Getting Started: Adopting Your Local Clinic
Step 1: Contact your National Campus Organizer to locate the nearest women’s health clinic that needs assistance. Your National Choices Campus Organizer will coordinate with the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project to facilitate with the clinic and your adopt-a-clinic campaign.
Step 2: Your National Campus Organizer will assist your student group by:
- Calling the clinic and identifying your group as part of a pro-choice group on campus that is affiliated with the Feminist Majority Foundation.
- Asking if the clinic director or a representative could come to meet with your group to talk about the kinds of services they provide and the problems (if any) they have with anti-abortion protesters.
- Letting them know that your student group wants to show their support for the clinic, and ask what kind of help they need. Not all clinics will want or need community support, so we will ask them how your group can be of help.
Step 3: Develop a Plan of Action. The clinic director or staff will have a very clear idea about what would help improve safety, security, and the morale of staff and patients. After talking to the clinic director, it should be clear what type of support is needed, what the director wants, and what she does not want. Discuss the following types of support:
- Legal Observing: Experience shows that when protesters believe their activities are being systematically observed and recorded, they are more likely to tone down their actions. The clinic may need your help videotaping, documenting, and photographing anti-abortion protesters and their activities.
- Escorting: The clinic may need you to help facilitate the safe passage of patients and staff/doctors into the clinic. The clinic may already have a volunteer escort program which you can join.
- Mobilizing Public Opinion for the Clinic: The clinic may need you to help call press attention to the problems the clinic faces. They may want you to meet with the local newspaper, circulate campus petitions in support of the clinic and strong law enforcement action, organize community events such as rallies, or help build community support for the clinic.
- General Volunteer Work: The clinic may not be under any severe or constant threat, but may still very much need your help inside the clinic, or with activities including community or campus outreach.
- Community Support: A clinic may want you to come and publicly show your support for the clinic by holding pro-choice signs, particularly on days of high activity by protestors. Your presence and the presence of your campus group makes a statement that there are pro-choice supporters in your community, helps the patients cope with anti-abortion extremists, and shows extremists that the clinic and its patients have strong support.
- Clinic Support: Even if the clinic does not need you to volunteer at the actual location, they would appreciate your support and gratitude. Abortion providers and staff deal with a lot of controversy and harassment, and they like to know that their dedication to women’s health is appreciated. Sending a card or other “thank you” gestures may help lift their spirits and remind them that their community is supportive of their work.
Step 4: Connect clinics to the services of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project. If the clinic would like additional assistance, contact a Choices Campus Organizer right away at 866-444-3652 (East Coast) or 866-471-3652 (West Coast). We’ll connect them with the FMF’s National Clinic Access Project directly.