Desert Star Institute for Family Planning was born out of an increasing demand for abortion training that Dr. Taylor was not able to meet within her clinical practice alone and has evolved into a Reproductive Justice Organization.
2017: Strong Beginnings
In 2017, she started receiving requests from all over the United States and Canada from medical students, residents, and attending physicians. Opportunities had dwindled for abortion training and people were willing to travel to get it. Although abortion is required learning in medical schools, there is no robust curriculum.
Abortion training is required for Obstetrics and Gynecology residencies, but there are often obstacles to meaningful training. Dr. Taylor committed herself to taking on the magnificent task of forming the organization we lovingly refer to as “The Institute”. It’s not enough to invite trainees into the clinic to follow the clinician around and watch. Dr. Taylor’s philosophy is that people do not truly learn until they actually DO the procedure. 2017 was the year of creating a solid foundation from which to grow and serve.
2018: Accepting Our First Physicians
In 2018 Desert Star Institute for family planning attained the very important milestone of 501c3 tax exempt status.
We also accepted our first physicians for training. The Institute now has the capacity to train health professions students from several disciplines: pre-health internships, nurse practitioner students, medical students years 1-4, post graduate and attending physicians have all trained with us.
Dr. Taylor is training approximately 40-50 weeks out of the year and the word is out that The Institute is where hands-on training happens.
2019: New Partnerships
In 2019 we became one of first 25 organizations across the country to partner with Medicines360 and Direct Relief to provide the Liletta IUD to uninsured people for long acting contraception.
This partnership has expanded our access to additional resources for the community we serve. Our vision is for this program to grow to provide all forms of long acting reversible contraceptives to uninsured people without the resources to pay full price for these expensive methods.
2020: Going Virtual and Coalition Building
In the fall of 2020 the National Institute for Reproductive Health funded a collaboration between Desert Star Institute for Family Planning and the Prochoice Arizona Foundation to form what is now the Arizona Reproductive Justice Coalition. Through the foundational work to form the coalition, the Institute was able to establish amazing relationships with grassroots organization leaders across Arizona that will cultivate partnerships and programs to help Arizonans freely decide when and how to form families and raise children.
2021: New Collaborations for Reproductive Justice
The Doula Access Program, a collaboration which the Rooted Doula Collective, came to fruition in early 2021 to not only increase access to doula services for pregnant and postpartum Black people, but to also pay Black doulas for the critical work they do in their communities. Rooted Doula Collective, founded in 2020, is a community of Black doulas offering full-spectrum (including birth, postpartum, miscarriage, loss, abortion) doula care to Black/people of African descent – in order to fill the gaps they were seeing in reproductive health care in Arizona.
2022: Advancing Reproductive Justice in Arizona and Birth Control Program Expansion
The start of 2022 brought an exciting new partnership with Arizona Birthworkers of Color, Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro, Black Political Cultivation Arizona, Black Phoenix Organizing Collective, and Rooted Doula Collective to fortify and expand community doula resources and educate and mobilize impacted community members of color to become more civically engaged. Together the Empower Alliance for Reproductive Justice was formed, a Black and Femme led organization building grassroots leadership in the communities impacted by harmful policies in Arizona.
The Institute became an anchor organization for the Liberate Abortion Policy Table and provides leadership to the Arizona Reproductive Rights Coalition, a group of over 70 individuals and organizations that have come together to build power to fight back against legislative policies that harm Arizonans.
With a strong year end fundraising campaign for 2021, we expanded our Long Term Birth Control Program to include the birth control implant, Nexplanon.
We are so grateful for our original incorporator Stacey Stewart who was also an inaugural board member with Cynde Cerf-Dehmer. These phenomenal women shared the vision of what Desert Star Institute for Family Planning would become and will forever be a part of its foundation.