Women went to Gosnell's clinic for a reason. Some went to him because he was less expensive. Others went to him because it allowed them to dodge restrictive abortion laws. Some simply did not know about the awful conditions at the clinic. One of the clinic workers in the video makes a great point; had this been any other kind of medical facility, people would know not to go there. Why? Because with (almost) any other type of surgery or treatment, people will freely speak about their experiences. If a person has a bad experience at a clinic, they will tell people. They will go to their friends, their family, and even the internet to get the message out that you should not go to this clinic. This is not true for abortion. Women are shamed into silence. Women do not feel welcome to tell their friends, family, and the internet about their positive or negative abortion experiences if they please. Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures, yet no one speaks of it.
I implore Herold and the other people who are working on this project. Not only will this project raise awareness that most providers are not like Gosnell, but it will also help women find safe clinics to receive abortion care so they do not end up in the same position that Gosnell's patients were. The six principles of the Safe Abortion Project really say it all:
1. Historically, women will do whatever it takes to end a pregnancy they feel they cannot carry to term, including risk their lives.
2. If full insurance coverage for abortion were available, poor women and girls would not have to settle for the least expensive medical care.
3. Until abortion services in the United States are fully accessible to poor women, women will be vulnerable to those who seek to exploit their poverty with unsafe practices.
4. In a nation where more than 1 in 3 women will have an abortion at some point in her life, the culture of silent shame that surrounds the decision to end a pregnancy allows those who would provide poor quality and sometimes dangerous care to thrive.
5. Until abortion services are affordable and accessible to all women who need care, women will continue to be vulnerable to exploitation and harm by those who offer substandard, dangerous care.
6. Strict laws limiting women and girls’ safe access to abortion care does nothing to protect women.
Thank you so much, Steph, for doing this!