Manipulative anti-abortion “clinics” masquerading as women’s health providers are unfortunately all too common. Frequently located near abortion clinics and services like Planned Parenthood, these decoys flaunt names like A Woman’s Choice, giving the false impression that they are safe, encouraging centers for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies. A Woman’s Choice is actually the name of one such false “clinic” in Louisville, Kentucky. It is deceptively situated next to a legitimate and safe women’s health provider, the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, which states on its website that it is “the only licensed gynecologic surgery center in Kentucky offering abortion services.”
While the EMW Women’s Surgical Center respects women’s bodily autonomy, A Woman’s Choice is based on falsehoods and fear tactics. Its website makes sure to include the word “abortion” several times on its front page, and they strongly imply that they offer the same services as the EMW Women’s Surgical Center: “A Woman’s Choice Resource Center (AWC) is a non-profit special health clinic designed to educate and assist women.” If you hover over the “Pregnancy and Abortion Information” heading on their front page, there is no mention of abortion. They advertise free and confidential pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and “always a listening ear,” yet there are absolutely no concrete descriptions of the abortion procedures they supposedly offer. That’s because A Woman’s Choice doesn’t actually offer abortions; instead, they seek to threaten women into carrying unwanted or harmful pregnancies to term.
The reviews on their Google+ page paint a clearer picture of A Woman’s Choice firmly anti-choice mission. One reviewer, Jacqueline Grove, tells about how A Woman’s Choice lures women in under the impression that they are an abortion clinic. Once inside, women are given food and drink, which prevents them from heading next door to the EMW Women’s Surgical Center once they realize their mistake; women must fast for a day before they can receive an abortion. Grove goes on to describe how she has seen crying women run out of A Woman’s Choice in their underwear. After concessions are offered, a doctor takes the woman into a back room under the guise of giving an ultrasound, where he instructs her to take off her pants. While the woman sits, shocked, confused, and sans pants, the doctor lectures her about how sinful abortion is, and how her mortal soul is in danger. Her pants will not be returned to her until she has listened to the entirety of this tirade. Many women, flustered and frustrated, choose to abandon their clothes and storm out of the clinic at this point, hence the upset and betrayed women stomping pantsless through the parking lot. Grove is not the only reviewer to have witnessed this; her story is corroborated by several other reviewers on that page.
It is appalling that anti-choicers would take advantage of the emotional strife and stress that accompanies an unintended pregnancy. Women should not be manipulated, ever, let alone in a physically and emotionally vulnerable state by agenda-pushing institutions masquerading as legitimate women’s health centers. A Woman’s Choice has no interest in defending women or their freedom to choose what they do with their bodies; it pushes hyper-conservative, archaic, patriarchal standards of morality on women seeking medical services and support. It’s an absolutely horrifying bait and switch, and the fact that Louisville, Kentucky, and many other states, would allow anti-choice “clinics” to exist in confusing proximity to real, licensed women’s health providers is a travesty.