Analysis

Salon writer wants pretty abortion clinics, isn’t so concerned about patient safety

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What do pregnant women need? Not support, or resources, or a safe clinic to go to. Apparently, all us ladies want only to go to places that are pretty. That’s what abortion advocates have been trying to convince us of, anyway, with the latest effort coming out of Salon. Katie McDonough features architect Lori Brown in an article McDonough titles “Making Abortion Clinics Beautiful.”

Across the country, small regulations about the length of hallways and requirements about transforming clinics into mini-hospitals have shuttered providers and blocked access to safe abortion care to hundreds of thousands of women. In such a climate, the look and feel of a clinic — how the built environment and aesthetic quality of the space can shape the patient experience, for example — almost seems like an afterthought. When the fight is about keeping the doors open and the lights on, the possibility that a clinic might be beautiful as well as functional can feel a bit audacious.

But not to the women and men who work in our clinics or the patients they serve. And not to Lori Brown, an associate professor of architecture at Syracuse University who is currently working to transform the facade of Mississippi’s last abortion clinic into something safe, functional — and extraordinarily beautiful.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization is already a dazzling pink, and clinic owner Diane Derzis and clinic director Shannon Brewer-Anderson have invested a lot of time, resources and thought into making the clinic feel safe and welcoming to the women they serve. But the clinic is surrounded by a wide fence to keep out a regular collection of protesters. And in order to provide additional protection and privacy to patients and the people who work there, the fence is woven through with a thick black tarp. The impression from outside is something like the clinic is caught inside a massive garbage bag.

Brown is working in collaboration with the clinic to change that. She put out a call for proposals on how to transform the exterior of the clinic, and will begin work after selecting the final design. In an event Brown organized in collaboration with the New School in New York City, designers shared ideas for walls of lush flora and vegetation and inflatable and interactive sound barriers that add an element of playfulness to an often tense and confrontational zone.

It’s interesting that they mention Diane Derzis. She’s been the darling of the pro-abortion movement, which is odd, because you would think she would be the last person they would want representing them. Her superb decorating skills have been praised before, yet somehow, her appalling record with patient safety is repeatedly ignored. Because we ladies, we don’t care about that, remember?

Give us something pink and pretty, and we’ll ignore that Derzis had 76 pages’ worth of health code violations, the fact that one of her clinics was forcibly closed because she sent three patients to the hospital in one day, and that, for all intents and purposes, she’s operating an illegal abortion clinic. Derzis laughably said in an interview that she thanks God for her safe abortion, yet she does nothing at all to provide safe abortions for women who come to her for help.

But oh boy, is her clinic pretty!

Of course, McDonough is not the first pro-abortion radical to ignore clinics with whopping health violations, simply because they’re pretty. RH Reality Check’s Andrea Grimes complained about how too many abortion clinics feel “sterile” and “medical” (shocking, considering that abortion is, indeed, a medical procedure) and lamented that more clinics don’t follow the lead of Whole Woman’s Health, which provides recliners, cozy blankets, and herbal tea.

Whole Woman’s Health has had multiple violations, including rusty instruments and expired medicine, but who cares? They’ve got herbal tea and recliners! The walls are decorated with inspirational quotes! Surely that tea and those pretty walls will make women feel better when they find out that an abortionist was poking around in their uteruses with rusty equipment.

This talk of making abortion clinics pretty is likely meant to distract from the horrors of the clinics, and what goes on behind their doors. A pregnant woman who thinks she has no option but abortion will feel validated going into a clinic that looks warm, cozy, and inviting. It may also distract from the fact that, as is the reality for many, many clinics across the country, the abortionist is a hack who keeps his clinic in filthy, unacceptable conditions, putting women at risk – and never mind the fact that they’re walking into a building where their unborn children will be brutally killed.

Pink walls and inspirational quotes will hopefully distract from that, too. McDonough’s interview is just another example of how ridiculously warped the priorities of the abortion industry are. The well-being of women is not important; patient safety is an afterthought. If pretty clinics keep women coming through the doors to slaughter their children and distract from the appallingly low standards most clinics operate under, then at the end of the day, that’s all that matters to them.

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