An abortion clinic opened north of Chicago Tuesday and seeks to normalize abortion in Illinois with pink and purple exam rooms, mints, tea bags and more.
Carafem Health Center opened in Skokie, Illinois, and offers abortion services up to 13 weeks in pregnancy. The clinic charges $475 for medication abortions and $550 for aspiration abortions.
The clinic will provide patients with bags of tea and mints among other items so that they feel as welcome and normal as possible. “While abortion is a common medical procedure, there’s stigma attached to it,” Carafem Director of Operations Kat Boyd said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “We try to create an atmosphere that’s warm, welcoming and normalizing.”
The newly opened abortion clinic has advertised on social media but has not yet advertised in hard copy and on billboards. “I can’t imagine we’re going to be quiet,” said Boyd, who explained that the company hasn’t yet decided on its physical advertising in the Chicago area, according to the Tribune.
Carafem also operates clinics in Atlanta and Chevy Chase, Maryland.
After Carafem sought to run an ad touting the “10-week-after-pill” in 2016, D.C. transportation officials blocked the advertisement, prompting a legal battle to begin. The American Civil Liberties Union represents Carafem in a continuing battle over the ad. Transit officials did accept a different Carafem ad, however, reading, “Abortion. Yeah, we do that.”
The new Illinois clinic will soon join local insurance company networks in order to provide abortion services that are covered by insurance so that patients will not have to pay the full cost of an abortion, according to Boyd. (RELATED: Woman Thanks Illinois Medicaid For Giving Her Free ‘Card’ To Abort)
“[Abortion] stigma comes from what is the destruction of human life,” said Chicago’s Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler, the Tribune reported. “No abortion rhetoric is going to change the basic injustice of abortion.”
“I think as attacks on abortion rights and care continue, many people are coming forward to share their personal stories to help normalize it,” Planned Parenthood of Illinois External Affairs Vice President Paula Thronton Greear also said. Greear noted that the abortion company strives to “unapologetically” offer abortion services. (RELATED: Planned Parenthood Opens New Clinic In Chicago Because Its Other Clinics Don’t Perform Enough Abortions)
Illinois law bans abortion after the point of viability except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or the unborn baby won’t survive after birth. Health care professionals can refuse to provide abortion services for religious or moral reasons.
“I do think when our human rights are being basically dismantled that people are stepping up and taking more bold and public action,” Abortion Care Network Executive Director Nikki Madsen said. “They’re really stepping up to say we are here, we are visible, and we want you to know where you can get care that you can trust.”
Carafem offered a Valentine’s Day special for 72 hours following the romantic day so that women could get the Plan B emergency contraception pill for only $10.
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