Feminist Health Center Closes After Thirty Years, What Does It Mean for Women?


This post was updated on 11/19/10, 11:46am EST

There are over 30 thousand of them – each one with a story. 

The women who received care at Washington State’s Cedar River Clinics’ Yakima clinic (originally called the Feminist Women’s Health Center) over the last 30 years are, as clinic manager Becky Cavender says, “…from all walks of life. They are mothers, sisters, nieces, cousins. They are teachers, students, ministers, doctors, lawyers, farm workers, and home-makers.”

But this week the mothers, sisters, teachers, ministers, and farm workers will have one less option when it comes to choosing a reproductive health provider as the Yakima clinic closes its doors and ends an era.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho which expanded its Yakima center in 2005 and continued to expand the services the clinic offers, will provide a full range of reproductive and sexual health care.

The Feminist Women’s Health Center of Washington State opened its first non-profit clinic in 1979 with $3000 and furniture from the founders’ homes, in the city of Yakima. The center’s aim was to not only offer what they called, at the time, “self help” (personal empowerment through knowledge, ladies!) but also to provide abortion and other health care for women from around the state and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Opening day was delayed because Mount St. Helens erupted, spewing ash across the city but the center eventually opened to women across the state. The reproductive and sexual health care provided was distinctly feminist with a focus on ensuring that each woman retained decision making power over her body and her care – care which was as supportive, woman-focused and non-judgmental as possible. Feminist health clinics were engaging in radical health provision for the time – allowing women to do their own pregnancy tests and offering group counseling sessions.

Over the years the center (renamed “Cedar River Clinics” in 2004) grew to three locations (after one location closed after repeated firebombings) around the state, serving thousands of women each year.

Founders Beverly Whipple and Deborah Lazaldi opened the health center with the intent to provide safe abortion care to local women. Whipple and Lazaldi rode a wave of feminist health care which began to swell after the passage of Roe v. Wade and women awakened to the idea that reproductive and sexual health care could (and should) be based in respect, empowerment and support; even abortion care. Health centers actually run by women, for women, opened their doors and pioneered practices like informed consent promoting the ideals that education, knowledge and access to care were necessary steps towards equality and justice for women. This all came with risks, of course. Over the years, the clinic staff women have received death threats, experienced violent attacks and numerous protests.

For years, the Yakima clinic was the only one of its kind in the area. Yakima County’s primary industry is agriculture; specifically commercial fruit production. The area receives 300 days of sunshine – a very different world from the ever-present rainy, gray weather further to the West. It’s an area that is home to many migrant workers who flood the area each year in search of low paying work. Vineyards and fruit orchards abound and they are need of migrant labor.

Cedar River Clinics’ Yakima clinic offered women migrant workers not only access to affordable health care – but to feminist-centered, supportive, personalized, non-judgmental care as well. But, of course, they offered this care to all of the women they saw. The center provided family planning, contraception, annual exams, sexually transmitted infection testing and more. But the clinic also was the only abortion provider for miles around who offered second trimester abortions – up to 22 weeks.

And while Planned Parenthood will continue to provide care to the women of the region, Whipple says it’s Planned Parenthood which is, in part, responsible for the independent, feminist health center’s closure:

“We would not be closing today if Planned Parenthood had not started providing abortion services in the same town where we have been providing abortion care for 30 years. In starting to provide abortion, they were NOT responding to a local need. Their actions did NOT expand access. We made a difficult decision, one that is responsible.”

Feminist women’s health centers may be a dying breed. Of the over fifty or so operating over the years, only fourteen remain. Six years ago, independently operated, feminist health centers decided to band together as the Feminist Abortion Network (FAN) to provide support and assistance to each other, across the country. In 2007, I explored whether feminist health care centers would be able to survive, after the closure of the clinic for which I worked. In 2009, in an interview with two of the FAN clinic staff women (one of whom, Joan Schrammeck, works with Cedar River Clinics) about the origin of the network, they told me, “It is worth mentioning how struck we were by the number of [feminist health centers] that over the last decade either closed or were left with no viable alternative other than merger.”

But, why? What makes feminist health centers so vulnerable and what does Planned Parenthood have to do with it (if anything)?

The answer is complex and probably not exact either. For many years, FWHC referred local women to the Yakima Planned Parenthood for birth control and likewise, Planned Parenthood referred women from throughout Central Washington to FWHC for abortion. It is when PP added abortion services a few years ago, then expanded them to offer second trimester abortions, that sustaining the FWHC Yakima clinic was untenable, notes Cedar River Clinics. 

Planned Parenthood is, of course, a large entity providing care through health centers operating around the country, to millions of women. They do receive federal funding because, unlike the smaller centers which would need a much more complex accounting system to keep separate any potential government funding for family planning provision from the centers’ abortion provision, Planned Parenthood is able to separate the funding streams.

That said, feminist health centers are locally-grown, small businesses at heart. And just like any small business, they fall prey to a variety of factors from increased competition from larger-sized providers to a challenging economic environment. Of course, feminist health centers face much more than do most run-of-the-mill local businesses. They are, for the most part, political organizations in that they do not only provide care but they must lobby and fight for laws and policies which keep abortion care legal. The centers exist in an embattled environment where they must fight for their very existence – including for the lives of their staff women. They compete in an extremely competitive funding environment; many foundations don’t want to fund smaller, more regional reproductive rights groups – especially not care providers who they may see as not making the impact, policy wise, that single advocacy or large scale, national groups like Planned Parenthood do. Ironically, they are, at the same time, devoted to never turning a woman away for lack of funds, ensuring that all women in the community receive care. While many providers will no longer see Medicaid patients because of impossibly low reimbursements from the government, the mission driven feminist health centers continue to accept women using Medicaid for annual exams, pap smears and more. This all translates to centers literally giving away thousands of dollars in care each year. That’s not sustainable without immense support from the public.

When it comes down to it, the Yakima clinic closure is a loss for women, says Sasha Summer Cousineau, Board President of the CAIR Project, Washington state’s abortion fund for women-in-need. 

“We’re really very, very sad. The CAIR Project works with Cedar River Clinics’ in Yakima regularly because…most of the women we serve are from Oregon, Idaho and the Yakima region.” As an abortion fund which raises money for low-income women’s abortions, the CAIR Project serves “the poorest of the poor women who fall through the hoops. They can’t afford to pay for an abortion and they are not eligible for any other health care assistance,” Cousineau tells RH Reality Check.

For women who are desperately in need of an abortion and cannot afford one without financial assistance, Cedar River Clinics is their best hope. The center, says Cousineau, “still provides high quality care at a slightly lower price [than Planned Parenthood]. The difference between $400 and $450 for an abortion, if you don’t have the money, may as well be a million dollars. For the women we [the CAIR Project] serve, this makes all the difference in the world.”

As well, Cedar River Clinics engages in a great deal of client advocacy. When a woman’s primary language is something other than English or she’s experienced domestic violence or is in need of other resources or referrals, the clinic staff “jump through hoops” to connect her to services.

Cousineau calls Planned Parenthood a “wonderful ally,” though, and looks forward to the organization instituting a more robust “women-in-need” fund of their own so that women from around the Northwest can still access abortion care. 

The Feminist Abortion Network says that you’ve got the women’s health movement to thank if “you participated in informed consent; read a package insert on the risks and benefits associated wtih oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, or another pharmaceutical; your partner or support person attended your medical appointment with you as your advocate; you purchased an over-the-counter vaginal remedy or pregnancy test; or you were offered the opportunity to look at your cervix with a mirror during a gynecological exam.” The women’s health movement leaves a living legacy in its wake but the remaining feminist health centers aren’t about to give up.

Anita Kuennen, executive director of Montana’s Blue Mountain Clinic and president of the Feminist Abortion Network calls the closing, “… a wake-up call to all who support access to choice and access to health care,” and urges those who support this type of care to donate to a local, independent, non-profit clinic. The larger questions, however, remain. Are grassroots, locally-run, feminist health centers still viable? And if not, who will pick up the baton and run with it?

If this most recent closure is a wake-up call, I think we’ve hit snooze one too many times.

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  • beverly-whipple

    I want to remind everyone that Cedar River Clinics–Feminist Women’s Health Center still exists.  Our clinics in Renton and Tacoma remain open.  As experts in 2nd trimester abortion care and in the cases where women and their families find themselves where something has gone terribly wrong — a fetal anomoly — Cedar River Clinics can help and is serving the women of the Northwest including Alaska, Montana, and Canada.  We also continue our Well Woman services (birth control, annual exams, STD, pregnancy testing and more) following the values that set us apart.  Women tell us they notice the difference.

    Beverly Whipple
    Executive Director
    Cedar River Clinics — Feminist Women’s Health Center

  • joan

    You can see pictures (of Beverly in the early years) and read the inspiring story of FWHC in Yakima at fwhc.org/pdfs/yakima_herstory.pdf. The clinic truly paved the way and carried the torch for 30 years with a powerful dedication to putting the women first. 

  • tonikt

    So many good points in this story. Thanks, Amie.

    One I wanted to point out in particular is this about funding: “They compete in an extremely competitive funding environment; many foundations don’t want to fund smaller, more regional reproductive rights groups – especially not care providers who they may see as not making the impact, policy wise, that single advocacy or large scale, national groups like Planned Parenthood do.”

    In my experience very true, and unfortunate. Small, local clinics are on the ground, delivering direct service to women, often with an inspired feminist model of care that touches women’s lives in positive ways beyond their abortion experience. These organizations don’t have the capacity to also do policy work (which is certainly important), but all the policy in the world isn’t going to help women if they don’t have access to the provider they need.

    In some places there may be another provider, but in many there are not. And even so, aren’t we all better served when we have choiceS about where to go for care? And places where the next generation of providers, advocates, policy-makers, and even pro-choice journalists can be trained?

    What do we lose when such visionary committment to women comes to end?

     

  • cfrance

    It’s unfortunate to see another valuable community resource closing its doors. Independent feminist clinics were frequently the first in their communities to offer abortion care, opening in the 70’s and 80’s when others, including many Planned Parenthoods, were unwilling to take the risk.

     

    Cedar River and other independent clinics around the country are accessible and responsive to their local communities, which has allowed them the flexibility to respond to emerging or immediate needs without having to seek approval from government or a national organization.

     

    At a time when much of health care is being super-sized, it’s more important than ever to support your local independent feminist clinic.  

  • joan

    You can find a list of the nonprofit feminist clinics that need your financial support at http://www.FeministAbortionNetwork.org – the Feminist Abortion Network.

  • becavou

    Thank you for writing this article and discussing the difficulties that feminist clinics are facing. It simply doesn’t make sense that Planned Parenthood seems to be expanding their abortion services, even in areas already sufficiently served (like in Yakima).  Feminist clinics are all about trusting women to make their own decisions, providing information, and helping to empower women.

    Feminist clinics are proud to provide abortion, as opposed to Planned Parenthood wants to (in the words of a local Planned Parenthood colleague of mine) “work themselves out of their own jobs so abortion would no longer be necessary.” This is a stark distinction. There will always be abortion.

    The loss of the Yakima clinic, in particular is incredibly sad.

    Amie, thank you for talking about this.

     

  • nmeg

    Does everyone know that PPFA has a national policy of forcing all affiliates to provide abortion services, even if there is no need? It’s time that the public knows that PPFA is fixed on a business model rather than responding to health care needs of local communities. Many local PP’s are not happy about this either, so it’s also about local control. I don’t care how wonderful PP is, any large institution driven from the top will not give the kind of care independent, mission driven centers, not for profit or for profit, can offer women.

    PP’s are not only subsidized by our tax money, through Title X (even if abortion is not directly funded) it is also subsidized by large foundations like Buffett who have re-tooled PP’s to expand into abortion services. The irritating thing is that when you talk to pro choice friends they invariably say, “Oh I support you. I always give to Planned Parenthood!” …instead of great feminist centers like Yakima.  Sigh.

  • arekushieru

    To many people, though, PP is the only, inexpensive, option.  And that may be due to the business model it uses.  Which can’t, necessarily, be blamed on PP.

     ”work themselves out of their own jobs so abortion would no longer be necessary.” 

    Unfortunately, when one puts the above quote in such a negative light, it condemns ProChoicers advocacy for PP as the, sometimes, only service available, since it puts down the other (majority of) services that PP provides.  I believe that abortion will always be around.  But, necessary, in the way that PP staffers mean, in that birth control/contraception isn’t 100% effective…?  No.  I think, one day, we WILL have 100% effective contraception.  And *that’s* what I think the person in the above quote meant. 

  • niftlr

    The mandates from PPFA to do abortions, the mergers, the government funding all lead to a mega-corporation that forces the smaller community clinics (for-profit and non-profit) and doctors offices out of business.  The monopolistic practices are not good for communities, not good for access, not good for medicine, and not good for policy advocacy.

    The sustainability of any independent clinic whether it is for-profit or non-profit depends on a certain level of patient volume.  Clinics and private doctors offices provided services in communities where they recognized a need.  They figured out if they could make the bottom line work. 

    When there is a PP in the same community, with Title X funding which allows PP to provide free family planning, they see a large volume of patients for FP and STI testing.  In the old days, PP would refer to the local abortion clinic.  Then PP got hungry.  They have a captive audience and can refer to themselves. They stop referring patients to their local abortion clinic — except maybe those that are just too difficult to do.

    They say it is just business and competition.  But it was the government funding that got the patient in the door in the first place.  Title X funding is not available to for-profit clinics and it isn’t given to more than one clinic in a particular geographic area so if a PP gets it the local community clinic doesn’t get it.  Once a clinic has Title X funding, there is often supplemental funding available too.

    There was an old Ma Bell saying…”We don’t care.  We don’t have to.” 

    Is this really what the pro-choice community wants?  Is it really even what PP wants?  The loss of community clinics will be total if something isn’t done soon.

  • crowepps

    Does everyone know that PPFA has a national policy of forcing all affiliates to provide abortion services, even if there is no need?

    This just doesn’t make any sense.  If there is “no need” for abortion services, then just how exactly can the affiliates be FORCED to provide them?  Do they go out and grab pregnant women off the street and abort their fetuses?

     

    Or is your assertion that ‘local centers’ should be able to decide to withhold information about abortion from their clients since the bias of the center toward adoption instead should be imposed on the clients?  Which of course would mean that the center is NOT respecting the woman’s decision making power, not providing all the information in a non-judgmental manner, not providing full-service medical care with full disclosure and shouldn’t be supported by the national program.

     

    It helps a lot in attempts to demonize PP if the big lies being promoted have at least a tenuous internal consistency.

  • colleen

    The irritating thing is that when you talk to pro choice friends they invariably say, “Oh I support you. I always give to Planned Parenthood!” …instead of great feminist centers like Yakima.  Sigh.

    I give to PP because they provide healthcare and reproductive healthcare to low income women and have a sliding scale fee.I can’t imagine many places I would rather see my tax dollars go.

    I would also note that it is possible to support Planned Parenthood AND “great feminist centers”. You seem more intend on trying to drag PP through the usual conservative mud rather than supporting feminist clinics. Why is that?

  • colleen

    The sustainability of any independent clinic whether it is for-profit or non-profit depends on a certain level of patient volume.  Clinics and private doctors offices provided services in communities where they recognized a need.  They figured out if they could make the bottom line work.

    So you’re arguing that clinics need to squeeze more money out of low income women in order to become ‘sustainable’ and that any clinic that offers a sliding scale fee as PP does  is the equivalent of a giant, uncaring telecom monopoly?

     

  • crowepps

    The monopolistic practices are not good for communities, not good for access, not good for medicine, and not good for policy advocacy.

    Why?  If PP is using an unbiased patient care model, where it is not FORCING any particular decision on the patient, just what is the problem with their having many clinics nationwide?

     In the old days, PP would refer to the local abortion clinic.  Then PP got hungry.  They have a captive audience and can refer to themselves.

    Golly, you must not have been around while the cadre of religiously financed Professional ProLife Protestors used threats, harassment, valdalism, arson, assault and murder to close all those “local abortion clinics” one at a time.  It sure didn’t have anything at all to do with PP getting ‘greedy’.  It had to do with PP trying to get fingers into all the holes in the dike caused by ProLife terrorists.

     

    PP has met SOME of the need, town by town and city by city, as ‘for profit’ local centers were forced out reproductive care through threats and intimidation.  They ended up with what is close to a ‘monopoly’ because everybody else fled the field.

     

    Access is worse now because of ProLife terrorists.

    Good medical care is harder to access now because of ProLife terrorists.

    Policy advocacy is tougher now because of lies like those contained in your post, implying that PP is greedy, monopolistic, was created by hogging up “government funding”, etc., etc.

     

    I’m starting to get the impression that you want to prevent women from being able to access reasonably priced, patient centered care where they can make their own decisions, and that your idea of a “great feminist clinic” is one that tries to brainwash its female clients into believing that ‘real women’ are ’called to servanthood’ in their ‘natural role’ as Container of A Holy Uterus (brain optional but unnecessary).

  • therealistmom

    Back when it was still the Feminist Women’s Health Center, they provided me with much-needed services. There were not any abortion services in my hometown, 80 miles away.

    Now I’m afraid we might be going back to that same situation- the PP in my hometown provides abortion services, but the PP in Yakima does not (unless something has changed recently).  I’m not exactly sure where the “overlap in services” lies, since there are so few metropolitan areas in this half of the state, between the dry and dusty highways. 

  • therealistmom

    The PP in my hometown did NOT have abortion services, nor did the PP in Yakima at the time. The smaller Planned Parenthood clinics dotted across the desert part of the state do not have abotion services at all. They are primarily geared to be resources for the farm worker community, providing bilingual services for health care. I highly doubt they insist on every center providing a service that may not be needed in the community, particularly with the extra expenses incurred in security and the like.

  • ack

    In my experience in AZ, Title X isn’t monopolized by PP at all. I don’t know if this is unusual, but I’ll look into it. 

  • niftlr

    Its not a lie.

    <blockquote>If there is “no need” for abortion services, then just how exactly can the affiliates be FORCED to provide them?  Do they go out and grab pregnant women off the street and abort their fetuses?</blockquote>

    I am not trying to be argumentative but the way affiliates are “FORCED to provide them” is for PPFA to tell PPs that they can’t be a PP unless they offer abortions.  An affiliate doesn’t have to offer abortion at all their locations so mergers keep the PP locations alive if it isn’t a location conducive to providing abortions.

     <blockquote>It helps a lot in attempts to demonize PP if the big lies being promoted have at least a tenuous internal consistency.</blockquote>

    The statements are just the truth.  If you believe their practice to be a good thing, then it can hardly be demonizing.

     

  • tonikt

    You ask, “If PP is using an unbiased patient care model, where it is not FORCING any particular decision on the patient, just what is the problem with their having many clinics nationwide?”

     

    Planned Parenthood is a great organization, doing essential work. So are independent feminist clinics (which include for-profit and nonprofit entities).

    My grandmother worked for Planned Parenthood my whole childhood, as did my best friend’s mother — and, incidentally, my husband’s grandmother! I work at a independent feminist nonprofit clinic.

    Independent clinics have historically innovated patient-centered care, nonjugmental, informed options counseling, and advances in abortion services. They have (and still do) serve as a vital training ground for the providers of the future (doctors, nurses, counselors, advocates, activists, etc.). They are also deeply rooted in their local community and lean enough to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of their patients. And they are committed to providing to care to women regardless of financial status (while operating in a difficult financial climate themselves).

     

    PP has historically done great things too.

     

    The problem arises when the shifting business model of PP (they DO have abortion services in Yakima now, to answer a question in another post) threatens to eradicate the incredible resource that is the independent feminist clinic. 

    I love my local large-scale hospital system. I mean REALLY love it. I think they deliver amazing care. Do I think they should be the sole provider of medical care? No. Because there are other models, other delivery systems that are also good and can innovate in ways that my hospital system would beneift to learn from. (and other reasons too, but let’s leave it there.)

    Does PP WANT to eradicte independent clinics? I certainly hope not. But the reality is, independent clinics are experiencing the changes in PP policy this way.

    Can people support BOTH PP and independent clinics? SURE! YES! Please do.

    Can we discuss problems within the pro-choices world without it being a capitulation to the “prolifers”? I hope so.

     

    To make one last analogy. I appreciate Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, but I really, truly love and feel grateful for the unique, community-minded, scrappy little independent bookstore down the block. Unfortunately, since I came of age (while working in a little independent bookstore threatened by the brand-new B&N megastore two blocks away) 20 years ago, we have lost so, so, so many of those beautiful, unique local stores.

     

     

  • squirrely-girl

    The local PP where I’m from doesn’t provide abortion services. Two independent practices do but PP does not. 

  • rebellious-grrl

    At a time when much of health care is being super-sized, it’s more important than ever to support your local independent feminist clinic.  

    I would take it a step further — support your local feminist ….., bookstore, business, coffee shop, etc.

  • beverly-whipple

    Thank you all for sharing and for your thoughtful comments.  We’ve received several comments directly and we are grateful for the support.  This is a difficult journey and the issue is obviously bigger than us.

    Beverly Whipple
    Executive Director
    Cedar River Clinics — Renton, Tacoma & (formerly Yakima)

  • arekushieru

    Thanks for a very well-balanced and well-written comment, Toni!

  • the-abortioneers

    Hey, wait a minute. This comment hurts my soul a little. Sure, there are some independent providers that “squeeze money out of” patients — I’ve seen it. On the other hand, there are a lot that don’t: facilities that are either non-profit, or for-profit in name only, and constantly struggling to stay in the black because they (1) charge below the real cost to begin with and (2) discount fees left and right.

     

    My non-profit, independent, feminist clinic operates in a state where public health insurance does not cover abortion. And yet we still have a “Medicaid price” that is around $150 lower than the regular price in order to TRY to be accessible for women with public insurance who obviously can’t afford out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. It doesn’t cover the cost of providing an abortion, but we still do it. Of course I wish we could make them free of charge like they ought to be — but no one in the state can, not even the Planned Parenthood. 

     

    Besides which, I can’t agree with the generalization of the original statement to all situations: in quite a few areas I’ve worked in/with, the PP does NOT have the most affordable abortion fee in town. I don’t even feel comfortable agreeing that it is cheaper “most” of the time — because of the number of contrasting cases I’ve seen, I’m just not sure. To say that’s the only cause is too simplistic. 

  • the-abortioneers

    crowepps, this seems unfair, like you’re jumping to the usual conclusions about an anti-choice troll but in the wrong situation. nmeg doesn’t sound like that to me. I’d actually be more likely to guess that nmeg has worked at a community/independent abortion clinic that’s feeling the strain of a PP starting to offer abortion services. I say that because I work at a non-profit independent and nmeg’s statements sound kind of like the worries I’ve always had about a provider “corporatization.” 

     

    Yes, antis have done a bang-up job of firebombing and harassing and shooting us. They certainly are the main problem with the state of abortion, and because of their size PP was one of the actors able to withstand their pressure (along with many small providers, don’t forget). Ensuring that a woman can choose abortion care is essential, of course, and PP has always contributed to that. But that doesn’t make it anti-choice (as you’re insinuating up there) to point out that now they seem to be moving backward from our movement’s other goal of ensuring that a woman can choose the KIND of abortion care that is right for her. Or at least, that is the historical goal of the Feminist Women’s Health movement. 

     

    -placenta sandwich (abortioneers.blogspot.com)

     

    ehem, PS: The one thing that I really do LIKE about more PPs offering abortions, even where they are already being provided, is that it probably increases continuity of care when women can get their subsidized STI care, subsidized birth control, and non-subsidized abortion care all in one place, instead of provider-hopping based on what’s available where. On the other hand, to me this really only highlights the underlying issue that free-standing clinics are much less likely to get government funds to cover patients’ birth control or STI costs, and therefore less likely to be able to provide their abortion patients with future wellness care at low rates like PP can. Continuity of care should be a standard no matter who your provider is! 

  • the-abortioneers

    Seconded! That was pretty much beautifully put. Thank you. 

  • the-abortioneers

    Oh, one more thing, PP doesn’t have “a monopoly because everyone else fled the field,” or at least not yet. For example: according to the National Abortion Federation, their members (mostly independents) provide about half the abortion procedures in the country each year. I don’t know the stats for the Abortion Care Network but their members (also mostly independents) overlap somewhat with NAF’s. Again, it’s simplistic to say that PP has somehow always been the only provider in town, it just hasn’t.

     

    I dislike that I even have to say this, but: I’m not trying to shit on PP, whom I’ve always appreciated for its many valuable services to our communities and country. To echo Toni, you can and should support BOTH Planned Parenthood AND your local indy providers! 

  • the-abortioneers

    I learned sometime last year that in Missouri, there’s no public agency for distributing Title X funds so all of the state’s allocation goes to the PP affiliate, who then decides how to administer it. Am not clear on whether they do or don’t direct some of those funds to other orgs, but at least as far as I can tell, they’re not REQUIRED to. 

  • the-abortioneers

    Sigh, sorry for the over-commenting, I am scatter-thoughted due to crazy jetlag. I didn’t even mean nmeg, you were responding to niftlr in that comment. Rest of my point stands though. 

  • colleen

    Hey, wait a minute. This comment hurts my soul a little.

    I was responding to someone elses argument. I support anyone who offers affordable reproductive healthcare to women who don’t have much money. I was not attempting to “hurt your soul” or saying anything negative about independent clinics. I was rephrasing a conservative economics argument.

     

  • the-abortioneers

    Sorry, my bad then. It sounded like you were saying it would be wrong for clinics to consider that they need to have income in order to afford rent, insurance, supplies, state licenses, and a living wage for their staff (guess which one usually goes first) so they can stay open.  

    Not that it matters whether the income is from out-of-pocket fees, insurance reimbursement, or public funds; just that the latter are practically out-of-reach to non-PP clinics. In all seriousness, and constructively speaking, what are providers to do? 

    -placenta sandwich

  • the-abortioneers

    One of our bloggers wrote about this issue at our website (Abortioneers – blogspot) and The Abortion Gang did, too.

    -aboutagirl

  • crowepps

    It’s possible that I did read too much into the comment, but the off hand assumption that PP ‘got greedy’ and the usual harping on government funding tend to be troll hallmarks.

  • arekushieru

    I think that was our whole point, though, PS and what I liked about Toni’s comment so well.  The fact that PP’s business model may be *inadvertently* pushing independent feminist clinics out towards the fringes and themselves towards a model of fewer options.  However, many people seem to have been placing the blame directly on PP.  And that’s what we disagreed with, I believe. 

    In my city we have a PP affiliate (I don’t live in the US, but in Canada) which doesn’t provide abortions.  The Morgentaler Clinic (renamed Women’s Health Options and started up by Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a man much like Dr. Tiller), which is more akin to Canada’s version of PP, rather than its affiliate, provides those.   We used to have one hospital that provided early term abortions, as well but the Province closed that section of the hospital down.  To me, that sounds like the business model overrunning the clinic rather than the other way around.