Amidst the current pandemic, abortion clinics and pregnancy resource centers have fought to stay open to provide services to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. State restrictions have varied widely since the start of the pandemic. Throughout the ever changing restrictions, your local centers have done everything they can to be available and accessible to you. You have a right to information about your options for your pregnancy. Your local pregnancy center is there to meet your needs and get you the answers you are looking for.
Abortion access has been a concern for some women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy during the pandemic. Many women and men have been asking “are abortion clinics open?” During the year 2020 and beyond, restrictions have been ever changing. In some places, there are minimal restrictions. Other states and counties have very tight restrictions and regulations. Some states have only allowed life-sustaining business to remain open, while others have permitted any business to provide services. Some places have been able to perform elective procedures, other states have not.
As the year 2021 has begun, many states and counties have started loosening restrictions and mandates. Your pregnancy center is an advocate for you. They are doing everything they can to continue to stay open and provide you the services you need.
Your local center
If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, it is important that you receive information and support regarding your options. Your local center exists to provide you accurate information about all your options. The staff are there to support you. That is why your local centers have done everything they can to stay open, provide tele-health visits, and continue in person services when able. It is important to know what your local regulations and mandates allow. Your center should be following all state and local mandates to keep you safe! The CDC has the most up to date information regarding the pandemic. You can always check their website for the most recent guidelines. Below are the current steps Aim Women’s Center is taking to make sure you stay safe during an in person appointment.
All staff wear masks and perform a self-screening check every day before work. When you arrive for your appointment, your temperature will be taken and you will be given a mask to wear if you do not have one. The staff will also ask you a few questions about your symptoms and exposure. There is hand sanitizer available for you if you would like to sanitize your hands.
Appointments have been spaced out to allow more time in between appointments. This is done so that staff have time to clean all high touch surfaces and seats between appointments. Chairs, door knobs, and tables are all cleaned with an appropriate disinfectant to minimize your risk of exposure. There is also a sink available in the intake room so that you can wash your hands if you like.
The waiting room is closed to maintain social distancing. It is also closed to minimize your contact with other patients. This allows staff to keep you safe by making sure you do not cross paths with the appointment before or after you when you are coming and going. You can arrive at the time of your scheduled appointment, you do not need to arrive early. Because the waiting room is closed, you will need to wait outside or in your car until your appointment time. You can call the center when you get there to let them know you have arrived. When you enter the center, you will be taken directly to the appointment room.
Social distancing is maintained during your appointment. Chairs are set six feet apart so that you can converse with the nurse and advocate from a safe distance. To maintain social distancing guidelines and protect your privacy, visitors and guests are not permitted to come in with you during your initial intake. The staff recognize that this may be a difficult time for you. If you would like a partner, friend, or family member present for support, your visitor may come in during your limited ultrasound. Your visitor is welcome to stay during the options discussion as well. They are welcomed and encouraged to ask any questions they may have about pregnancy options.
The staff at your local center know that this can be an overwhelming time for you. Making a decision about the outcome of your pregnancy is an important decision. You will need support no matter what outcome you choose. The staff are there to support you as you learn about your options. They will also be there for you after you have made a decision and follow through on the outcome of your pregnancy.
If you terminate your pregnancy, the staff will be available for you if you need any additional support following your procedure. If you choose to make an adoption plan, the staff will make sure you feel confident with the adoption agency you are working with. They will also be available for you if you need support or someone to talk to after placing your child for adoption. If you choose to carry your pregnancy to term and parent, the staff at your local center will make sure you have the resources you need to feel supported as you begin your parenting journey.
No matter what outcome you choose, the staff will follow up with you to make sure your needs are met and that you feel confident in your decision.
If you are unexpectedly pregnant, your first step will be to schedule a free appointment. During your appointment, you will be able to confirm your pregnancy and discuss your pregnancy options. You may already have an idea of what outcome you will choose or you may be open to looking at all your options. If you don’t know what your options are or don’t know what decision you would like to make, that’s okay too! Scheduling an appointment will give you time to talk with a nurse and advocate. This will give you the opportunity to let them help you sort out your options. They want to give you the information you need and want.
The staff will not pressure or coerce you into making any decision. They do not profit from your decision. They simply want you to make the decision that is best for you! During your free appointment they will run a urine pregnancy test, offer you a limited ultrasound, and discuss any options you want to learn more about. They want to help you transform your fear into confidence. The staff will support you no matter what option you choose for your pregnancy. They will not judge you or your situation. They want to help you.
Remember, please check the CDC for the most up to date guidelines regarding the pandemic. Your local center is there to support you and is making every effort possible to keep you safe and healthy when you receive services through them. You can contact your local center to ask what their current openings and restrictions are. You can schedule an appointment anytime to receive the answers and support you need.