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.
GREAT BRITAIN – Documenting the harassment of anti-abortion protests
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 2, 2018
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) is a charity that offers abortion care, contraception, STI testing, miscarriage management, and pregnancy counselling to nearly 80,000 women each year via clinics in England, Wales, and Scotland. As part of their advocacy work, they have been running the Back Off campaign to introduce legal buffer zones around abortion clinics and pregnancy advisory bureaux since 2014, based on evidence collected from their clients that protests outside clinics are distressing and intimidating. Their work with Rupa Huq, a Member of Parliament, led to the establishment of a government review into protests outside abortion clinics, to which they wrote an in-depth response.
In the last 12 months, 18 of their 70 clinics have been affected by anti-abortion protests, including:
New laws needed to protect abortion clinic workers
February 12 2018
Imagine going to work and being told by strangers you are going to hell. You have to push past people who tell you what you do is wrong, that you should be ashamed and that you’re doing the devil’s work. Your vehicle is regularly splashed by "holy water" that mysteriously blisters the paint on your car, and you have graphic images shoved in your face as you enter your workplace.
This is the reality for many Australian healthcare workers each day who provide abortion care to thousands of patients.