Peg Johnston, director of Access for Women, said the clinic performs 35 to 40 abortions a week. Johnston said the clinic serves within a 100-mile radius, including Otsego and Delaware counties.
“We are a friendly, competent clinic and we can get patients in quickly,” Johnston said. “We are focused on how to safely perform abortions and offer women compassionate care.”
Any woman, regardless of age, can request an abortion at the clinic without the consent of parents, guardian, or spouse, per New York state law. The clinic also sells emergency contraception for about $30, according to its website.
Johnston said she believes the decline in abortion could be because of better use of birth control, declining birth rates, or even because of effects from the Affordable Care Act. She said half of all pregnancies are unintended, and half of these end in abortion. Johnston was a past chair of the Abortion Care Network, whose goal is to eliminate the stigma surrounding abortion.
Johnston said at least once a week anti-abortion individuals gather outside the clinic and protest.
“I think these people are not putting themselves in the shoes of the women,” Johnston said.
Jean Jones of Afton, a pro-life advocate, said she believes the decline in abortion is because of an increase in this kind of protesting. She said she frequently sees protests on the Eternal Word Television Network, enjoys taking students on bus trips to the March of Lights and has an anti-abortion booth at the Afton Fair.
“More and more information is getting out,” Jones said, “Medical technology shows it is more than a blob of tissue. Family Planning is deceiving and takes a liberal slant, but abortion means taking the life of a baby. Studies show that you can see the heart beating and that the baby repels against the abortion instrument.”