The first-ever facility that houses both an abortion clinic and birthing center has opened it’s doors in the United States.
Dr. Katherine Morrison has owned Buffalo Women’s Services in Buffalo, NY since 2004, but this February she expanded the full abortion services clinic to offer birthing procedures, reproductive care, including pap smears and prenatal visits. While Morrison told Cosmo.com that she knew it was a controversial move to introduce the two services together, when she looked at the percentage of women having abortions who were also mothers, it seemed necessary.
“I pointed out that 60 percent of women having abortions are already mothers and that a third of American women are going to have abortions at some point in their life. The women who were having abortions wouldn’t object to women coming here to have babies. And the women who would come to a freestanding birthing center value choice not just for themselves but for everyone.”
There are a few abortion clinics in New York City — The Margaret Sanger Center and the Choices Women’s Medical Center, to name a few — but only one birthing center in the state – The Brooklyn Birthing Center — that gives women alternative options to a medical delivery. For the woman who doesn’t want to give birth at a hospital or have a baby at home with a midwife, birthing centers offer a happy medium by allowing women to use natural birth procedures while having access to fully trained medical staff. Morrison says more birthing centers mean more safe deliveries and other reproductive procedures that professional physicians, like herself, could monitor.
“[Doctors] can do more with a birthing center. And it’s an acceptable middle ground for many women. In part that’s because the American College of OB/GYN is implacably opposed to home birth. They approve of a hospital birth or a birthing center birth. They approve of the birthing center because it must be owned and operated by a physician.”
While abortion itself is a hot button issue, all women, no matter what choice they make in regards to their pregnancy, should have access to safe reproductive care. Shutting down abortion clinics across the nation isn’t going to keep women, especially Black women, from having them. While a study reported that Black women delivered 24,758 babies in 2012, they still had the highest rate of abortions that year. In New York City alone, 42.4 percent of children aborted were Black. Here’s to hoping that those decisions were made safely because allowing access to reproductive care options, birth control and clinics can save Black women’s lives.