Thursday, August 2, 2012

First Impressions

Can someone please come up with a "Tripadvisor" for abortion clinics? Who wouldn't want to rate their clinic experience? It would be cool, in an ideal world, if women felt safe enough to "rate" their experience. (Check out Abortion Care Network's Advice on choosing a clinic.)

- Were the staff friendly on the phone and in person?
- Was the doctor warm?
- Was it efficient and informative?
- Was it in a good location?
- Was the clinic clean?
- How was the website?
- What did you like and dislike?

First impressions count. They count when your clients call your clinic or your abortion fund. They are listening for something. Anything. Any detection that the person on the other end of the phone might judge them. She's trying to decide if you're the right place for her.

Abortion is riddled with stigma. People think of back alley abortions and dirty instruments. If your clinic is in a bad neighborhood, needs a paint job, and your staff aren't warm and professional (maybe they answer their phone too quickly and sound apathetic), it just adds to the nasty abortion stigma. On the other hand, if you have a modern, clean facility out-of-reach from hassling protesters, affordable prices, and kind staff, you're rockin' it. Right?

Women don't share their abortion experiences, but it would make a difference, I think, for women to weigh-in and provide online referrals. I use all sorts of websites like Yelp! that help me determine whether I want to go to a certain restaurant or not. Do I want someone's opinion on the abortion clinic they went to? Yes, please.


  1. Thanks AAG! Reminds me of the clinic scene in Juno. That's not what it's really like, people!

  2. You know, I think we could make this happen. Why not? I am not sure where to begin, but looking back at my decision on where to get my abortion, I just got lucky. Interesting point, About A Girl!

  3. Hi Anti-Anti - Thanks! I know, right?!

    OmMama - thanks for your comment. It would be cool if it could happen. I know some people think it might not be realistic because antis might take over the website, but there may be ways around this. Who knows?!

  4. What if all clinics, or all participating ones, gave out registration codes to each patient? It could be randomized before that, in case of patient fears about the clinic knowing who reviewed them. The website would either only have those reviews, or featured those ones as "validated" and put others below it. You could opt-out of using your email in any way on the site if you fear someone seeing references to the site in your email account.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.