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Former Texas-Based Abortion Clinic Aims To Decrease Stigma, Misinformation About the Procedure

July 17, 2015 — A Texas-based abortion clinic that a year ago was forced to close its doors under the state's omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2) now houses a new not-for-profit aimed at fostering open and factual conversations about abortion and decreasing misinformation and stigma around the procedure, the Texas Observer reports.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of the now-shuttered Whole Woman's Health, this summer launched the not-for-profit Shift, which she hopes can help alter the politicized conversation around abortion in the state. She said, "We don't shy from this sort of conflict that people have about abortion. We see that all the time." She added, "As providers we're very comfortable talking about the issues that surround abortion, and we do it every day with the women [whom] we serve."

Shift has rebranded the clinic as "ChoiceWorks," a "co-working space" that is available at no cost for community groups, student meetings, training sessions and other initiatives. In addition, the group will use the former clinic's three exams rooms and counseling spaces for public training sessions, which Shift calls "Abortion 101." During the sessions, trainees will be walked through the process of having an abortion. According to the Observer, Hagstrom Miller plans to invite students, community organizations from area and elected officials to the trainings before then opening them up to similar groups throughout the state.

Hagstrom Miller said of the trainings, "People can get factual information, but then also talk about what happens in this (exam) room, how regulations actually show up in the practice and how those regulations affect women's lives and their families" (Garcia-Ditta, Texas Observer, 7/16).