A New Database Helps Women Find Reproductive Health Care Outside Their Hometowns
The crowdsourced site offers resources in over sixty global cities for a variety of services
Procuring reliable reproductive health care can be a difficult task under the best of circumstances. Factor in increasing political restrictions on basic health care and the unfamiliarity of traveling to a new area and the search can seem like more trouble than it’s worth; a circumstance which ultimately puts health at risk.
However, an open-source database known as Gynopedia is emerging as a resource in the search for women’s health care throughout the world. The site is searchable by both city and services, which can include emergency contraception, disease testing, and pregnancy exams.
Further, the site recommends safe and reputable clinics for pregnancy terminations based on user feedback.
The creator of Gynopedia, Lani Fried, pursued the idea to fill a need that she came across in her own life. When asked about the inspiration for the site, she simply replied, "Honestly, because I couldn’t find anything like it." The realization came last year when she realized how difficult it was to procure useful information for her upcoming trip to Asia.
She states on the site:
"...I'm someone who has been uninsured, in need of health care and lost in cities many times — and that's just me. There are millions of women who have it much worse — cut off from information and progressive health care, isolated from so many resources.
A substantial threat to the efficacy of a crowdsourced medical resource, especially one pertaining to the mired issue of reproductive rights, is the risk of bad information, intentional or not. Such a site would likely serve as an obvious target of those fighting against women’s access to reproductive medical services.
As of now, there are guidelines in place, but nothing foolproof. However, she hopes that a loyal and diligent community surrounding the site will serve to keep the information topical and uncompromised. Fried says, "My main goal now is to recruit more contributors so that we can grow into a full-on Wiki and always be current."
Hopefully, her efforts will be enough to ease the burden of finding basic health care when women are away from home.