National Partnership for Women & Families

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New Abortion Clinic Aims To Destigmatize Procedure

New Abortion Clinic Aims To Destigmatize Procedure

April 1, 2015 — An abortion clinic opening soon in the Washington, D.C., metro area aims to help destigmatize the procedure by minimizing the medical feel of the space and advertising in a frank manner, the Washington Post reports.

Clinic Details

The clinic, run by Carafem and located in suburban Maryland, will offer only medication abortions and serve patients who are no more than 10 weeks pregnant. During the course of a 60-minute appointment, patients will receive the initial pill in the medication abortion regimen after receiving standard tests and counseling services. The patients then will be provided with the second medication to take the following day at home.

Patients will be able to book appointments via the Internet or a 24-hour phone hotline, and appointments will be available in the evening and on weekends.

In addition, the clinic's advertising is direct in stating that the clinic offers abortion services, part of a broader push among reproductive rights supporters to talk about abortions in a frank and open way. For example, an advertisement that will appear in the D.C. area reads, "Abortion. Yeah, we do that."

Carafem President and CEO Christopher Purdy said that he hopes to open Carafem facilities in other states if the clinic is successful.

Inspiration from Overseas

Purdy said he got the idea for starting Carafem after spending more than 10 years with a not-for-profit group that helps promote HIV prevention and family planning services in developing nations. He said that receiving an abortion abroad in certain countries is sometimes as straightforward as going to a pharmacy but that it is often much more difficult in the U.S. (Somashekhar, Washington Post, 3/30).