By Katherine Bisanz
In an article by Elizabeth Flock that seeks to discover whether the Gosnell story is changing the discussion surrounding abortion, Leah Chamberlain, the administrator of Philadelphia Women’s Center commented that rather that opening up a new conversation on the issue, an even greater divide has been forged between abortion supporters and the anti-choice community.
“I would hope that we could both rally behind the prosecution of someone who was providing subpar medical care to women, but this situation seems to be drawing clear divisions between the two camps and there’s a lot of yelling at each other rather than listening,” she said.
Curtiss Hannum, director of center affairs and development pointed out that one conversation that has indeed shifted is the patient/provider conversation. Hannum has noticed that patients in the clinic are asking different questions that they weren’t concerned about previously about how recently the facility has been inspected or about who their doctors are.
As for how the Philadelphia Women’s Center plans to move forward, Chamberlain made clear that Philadelphia Women’s Center will continue to serve women as it has done for many years:
“Really we are just going to continue to do what we’ve been doing all along which is to listen to, trust, and serve women by providing them with the safe, respectful and compassionate reproductive health care services that they are asking for and deserve”.
Hannum stated that when it comes down to what the clinic will take away from Gosnell, there is one ”essential truth” that Gosnell solidified for them:
“Stigma, shame and inequality in access to legal abortion care creates fertile ground for subpar and criminal providers to thrive. Increased regulation has not stopped illegal and poor quality providers and never will because current regulation is fueled by a desire to limit access and close clinics not from a desire to make women and their families safe, valued and respected.”