Choosing a Quality Clinic
The Abortion Care Network gives advice on how to find the best abortion service that will fit your needs and choose a quality clinic.
The quality of care can vary widely among all medical facilities and since many women do not talk about their abortion experiences, it is often difficult to know what to look for when choosing a clinic. Here are some general guidelines:1. Advertising.
Internet: Many people search the internet using "Abortion Clinic" or "Abortion Services" and the city or state that they live in. There are also directories of clinics including one the ACN sponsors, the Abortion Clinic Directory and the list of clinics on this site.
Be sure to check out each clinic by calling them, visiting their websites, and visiting if possible.Yellow Pages:
Make sure you call a legitimate clinic under the category “Abortion Services.” Across the country there are thousands of "crisis pregnancy centers" that list their services under "Abortion Alternatives." They are actually anti-abortion centers. So, when you make your call, the first thing to ask the receptionist is if they perform or refer for abortion services.
Also, a clinic with the largest Yellow Page ad may not necessarily be the best facility for you. Read the ads very carefully and be aware of inconsistencies. For example, a clinic may advertise that they are in a specific town, but when you call they may say "we are not open there yet." You may then be referred to a facility in a different city. Investigate carefully before you make an appointment.2. Get a referral from someone you trust.
If you feel comfortable, ask a friend or family member if they know a good clinic in your area. Call a family planning office, local hospital referral service or your doctor's office. Find an ACN Clinic in our Member Directory.3. Calling the clinic - first impressions are important.
Choose a clinic that makes you feel comfortable. Keep these things in mind: How does the staff sound over the phone? Are they friendly? Do they appear knowledgeable? Did they listen to you and answer all your questions?4. Ask about the clinic's services.
Every clinic may be a little different, so you want to ask as many questions as possible: How many visits are required? Do they offer counseling? If so, is it group or individual? How long will I be in the clinic? What types of anesthesia or other pain management options are offered? Can my support person come into surgery and/or counseling with me? Does the clinic offer birth control?5. Ask about their fees.
Do the fees sound too good to be true? Be very careful - the lowest fee does not mean you will get the best care. Ask if the fee includes all services (e.g., medications, lab work, ultrasound, follow-up exams). If for some reason they cannot provide an abortion, how much will you be charged? Does the clinic accept your insurance? Do they offer a discount if you have Medicaid?Do they offer financial help or referrals to funds?6. If possible, visit the clinic.
Is the clinic clean? Do you feel comfortable in the clinic? Does the staff dress and act professionally and appropriately? Do they treat you as an individual and with respect and understanding?For further discussion and sample questions, go to “How to Choose a Quality Provider”.