A bed at the clinic in a nice, homey room.

Birth justice and abortion access come together in one awesome clinic

A bed at the clinic in a nice, homey room.

The Birthing Center of Buffalo in Buffalo, NY (Photo credit: Buffalo Rising)

Just over this past Valentine’s day, a birthing center opened in Buffalo, NY. It is the first ever birthing center in the country to also be an abortion clinic.

This is super cool because the birth community is really pretty separate from the abortion access advocacy community. Though there is definitely some notable overlap–Feministing alumna, reproductive justice advocate, and awesome person Pérez of Radical Doula being one great example–generally these two issues don’t mix. This is, quite frankly, absurd: one in three women will have had an abortion in their lifetime, and most either are mothers already or go on to become mothers. That these reproductive health services exist so separately from each other is definitely about one of them being very stigmatized while the other is seen as very normal–though both birth and abortion are part of many, many women’s lives.

The owner of the practice has a clear understanding of this fact:

To those behind the facility, the location of the birthing center makes sense for philosophical and practical reasons.

“I see a connection between respecting a woman’s right to decide to end a pregnancy and her right to determine how she has her baby,” said Dr. Katharine Morrison, the obstetrician-gynecologist who has owned Buffalo Womenservices since 2005.

Here’s hoping that we see a lot more intersection of the birth justice and abortion access movements–there is certainly much work to do together.

1bfea3e7449eff65a94e2e55a8b7acda-bpfullVerónica is excited to see birth justice and abortion access come together!

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser.

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