Abortion

D.C. Entrepreneurs Want to Make Abortion Clinics More Like the Spa

And it's a great idea.

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Carafem/Facebook

"Abortion. Yeah, we do that." That's the slogan Carafem, a new medical clinic opening in the District of Columbia, has chosen for a series of ads soon launching across D.C. Metro stations. And while advertising abortion services may be atypical in itself, that's not the only thing that sets Carafem apart. "With its natural wood floors and plush upholstery, Carafem aims to feel more like a spa than a medical clinic," reports The Washington Post

Patients will also have the option to book appointments online and be greeted "with warm teas, comfortable robes and a matter-of-fact attitude," the Post notes. Carafem president Christopher Purdy told the paper: "We don't want to talk in hushed tones. We use the A-word."

Being unabashed about performing abortions puts Carafem in stark contrast with most abortion providers. Planned Parenthood tends to publicly downplay its abortion services in favor of emphasizing its role in prescribing birth control and performing Pap smears. This makes sense considering that the vast majority of Planned Parenthood patients are not abortion patients. But even clinics that exist solely to provide abortions tend to avoid consumer advertising and try not to draw much attention to themselves. 

Surely this is, in part, for staff and patients' safety. But there's also ample hesitation—from clinics, doctors, patients, and pro-choicers more generally—to be unapologetic about abortion, lest anyone think the ladies are getting too uppity about owning their own bodies. Women who've had abortions are expected to talk about how tough the choice was. Advocates wax about it being the most difficult decision a woman will make. And politicans still promote the "safe, legal, and rare" paradigm. 

Yet recently a new (or revived) rhetoric of abortion has been percolating, one that says not all women feel conflicted about the decision and abortion should be as prevalent or rare as it needs to be. It's a view perhaps best articulated in Katha Politt's 2014 book Pro, in which Pollitt argues that abortion is "an essential option for women—not just ones in dramatic, terrible, body-and-soul-destroying situations, but all women—and thus benefits society as a whole." With around one-third of women having an abortion before age 45, the way we currently discuss abortion does not reflect reality, she suggests.  

Anti-abortion advocates told the Post that people will be "digusted" by Carafem clinic, and surely some will be. Yet despite the Post describing it several times as spa-like, Carafem is basicaly just creating an abortion clinic that looks and operates like other upscale medical practices. If abortion in general doesn't disgust you, then I'm not sure why offering patients a robe instead of a paper dressing gown and some tea instead of a water cooler would. And if abortion in general does digust you—well, it really doesn't matter if the waiting-room seats are plush or not, does it? Unless, of course, punishing women for their choices in as many ways as possible is also part of your agenda. 

NEXT: Is Economics "Morally Debased"? Do Economists Teach Evil?

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  1. I heard Indiana is going to boycott DC over this.

  2. So, as a taxpayer, how much am I expected to pay for this? Do I just have to pay for the abortion, or do I pay for all the amenities too?

    1. You also pay for the happy ending.

      1. You mean like these?

    2. Wouldn’t you rather pay for abortions than day care, education, then incarceration?

      Looking solely at the money part of this, anyway.

      Hell, if I could get off the hook for those three, I’d support the Department of Depo.

      1. Wouldn’t you rather pay for abortions than [WIC], [Medicaid (for the prenatal and delivery)], day care, [Medicaid (for all of the kid’s snifles, bumps, bruises* etc)], education, then incarceration?

        [*mostly from rental beatings.]

        FTFY

        1. “[PA]rental”, that is.

          Reminds me of the fact that socon Republicans nearly derailed welfare reform in the 90s when they figured out that if you cut their benefits women might decide they didn’t want those precious little bundles that Jesus loves so much, after all.

          I not only support a woman’s right to choose an abortion, I support a man’s right as well!

  3. “…More like spas”

    Privately funded and self-sustaining without transfer payments from the government to non-profits?

  4. to be unapologetic about abortion, lest anyone think the ladies are getting too uppity about owning their own bodies.

    Well if you think of it that way, sure. Whereas if you are on the other side of the issue and think of it as the unholy murder of innocent life you can see how they might not consider that.

    In other words, no need to ascribe misogyny to people who think abortion is immoral in of itself because it destroys life. There are better ways to argue your position.

    1. Women who’ve had abortions are expected to talk about how tough the choice was. Advocates wax about it being the most difficult decision a woman will make.

      Yeah, on one hand, abortions are no big deal! Yet also, a tough choice to make.

    2. Yeah, that struck me as the sort of proggy cheap shot that I wish Reason was more wary of taking.

      Nobody is saying the problem with abortion is the wimmenz getting uppity. Pretending that is the case, as the proggies are wont to do, is just bad faith.

      Be better than that, Reason.

  5. “We don’t want to talk in hushed tones. We use the A-word.”

    You do?

    1. Analingus? The A-word is Analingus, right?

  6. An abortion thread right before PM Lynx. Timing just not right, I fear discussion will be ended prematurely.

    1. This will be a shitfunnel cloud rather than the F5 shitnado we deserve.

      1. We had at least an F3 in the arab thread.

        1. That was just a Byclone. Annoying, but no real damage.

    2. you might say that this is a miscarriage of journalism!

    3. What you did there…

      1. It sucked.

    4. I see what you did there.

      1. Looks like I came along during the second trimester.

  7. And if abortion in general does digust you?well, it really doesn’t matter if the waiting-room seats are plush or not, does it? Unless, of course, punishing women for their choices in as many ways as possible is also part of your agenda.

    I’m gonna go ahead and say that there’s a big difference between the picture of “scared women taking an option of last resort” and “plush spa experience” when it comes to the argument of necessity. This spa undercuts the whole “safe, legal, and rare” rhetoric of the 90s.
    Don’t get me wrong, as somebody who thinks that abortion is straight up murder, I don’t care whether you kill in a sterile operating room or a spa clinic. However, I do think that this completely destroys the picture painted by the “it’s a hard time for women put in bad positions” crowd.

    1. Look, nobody enjoys shooting penguins, but it you have to shoot penguins, well, you might as well enjoy it.

    2. However, I do think that this completely destroys the picture painted by the “it’s a hard time for women put in bad positions” crowd.

      Which was…the entire idea, according to this blog post.

      1. Right, which is why I have no clue what the portion I quoted is saying, except “read my social signals and love abortion alongside me.” Why is plush abortion “disgusting?” Precisely because of the “safe, legal, and rare” rhetoric and the “hard times for women” crowd.

        In some sense I’m getting my dander up because ENB is just being confrontational, but the entire article is a giant truism. People who have no compunctions about abortion end up having no problem glamorizing abortion. People who think abortion is murder thing this is glamorizing murder. ENB has no problem with the first half of that, but then falls on her face when confronted with the second half.

        1. I don’t know, I think ENB understands both halves of that just fine, and this is only complaining about the “safe, legal and rare” stupidity.

          1. Exactly. I bet she feels microaggressed by the misogyny in claiming that she can only understand the first half and not the second half.

  8. Excellent trolling, ENB.

  9. It looks like Carafem doesn’t even provide surgical abortions, just medical ones (i.e., “the abortion pill”). ENB, do you have any further information about this? I mean, I guess it makes it a lot easier to be spa-like when all you have to do is an ultrasound and a chat.

    1. Are the women expected to stay around there until they…abort, miscarry, whatever it is when the pill does its work?

      1. No. It’s also two pills, and you take one in person and the other one later at home.

    2. I guess it makes it a lot easier to be spa-like when all you have to do is an ultrasound and a chat.

      Yeah, the surgical abortion generally doesn’t lend itself as well to the spa model. Soothing aromatherapeutic candles and bubble baths are great and all, but the bloody and dismembered bits of a once homonid-formed fetus get discarded from the vacuum cleaner and into the medical disposal bin, the chance of a bit of infant-blood oozing into the deep cleaning mud bath is simply unconsciounable. .

      1. Eighteen words, including articles and prepositions, from “fetus” to “infant”. Eddie could have got that down to twelve not counting the small, gestational words. C- work

  10. Does anyone else think the Carafem logo looks like a heart being extracted from between two legs? Or am I just a horrible, horrible human being?

    1. Damnit Catatafish, now that’s all I see when I look at it.

      You’re almost worse than Nikki. Almost.

    2. I think it’s just you, but that doesn’t preclude you from being a horrible person. Many of us are, you know.

      1. It probably has something to do with our affinity for economics. Or so some obscure author of “The Communitarian Manifesto” tells me.

      2. Especially if we think economicallisticaly.

        1. Admn! Late again!

    3. I was thinking, “Lay back and put your heart in the stirrups.” But I guess they don’t need those with the pills.

  11. With around one-third of women having an abortion before age 45,

    I had not hear that stat. How solid is it?

    1. I second the request. I have no moral objection to it being three-thirds, but one-third sounds high.

      1. If it’s D&Cs;, I have no problem with the validity of the statement.

        Women have D&Cs; for reasons other than wanting to murder unwelcome guests.

  12. Treat abortion like a vice and you’ll get the gnashing of teeth that follows all the other ‘dirty things’ us humans do to our bodies that fucking moralists and society-designers despise.

    The only place abortion will go if the moralist wins is in the black-market basement. Abortion, like prostitution and drugs, simply flourishes dangerously underground in spite of the biting glare of government sanitation. Not that all things underground are violent- the chance of jeopardy simply increases if shit invariably goes wrong.

    When ‘dirty things’ are released from the prison of social disdain the muscular nature of open intelligence is released to advance solutions and technologies that remained otherwise restrained.

    1. Calling the anti-abortion crowd society-designers is hilarious considering abortion was advanced by eugenics loving progressives… For those who believe abortion violates the NAP it is one of those ‘dirty things’ that should be illegal, like murder. It’s irrelevant if it would still occur or not.

      1. Calling the anti-abortion crowd society-designers is hilarious considering abortion was advanced by eugenics loving progressives

        Not hilarious, just irrelevant. That abortion was advanced by eugenics loving progressives says nothing whatsoever about the anti-abortion crowd and their society-designing agenda. Thanks for playing.

      2. If you fuck a pussy that uses birth control you’ve likely caused a few abortions. Are you a murderer?

  13. Whenever I read the “pro-choice” position, I’m struck by how similar it is to the pro-slavery position – often, word for word similar.

    Near the end, slavers started arguing that slavery was a positive good, and now the pro-choice movement is trying the same thing…expect the same outcome.

    Everyone knows that abortion is murder, but some people find that fact inconvenient, so they make up a bunch of mumbo jumbo about how somebody “becomes” human whenever the society in which they live has the medical technology needed to allow them to live outside the womb, as if our humanity is something society grants us, rather than something intrinsic to ourselves.

    Abortion’s on its last legs because the generation growing up in our society now has seen too many films about life in the womb and they aren’t buying the mumbo jumbo. Science & demographic change will end this debate.

    1. Everyone knows that abortion is murder

      Awwwww…the strident, screechy desperation of the True Believer(tm) on display for all to see. Thanks for stopping by, Chris.

    2. If you fuck a pussy that uses birth control you’ve likely caused a few abortions.

  14. Abortion in general doesn’t disgust me, but making light of it, deliberately attempting to minimize or mask its seriousness, does.

  15. Wait, some people actually think the dispute over abortion has anything to do with women’s bodily autonomy? Funny, she talks about being ‘blunt’ on the issue of abortion, and yet, characteristically, completely avoids the actual point of contention. Ya know, the fetus?

    Whatever one’s position, can we stop with the bullshit about this being about women ‘owning their own bodies?’ Considering how many men vs. women are in prison in this country for frivolous or nonexistent reasons, the sloganeering just sounds like a series of bad jokes.

    Would it be sexist of me to say, in light of it being women’s history month, that maybe a lot of women might benefit from being told more often that it’s not always about them? I ask in jest, I really don’t give a shit.

    1. The majority of pro-abortion writers are hypocrites unwilling to consider the tangled ramifications of their socialized philosophy which is perversely centered on ‘individual freedom’.

      However, ENB is not one of these writers. She is clearly pro-choice which obviously bothers some of the religious ethicists in these threads but in fairness her open-minded viewpoint is evidenced across much of her writing.

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