This week I had the opportunity to view the interiors of two Pennsylvania women’s centers where abortions are performed. For all the horrible images painted by the anti’s of these “abortuaries,” I was relieved to know that women who choose to have an abortion can do so in a comforting, safe and soothing environment.
The waiting room of the Allentown Women’s Center is cozy with messages of support from patients displayed on the walls. There are photographs of men and women depicting the various choices women have including medication abortion, carrying the pregnancy to term, or choosing high school over an unwanted pregnancy. There are also artsy photographs of hypocritical racists who protest abortion while draped in white robes. The most calming aspect of the room, however, is a large painting of brightly colored palm trees on the ceiling. Beyond the doors of the waiting room are counseling rooms, procedure rooms, and the recovery area.
At the Philadelphia Women’s Center, the area beyond the waiting room is a light shade of pink, with purple accents, and feminist artwork portraying various aspects of women’s strengths. Women can choose to listen to the soothing sounds of birds chirping or to read encouraging words from other women who have been in the same situation.
Although making the decision to have an abortion may be difficult, it is wonderful to know that women have safe and supportive environments to go to when they are need of them the most.
Stephanie Chando, Duvall Project Intern