Abortion Clinic Poses as Spa

In this Dec. 17, 2013, photo, an unidentified medical clinician interviews a patient at a Planned Parenthood location in Boston. The regulation of protests outside abortion clinics returns to the Supreme Court for the first time since 2000 to find the justices seemingly more protective of speech and less committed …
AP Photo/Steven Senne

The abortion movement is going upscale: a new Maryland abortion clinic in Friendship Heights called Carafem attempts to make women who want an abortion feel like they’re attending a spa, with tea, robes, and plush furniture.

Not only that, Carafem wants women wanting an abortion to feel just dandy about the procedure, guilt-free, with its ads scheduled for metro stations in the area proudly proclaiming, “Abortion. Yeah, we do that.”

Carafem President Christopher Purdy blustered to The Washington Post, “We don’t want to talk in hushed tones. We use the A-word.” Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero said that his organization’s attempts to reach people on the fence about abortion should be augmented with another approach, echoing, “We also need to be unapologetic and bold.” In the last four years, the number of Planned Parenthood chapters on college campuses has skyrocketed from 70 to 250.

All Carafem will offer is the abortion pill, not vacuum aspiration or surgery, and clients must be pregnant for ten weeks or less. The lucky women will take a pill in an appointment that will last less than an hour, then given a second set of pills, which will trigger the abortion, likely within six hours. Not only will the lucky women save time, they will save money; Purdy will charge $400, while the average pharmaceutical abortion in 2011 cost about $500 in the United States.

Another perk for the abortion client: wood floors and wood tone on the walls. “It was important for us to try to present an upgraded, almost spa-like feel,” said Purdy, boasting, “It’s fresh, it’s modern, it’s clean, it’s caring. That’s the brand we’re trying to create.”

Of course, Carafem tries hard to avoid mentioning the child inside the mother; on its FAQ page, when asked, “What will the actual abortion feel like? What can I expect?”, Carafem answers:

It’s normal to experience cramping and bleeding in the hours following the second medication. Rarely do women bleed from taking the first medicine alone, but it is important that you still follow all instructions and use the second medication even if bleeding has started. Most women start to bleed within 30 minutes after taking the second medication. Bleeding and cramping is normal as this is your body passing the pregnancy.

When asked about which drugs are used, Carafem mentions two: mifepristone and Misoprostol. Discussing mifepristone, Carafem writes, “This drug is an anti-progestin. It works by blocking progesterone, which is needed to maintain and support a pregnancy in its early stages. Without progesterone, the pregnancy stops growing…”

Abortion counselor Emily Letts agrees with the in-your-face attitude about abortion championed by Carafem: the 26-year-old actress posted a YouTube video of her abortion last year, which was one of two winners of the initial “Abortion Stigma-Busting Video Competition” sponsored by the Abortion Care Network, which attempts “normalizing the abortion experience.”

A 2011 study by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion group, stated that 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion by age 45. Poet Katha Pollitt has ranted, “We need to talk about ending a pregnancy as a common, even normal, event in the reproductive lives of women,” insisting that abortion can be “just as moral as the decision to have a child — indeed, sometimes more moral” because “part of caring for children is knowing when it’s not a good idea to bring them into the world.”

Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, director of social policy and politics for Third Way, gushed that attempts to destigmatize abortion have given new life to the pro-abortion movement, as supporters of abortion imitate the gay rights movement by coming forward with personal stories of their own abortions.

Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, had a blunt response to Carafem’s attempt to make the procedure a trip to the spa: “Abortion is not pleasant,” she said, “and trying to put pretty wrappings around the procedure isn’t going to make any difference.”


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