In reading the stories about the SCOTUS decision restricting the ability of the city of Boston's ability to create a buffer zone for abortion clinics, I found myself wondering why is it still necessary to have separate clinics for abortions in what is one of the country's most progressive cities. With current medical technology they don't need to be performed in hospitals except for medically complicated situations. They can be and are performed in the offices of gynecologists and obstetricians who offer a much broader range of medical services.
It is easy to understand how in places like Mississippi and South Dakota there is a general political climate that is committed to denying women access to abortion services. Yet according to the Guttmacher Institute, on a national basis 70% of abortions are performed in clinics in which over half of their services are abortions. Another 24% are provided by somewhat more general reproductive health centers, 4% in physicians offices and 1% in hospitals.
Some of these clinics run by organizations such as Planned Parenthood have provided free or low cost services to women who lacked health insurance. The provisions and requirements of the ACA and the expansion of Medicaid should do a lot to reduce that problem.
Clearly places that are identified as specializing primarily in abortion services offer a target of opportunity for the bigots of the religious right. The clinics have the right to exist and women have a right to use them. However, demonstrators have always made that difficult and with the cooperation of the courts they will be able to make it more so.
The purpose of this diary is to ask the question about the possibilities of decentralizing services at least in cities with a reasonably progressive political climate. There may well be issues and problems that I am not aware of. I would be interested in hearing about them.