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What is Health Equity?

Health equity arises from access to the social determinants of health, specifically from wealth, power and prestige. Learn more about health equity and what Hey Jane is doing now.

Written by

Sally Rashid

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Health equity means promoting equal access to healthcare by offering the same opportunities to all, and removing barriers to care like poverty, racism, and other forms discrimination. Those who study health equity argue that it’s not enough to present people with equal healthcare options, we must also address anything that stands in the way of them accessing that care.

Social Determinants of Health

Advocates for health equity study social determinants of health (SDOH), which are non-medical factors that influence a person’s health outcome. SDOH are an important part of healthcare because they account for 30-55% of all health outcomes. While some SDOH have positive impacts on health, like having a stable job or safe housing, others, like living in an unsafe neighborhood, experiencing poverty, or living without health insurance, are associated with poorer health outcomes. 

Disparities in Healthcare

Disparities in healthcare refer to the differences in the quality of healthcare that systemically oppressed people may receive. Race, citizenship, and socio-economic status, all have an impact on a person’s ability to achieve their best health.

Racism is a well-documented cause of healthcare disparities. While academics have studied higher rates of illness and morbidity in people of color for decades, the anti-racism movements spurred in 2020 brought a lot more attention to racism as a public health crisis. Plenty of studies indicate that even when income, insurance status, and severity of conditions are similar, racial and ethnic minorities receive worse care and have poorer health outcomes than their white counterparts. 

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People living in poverty have shorter lifespans and higher instances of illness. Not having the money to buy the things that you need affects your ability to access healthy foods, purchase medications, or seek out preventative care. On top of that, experiencing poverty is extremely stressful. Chronic stress is linked to depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, and much more. Poverty and racism often intersect making both of these causes of healthcare disparities especially important to identify and solve.

Health Literacy

Advocates for health equity also focus on promoting health literacy, or the ability to take in and understand health information. Having high health literacy makes it easier to think critically and make better decisions about your healthcare. Some organizations have found that making health information simpler to read increases patient knowledge and helps them make more informed choices.

Why Does Hey Jane Care

Hey Jane supports those seeking options for their pregnancy and aims to make patients feel informed about their choices. We offer loads of resources to pregnant people seeking options for their pregnancy and provide accurate information about abortion and its process.

 By offering telehealth abortion services, we eliminate the need to find an in-person clinic which can be difficult, especially as the number of abortion clinics declines. We’ve also partnered with UCSF to understand the experiences of medication abortion patients so that we can improve outcomes of telehealth medication abortion services. We offer financial support to those who participate in this study and financial assistance to those who can’t afford the listed price of our abortion services.

About Hey Jane

Hey Jane is a telehealth abortion provider that connects pregnant people seeking medication abortions to FDA-approved medications. After confirming that you’re eligible for our services here, you’ll speak with one of our licensed abortion providers. After that virtual visit, we’ll ship your abortion medications to your door. They’ll arrive in 1-3 days and in an unmarked box to protect your privacy. We’ve organized some resources and a page of frequently asked questions if you’d like more information on managing your pregnancy.

Meet Hey Jane: modern, virtual abortion care

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Written by

Sally Rashid

Sally Rashid is a Registered Nurse and writer living in Detroit, Michigan. She has worked in reproductive care for a decade as a doula, nurse, and advocate for abortion access. Sally was a 2020 winner of Yes, And Laughter Lab's competitive incubation program for her work as writer and co-creator of Darling, a dark comedy about an abortion clinic at constant risk of closure. On top of writing for the beauty and healthcare industries, Sally is an all-around creative lady who loves music, making connections, and chilling with her two cats.

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