The History of Independent Clinics
Post-Roe v. Wade, feminists and physicians started opening locally-owned abortion care clinics in communities throughout the US. This outpatient care model kept the cost of the procedure more affordable for patients while also providing safe, high-quality care. These Indies set a new standard for all healthcare – laying the groundwork for affordable, exceptional outpatient specialty services.
Since 2011, there has been an unprecedented number of anti-choice regulations designed to shut down clinics. Additionally, independent providers face the same challenges that impact other small, community-based providers. These include costs of transitioning to electronic medical records and providing patient-centered care in an atmosphere focused on consolidation, which offers huge advantages to large healthcare systems.
Combined with insurance reimbursement rates that are lower than the cost of providing care and increasing anti-choice violence and extremism, it is becoming too expensive and/or logistically impossible for independent facilities to remain in business.
In both progressive and conservative states, the challenges facing local clinics are urgent and substantial. But unlike other healthcare specialties, there is no safety net for independent abortion care providers. When clinics close, access to abortion care diminishes; people with low incomes, women of color, immigrants, and rural communities are disproportionately impacted.
When you support ACN, you are helping us provide independent providers the tools and resources to keep exceptional, patient-centered abortion care available in communities throughout the United States. Our work includes:
Offering Technical Assistance: ACN provides individualized clinic support to our members on issues relating to scenario planning, operations, communications, staff development, equitable workplace cultures, fundraising and more.
Supporting the resilience and sustainability of independent clinics and their staff: In partnership with volunteer therapists, social workers, and other healing practitioners, ACN offers tools and programming to preserve and promote mental health and wellness of all clinic staff.
Offering training, professional and leadership development for a future pipeline of expert abortion care providers and professionals. Training is offered in person, onsite, online and in ongoing virtual groups.
Increasing Indie visibility in the public conversation. Elevating and amplifying the voices of independent provider from diverse backgrounds in the press, on social media and in public campaigns helps keep clinics open, shift abortion stigma and helps providers more effectively reach people who need abortion care.
Building connections between independent providers with one another and movement allies. ACN acts as a connector across clinics, physician’s offices, hospitals, lawyers, abortion funds, policy advocates and other allies to create space to dream and build a more equitable abortion ecosystem.