- (Photo: Reuters / Jason Reed)
A women's facility in Ohio that offers adoption services in addition to an abortion clinic appears to be setting the pace for new clinical standards that could potentially reduce the number of abortions in the U.S. and alter the landscape of productive care.
The Choice Network, which has four facilities throughout Ohio, is unique in that it offers women with unplanned pregnancies the full spectrum of options – all available on site. Founder Molly Thomas Rampe says the clinic provides an essential service to women.
"[We] make sure that women are making an informed choice; that when men and women enter the clinic that they know all the options," Rampe told The Christian Post Friday.
Rampe says the Choice Network is the only women’s care facility in the U.S. to offer a full adoption agency in addition to abortion services and parental planning all in-house.
Aside from providing an array of medical procedures for all patients, the clinic offers funding, housing and necessary resources to those who choose to keep their child.
"I spend a lot of time with women choosing parenting to make sure they're going to be successful," Rampe said. "We've gotten them housing, we make sure they get all the benefits they're eligible for. We just set our parents up to be successful. If they're going to make a parenting plan, they should have the resources to be successful."
Rampe said she believes her clinic reduces the number of late-term abortions, and works to make sure women are making correct, educated choices. Choice Network does not guide women in any direction; its "pro-woman" stance seeks to simply present every option, she insists.
Carrie Gordon Earll, spokesperson for pro-life group Focus on the Family, does not believe abortions occur because women do not know their options, but because these women have already made the choice to abort.
“[Choice Network] is unusual as most abortion clinic staff assume – based on experience – that a woman who comes in for [a] pregnancy test knows it is an abortion clinic and will probably abort if her pregnancy test is positive,” Earll said in an email.
Earll added that women who visit Planned Parenthood are “42 times more likely to abort a pregnancy than receive an adoption referral or prenatal care.”
Rampe says between 80 and 85 percent of women who enter a Choice Network clinic stick with their original decision, and that advisors only seek to support and reinforce whatever that decision may be.
The tendency for women to stick with their decision after visiting clinic doctors leads to a stigma – that options do not matter in an abortion clinic, which Choice Network hopes to change. The underlying issue, Rampe says, is the prevailing misconception about what an abortion clinic can be.
Abortion clinics and adoption agencies are often at odds with one another, backed by political pro-choice or pro-life feelings. The inability to bridge that divide is rooted in a semantic argument that ultimately, Rampe says, hinders progress toward effective pregnancy planning.
"I know the word 'choice' is loaded: pro-choice, anti-choice, anti-abortion, pro-life. People get bogged down with that word alone," Rampe said. "What I am interested in is to get past ideological debates and create a common ground with real answers."
The Ohio clinic performs about 150 abortions per month. Rampe says between 80 and 85 percent of women who enter the clinic stick with their original decision, and that advisors only seek to support and reinforce whatever that decision may be.
Many abortion clinics provide women information about adoption but fail to provide more than a brochure or phone number to women considering the option, she said.
The Adoption Access Network (AAN) works with abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, around the northeast to educate women about the possibility of adoption. With posters in each facility, women can contact AAN to hear real solutions and generate adoption plans with the agency.
Although AAN’s goal is to ensure that women are fully educated before making a decision, the Choice Network remains the only U.S. clinic to offer adoption services on site and has taken to educating other clinics – in Florida and North Carolina, to start – about implementing a similar system.
According to the March of Dimes, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned, underscoring the need for comprehensive women’s care clinics in the U.S.
Wherever the options presented to pregnant women, Earll says, “It's always in a woman's best interest to consider adoption.”
Rampe and Choice Network agree.