Your Health Unlocked Episodes

030: Charley the Abortion Chatbot and Intentional Tech With Kiana Tipton

Publication Date: October 19, 2023

By: NWHN Staff

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Since the fall of Roe v. Wade last year, accessing abortion care in the U.S. has become increasingly difficult. According to Guttmacher data, 58% of women in the U.S. live in states that are hostile or extremely hostile to abortion, 43 states prohibit some abortions after a certain point in pregnancy, and abortion is currently banned in 14 states. 

Amid this ever-shifting abortion landscape, innovative technology has emerged as a critical tool in the fight to safeguard reproductive rights and ensure access to essential health care. In today’s Your Health Unlocked Podcast episode, we are joined by Kiana Tipton, executive director of Chat With Charley, a nonprofit organization that created a revolutionary free, bilingual chatbot designed to provide safe, secure, and accessible abortion resources. Tune in for an exciting discussion as we delve into Kiana’s unique career journey, her work with Charley, and her vision for a more inclusive and equitable health care industry. 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What a chatbot is and how Charley is transforming the health care industry
  • All about Kiana’s unique career path that led her to become an Executive Director at just 30 years old
  • The significance of intentional tech design in health care
  • The importance of open dialogue about abortion in reducing stigma and prioritizing the needs of abortion seekers

More about Kiana:

Kiana is a digital and product marketing strategist with roots in online advocacy and community organizing. After working as a community activist campaigning for universal health care and increasing the minimum wage to $15 in Seattle, she took community building digital, for brands like NaturallyCurly and Essence, Radical Girl Gang, and Teach For America. Kiana believes that tech when designed with intention, can dismantle inequity and is excited about the opportunity to do this with Charley. 

Resources for Episode 030:

Some Terms and Linked Definitions:  

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction.
  • Branch Logic: Branch logic is a feature in programming and survey design that creates a custom path through the survey that varies based on a respondent’s answers. It allows different questions to be asked based on the respondent’s previous answers.
  • Chatbot: A chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet. It interacts with users in a natural language through messaging applications, mobile apps, websites, or through the telephone.
  • Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs): CPC is a term used to refer to certain facilities that represent themselves as legitimate reproductive health care clinics providing care for pregnant people but actually aim to dissuade people from accessing certain types of reproductive health care, including abortion care and even contraceptive options. Staff members at these unregulated and often nonmedical facilities have no legal obligation to provide pregnant people with accurate information and are not subject to HIPAA or required by law to maintain client confidentiality.
  • Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022)A court case in which the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion.
  • Internet Cookies: Cookies are small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. They allow websites to personalize content, track users’ web movement, remember site preferences, and more. 
  • Pixels: In digital imaging, a pixel (short for a picture element) is a physical point in a raster image, or the smallest addressable element in a display device. In the context of digital marketing and online tracking, a pixel is a type of web beacon or tag that can track user behavior, conversions, or deliver ads. 

References Mentioned:

The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.

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