A guide to navigating abortion care in a post-Roe Greensboro

Examining healthcare and choice in our community

A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro is woman-owned and woman-operated, providing discreet and open-minded reproductive healthcare to our community.

A Woman's Choice, Inc.

A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro is woman-owned and woman-operated, providing discreet and open-minded reproductive healthcare to our community.

When the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last June, the constitutional right to an abortion disappeared. The decision now falls to the states to create legislation regarding the accessibility of abortion care. And in a place like North Carolina, where the political landscape is unpredictable, the future of abortion care seems uncertain. 

It’s important to note that as of last August, abortion services are illegal in North Carolina after the 20th week of pregnancy. But before then, abortion is lawful and obtainable in this state. So what do you do if you’re pregnant and are considering an abortion? 

I spoke with Amber Gavin, vice president of advocacy and operations for A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro, which is currently the only abortion care provider in the Triad. A Woman’s Choice offers a multitude of reproductive health services, including both the abortion pill (typically available up to 11 weeks of pregnancy) and in-center abortion care, also known as a surgical abortion (available up to 19 weeks and six days). 

Gavin advised beginning with tracking your pregnancy, which is actually determined by the first day of your last period, not when conception may have occurred. 

If abortion is something you’re considering, but you’re unsure of your options, you can start by speaking with someone at A Woman’s Choice about their services or solutions outside of their organization, like adoption. You can find their contact information below.

After you’ve discussed your plans and made an appointment, you’ll need to receive state-mandated counseling. According to Gavin, this counseling, required in some fashion in every state, is graphic, sometimes medically inaccurate, and employs fear tactics. 

The required counseling is part of North Carolina’s 72-hour consent policy. 72 hours prior to the abortion, a physician has to verbally provide a patient with a script detailing abortion procedures and risks, and the patient must then provide consent. A Woman’s Choice offers this counseling over the phone, so all you have to do is call within the designated time frame before your appointment to have a licensed staff member administer the script, which you would then affirm. 

When it’s time for your appointment, you’ll arrive at A Woman’s Choice and fill out the necessary paperwork. Afterward, clinical staff will get a blood sample for some blood work and do a urine pregnancy test, and they’ll also conduct an ultrasound, in accordance with state law

You’ll then meet with a counselor to confirm your decision. According to Planned Parenthood, “abortion is a very safe, simple, and common procedure.” That being said, it’s not always the right choice for everyone. At A Woman’s Choice, the goal is to equip pregnant people with the tools and power they need to do what’s best for them. 

Pro-choice means any choice, as long as it’s the right one for you. 

The next step depends on what type of abortion you’re getting.

If you’ve decided on a medication abortion, you’ll take two pills. The first is to end the pregnancy, and the second is to expel it, according to a 2020 article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. You can expect cramping and bleeding, like a heavy period. Your medical provider would be able to give you a more detailed explanation of this process, though. 

The benefit of a medication abortion is that it’s private. You’ll have to take the first pill at the clinic, but you can take the second pill at home where you’re comfortable and have a support system in place. But some people would like to be less involved in the process.

This leaves surgical abortion. According to Gavin, if you choose this procedure, you can expect to spend between four and six hours at the clinic. Every person is different and depending on your medical history, you may need to stay overnight. 

After your abortion, you would set up a follow-up call with A Woman’s Choice to ensure the procedure went to plan. Especially for medication abortions, you would probably schedule an ultrasound appointment to make sure that you’re not still pregnant. If any questions or concerns arose about how your appointment went, the staff at A Woman’s Choice would be willing to address them with you. 

Now let’s talk about cost. Abortion, like any medical procedure, can be expensive. That said, A Woman’s Choice partners with organizations like Carolina Abortion Fund, the National Abortion Federation and others to guarantee that finances aren’t an obstacle in accessing your abortion. Gavin said that through organizations like these, you can also be set up with support like “childcare, lodging and… transportation” if needed.

Accessing an abortion can also be a confusing process. Alongside the threat to legal abortions altogether, Greensboro is home to several crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). These centers “look like real health centers, but they’re run by anti-abortion activists who have a shady, harmful agenda: to scare, shame, or pressure you out of getting an abortion, and to tell lies about abortion, birth control, and sexual health,” according to Planned Parenthood. There are 49 CPCs in North Carolina, and they appear so much like abortion centers that I accidentally called one when trying to get in touch with an actual abortion provider. 

It was a simple mistake, and one that any pregnant person could make when trying to book an appointment. But it can be dangerous. 

According to the Women’s Law Project, “CPCs do not typically provide medical services and therefore do not generally have to comply with medical privacy protections such as HIPAA”. They can distribute any information you share with them. 

This makes supporting abortion care providers all the more important. If you’re interested or able to donate to A Woman’s Choice so that it can continue providing care and choice in our community, you can do so here. Outside of donations, Gavin suggested simply talking about abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, despite the fact that “29,500 abortions were provided in North Carolina ” in 2017, and rates have barely budged over the last two decades, abortion is still stigmatized. According to a 2022 publication in the Journal of Social Science & Medicine, this can detract from the quality of care that patients receive, which presents a real threat to those seeking abortions in our community.

Abortion is normal. Abortion is health care. Abortion is safe. Let’s keep it that way. 

Contact information for A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro

 Address: 2425 Randleman Road, Greensboro, NC, 27406

 Phone Number: 336-347-1049