ATLANTA, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Abortion Clinics Online announces its 25th anniversary of continuous service. Through its online directory and hotline, Abortion Clinics Online directs women to reputable abortion clinics and fights back against fake clinics.
The site first went live in September 1995. The Internet was new, and just 14% of Americans had an Internet connection. Planned Parenthood did not yet have a website.
Some of the site’s earliest clients were skeptical, but founder Ann Rose knew that an online directory could make abortion more accessible while offering unprecedented confidentiality. There would be no more calling around to clinics desperately seeking help. For the first time people could find a clinic from the privacy of their own homes.
“Before the Internet, women had barriers to locating an abortion clinic nearby. The Internet opened new avenues for women to get good and accurate information about abortion services nearby,” Rose explained.
One of Rose’s first clients in 1995 was the now-legendary Dr. George Tiller who was later assassinated in 2009. He didn’t understand the internet. Then a patient desperately seeking a therapeutic abortion from England contacted him. Her doctor had told her things were hopeless. Dr. Tiller gave her hope, and he became an internet convert.
The online presence of abortion clinics has since grown into a powerful force. Clinics have nurtured a new generation of activists through social media and blogs. Most abortion-seekers now begin searching for a clinic online, and several abortion directories have followed, providing alternative models.
Abortion advocates have always occupied a dangerous world. Clinics have been bombed or burned. Clinic workers routinely face threats and violence. Rose has been the subject of smear campaigns and threats for her entire career. At a time when choice is under attack, keeping abortion legal is not enough. Women must have ready access to safe, quality abortion clinics.
Today, one of the directory’s biggest challenges comes from fake abortion clinics. These well-funded anti-choice centers offer no medical services. They may threaten or stalk women to convince them not to have abortions. Because they are not governed by medical privacy laws, they can use patient’s private information to humiliate or terrorize them. They invest in online ads, often outranking real abortion clinics. Rose and her team have fought to have them removed from these searches so that panicked women never have to listen to scare tactics. To make it less confusing, they were successful in getting Google to label fake clinic paid ads with a disclaimer stating they “Do Not Offer Abortions,” and abortion clinic ads with a statement that they “Provide Abortions.”
The future of abortion access is perennially mired in uncertainty—now more than ever, in the wake of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the inevitability of an extremist new Supreme Court justice.
Abortion Clinics Online will continue to serve as a source of hope and choice without judgment. The hope RBG inspired lives on.
Contact: Ann Rose / 770-330-0577 /
SOURCE Abortion Clinics Online