Abortion clinic closings prevent fair health access for women

Recently, one of Greensboro’s last two abortion clinics, A Woman’s Choice on Pomona Drive, closed down. Soon after, a group that had protested weekly outside of the clinic held a celebratory vigil. The members placed flowers, balloons and notes out front and prayed in circles, reveling in the clinic’s termination.

The reasons behind the clinic’s closing are unknown, and the clinic and its listed owner, Dr. Carl Maurice Hoffman, reportedly remain unavailable for comment.

A possible explanation is that “a lot of providers have been dissuaded … because of the protesters and the threats of violence,” said Melissa Reed, the vice president for public policy at Planned Parenthood Health Systems, to Greensboro’s News & Record. “It certainly impacts women a great deal who are in need of an abortion.”

Women in Greensboro are now left with only one option for an abortion: Piedmont Carolina Medical Clinic on Randleman Road. The next-closest listed abortion clinic is a private doctor’s office in High Point, which requires a membership. While not technically in violation of Roe v. Wade, since abortion is still very much legal, the closing of local abortion clinics is preventing women from accessing that treatment.

The trend of abortions in North Carolina has steadily decreased since the beginning of the 2000s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and North Carolina state health departments, between 2004 and 2009 the yearly average of abortions in this state was 32,848. In 2009, a total of 30,596 people reported having had an abortion, 26,123 of which were in-state residents.

This closing will certainly cause a further decrease in abortions, as women are denied accessibility to get a safe and legal medical procedure.

People have understandably strong and passionate beliefs on this issue that stem from a myriad of convictions, family values and personal experiences developed over a lifetime or even generations.

“It is an unethical imposition to require (that a woman give birth to a child),” said Associate Professor of Philosophy Lisa McLeod.

Conversely, vigil member and protester Meg Foppe told The News & Record, “I’m here to give glory and thanks to God that this won’t happen here anymore.”

The reason that this issue remains so controversial is that both sides are deciding whose rights are more important, the mother’s or the child’s. There doesn’t seem to be a way of achieving a mutually amicable resolution.

However, the situation is not simply black and white, not simply pro-choice or pro-life. More complex issues still remain, such as whether or not the situation of upbringing should be considered in allowing abortions.

I don’t want to dispute or go into a lengthy analysis of Roe v. Wade. However, if abortion is going to be legal, then treatment needs to be accessible, otherwise the right to choose is being obstructed and infringed upon. It’s a matter of the upholding the law of the right to choose, not whether abortion is morally correct.

As Hillary Clinton said, “I have met thousands and thousands of pro-choice men and women. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion.”