Communities Need Clinics: Independent Clinics - Leading the Fight to Sustain Abortion Access in the United States

Dec 01, 2021
  • Description

Independent abortion clinics —not private physicians' offices, hospitals, or Planned Parenthood health centers— provide the majority of abortion care in the United States. Although independent abortion clinics represent about 25 percent of the facilities offering abortion care, they provide 58 percent of all abortion procedures nationwide.

All of these providers are necessary to ensuring access to reproductive health care, including abortion—yet independent abortion care providers remain relatively absent from public conversations. These clinics lack the institutional support, visibility, name recognition, or fundraising capacity of national health centers and hospitals, making it especially difficult for them to secure the resources needed to keep their doors open.

Independent abortion clinics serve some of the most politically hostile areas of the country, provide a breadth of reproductive health services, and work with their communities and abortion funds to ensure that services are available to those patients with the fewest resources. They are bold advocates in their communities, states, and on the national stage—often fighting for and ensuring the legal right to access abortion.

Meaningful access to abortion care in the United States depends on independent abortion care providers keeping their doors open and continuing to provide quality, compassionate, patient-centered care. Unfortunately, independent providers are also the most vulnerable to anti-abortion attacks and legislation intended to close clinic doors or push abortion out of reach. Because independent clinics are more likely to provide more comprehensive abortion options, provide care as pregnancy progresses, and operate in the most politically hostile states, threats to these clinics are a threat to abortion access overall