we trained through this partnership make up approximately one-third of the domestic violence and sexual assault providers in Ohio.

Sharing Our Expertise

  • “Referrals for Unintended Pregnancy: Honoring Autonomy and Removing Barriers to Stigmatized Healthcare Services” – Shift North Carolina 2018 Conference (Durham, NC)


  • “Referrals for Unintended Pregnancy: Abortion Literacy for Non-Abortion Providers” – Midwives Alliance of North America 2018 Conference (Portland, ME)


  • “Making Quality Referrals for Unintended Pregnancy” – Kentucky School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Statewide Conference (Louisville, KY)


  • “Making Quality Referrals for Patients with Unintended Pregnancies” – Kentucky Nurses Association Statewide Conference (Louisville, KY)


  • “Supporting Survivors in All of Their Options: An Overview of Provide’s Quality Referrals Training for Unintended Pregnancy for Program Directors and Advocates” – North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence Annual Conference (Raleigh, NC)


  • O’Donnell, Jenny, et al. “Evaluation of a Training for Health and Social Service Providers on Abortion Referral-Making.” Maternal and Child Health Journal, vol. 22, no. 10, 6 July 2018, pp. 1369–1376., doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-018-2570-6.


  • Public Comment Opposing Title X Proposed Rule: Compliance with Statutory Program Integrity Requirements. July 30, 2018.

Connect Up

The providers and agencies we partner with strive every day to meet their clients’ needs, whether it’s in a domestic violence shelter, HIV care clinic, substance use center, family planning clinic, or primary care setting. All of the health and social service systems we work with experience time and budget constraints, and often times are supporting a client through a moment of crisis or hardship. Provide understands these environments and has tailored our program to be responsive to individual setting realities. We provide the opportunity to increase client-centered care and build organizational expertise in caring for clients facing unintended pregnancy.

Our Trainings Offer:

  • On-site training with a local Provide team
  • Continuing education units (where available)
  • Certification of participation
  • A model for effective referral-making that applies beyond abortion referrals
  • Take-away information and resources that help you in your work
  • A detailed training report for site administrators
  • Ongoing customized Technical Assistance

Training Structures Available:

Our training model rests on the knowledge that it takes a team of dedicated, informed professional staff to care for clients and patients. Our approach is efficient and flexible, with options such as:

  • a comprehensive full day, on-site training
  • a half-day, on-site training
  • a tailored training set up in consultation with our teams

Where We Work

Who We Work With

We partner to integrate abortion referral practices throughout five of the most critical systems of care for patients and clients of reproductive age:

Who We Train

  • health-admins
    Health administration - management & non-management
  • social-workers
    Social workers
  • caseworkers
    Counselors/case workers
  • Client-educators
    Client educators/advocates
  • Physicians
  • advanced-practice-clinicians
    Advanced practice clinicians
  • Registered-Nurses
    Registered Nurses
  • medical-assistants
    Medical assistants


Social and Cultural Impact 

  • Nearly half (48%) of all participants interviewed in 2018 shared the information they learned outside of their workplace with family, friends, or colleagues. 

“I did talk to my parents about it, which was very interesting because we have very differing views on some issues. That was interesting. So yeah, that brought up a conversation with them, which I think is always good.”
– Primary Care Worker, South Carolina


Client-level Impact 

  • Preliminary study results suggest that clients whose providers mentioned abortion as an option were significantly more likely to recommend the clinic to a friend than clients whose providers did not discuss abortion, even among clients who planned to continue their pregnancy.


Provider Practice 

  • New data confirmed 2017 findings that trained providers are three times more likely to discuss abortion with their clients.



  • 80% of surveyed sites had continued their new referral-making practices one year following training.

Provide offers on-site partnership to bring about lasting programmatic and operational improvements to patient care through our Technical Assistance Program. Working in partnership with your site, our Technical Assistance Team can provide:

• Detailed training reports and insights from your team’s training experience

• Consultation on forms and information for patients and staff

• Support for the integration of abortion referral practices at your workplace

• Up-to-date local resource lists

• Trainings for new staff

• Evaluation and recommendations on best practices to include in all-options counseling



Our team is a group of people who care deeply about people and the workers and agencies who serve them. We are people who live in and who love the communities in which we work.

We have the benefit of experience and training in HIV service delivery, substance abuse counseling, domestic violence case management, and safety nets health service. This experience roots us in deep compassion for women and the workers who serve them. It positions us to be highly effective in engaging and supporting these systems.

Provide benefits from a stable and engaged Board of Directors made up of state, national, and global leaders in women’s and community health, including service providers, administrators, policy experts, and advisors.


Provide is grateful to receive vital funding from foundations and generous support from dedicated individual donors. Click here to see our current list of supporters.