I helped women get abortions for 28 years — through protests and shifting rules
By Joan Finn-McCracken
May 25, 2018
Joan Finn-McCracken is a former teacher and nurse practitioner. She was a director of Planned Parenthood clinics for 32 years.
One of the first patients who came to our family-planning clinic in Billings, Mont., newly opened in 1969, sought help after she and her boyfriend had hitchhiked 500 miles from Billings to Colorado to terminate a pregnancy. Colorado was one of the five states where abortions could be legally obtained. They had heard about Colorado through his older sister, and were able to borrow enough money for the procedure but not enough for a bus ticket. She was 17, unmarried and so desperate to return home before anyone missed her that she did not stay for her follow-up appointment. Now she came to us for follow-up care, as well as birth control.
Although I was the mother of five children and a graduate of the Duke University School of Nursing, and had taught in two nursing schools, I knew little about abortion. Our patient was afraid to go to her family doctor because she was not sure what was legal or illegal. And neither was I. But I did know we could not prescribe her birth control — it was against the law for anyone under 18.
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) Rejects Montana County Prosecutor's Call to Implement "The Handmaid's Tale"
Jan 12, 2018
NAPW Advises Pregnant Women Not to "Self-Report" and the Public to Reject Incoherent and Inaccurate Claims Regarding Pregnant Women
On January 11, 2018, the Big Horn County Attorney's Office issued an announcement calling for the "immediate crackdown" on pregnant women that is outrageous, irresponsible, and dangerous to women, children, and families. According to this statement, every pregnant woman should be constantly monitored for the use of alcohol or non-medically prescribed drugs, turned in to state authorities by friends, family members, health care providers and strangers, and become subject to court orders of protection that may be enforced through arrest and incarceration to "incapacitate" expecting mothers. Pregnant women are advised to "immediately self-report" to the Department of Health and Human Services to avoid prosecution. The County Attorney also calls on other prosecutors throughout Montana to join him in this reckless call to hunt down pregnant women. NAPW is shocked by this attack on the health, liberty, and basic human rights of women in Big Horn County.
Continued at source: http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/blog/2018/01/statement_condemning_call_for.php
by Alice Hines
Sam Avery knew she could find what she needed at the All Families clinic, because she’d seen the protesters outside when driving through town. Their “Pray to End Abortion” signs billboarded an otherwise discreet service in Kalispell, Montana, population 22,000. It’s the kind of town where churches outnumber supermarkets and gay pride parades draw counter-protests. The clinic’s owner had a nickname: “Susan Cahill the baby killer,” says Avery. “She’s got that label for the rest of her life.”
Avery got pregnant after quitting the hormonal birth control that was making her sick. She decided to get an aspiration abortion, one of the most common surgeries in the U.S., which takes between three and 10 minutes to complete. Avery’s drive to All Families took four hours from her then-home on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation through Glacier National Park and across the Continental Divide. When she finally met Cahill, she gleaned a different impression from others in town: “She’s a rare mix of badass and surly and also caring and understanding. She has the right proportions to be really good at what she did.”
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