This year was a busy one for our staff and supporters! Looking back, it’s difficult to believe how much happened, but we’re excited to head into 2018 with enthusiasm and purpose. Here’s a recap of what we accomplished in 2017.
Celebrated 14 years of Helping Women
Whole Woman’s Health was founded in February 2003, in Austin, Texas. We are looking forward to celebrating 15 years in 2018!
Re-opened our Austin, TX Clinic
In July 2014, Whole Woman’s Health of Austin was forced to close due to Texas’ Omnibus Abortion Bill (HB2).
Nearly ten months after the historic Supreme Court victory in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision in June, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance of Austin opened its doors on April 28th. We continue to offer quality care at our original North Austin location on I-35.
Testified Against Neil Gorsuch
On Thursday, March 23, Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO and Founder of Whole Woman’s Health and Lead Plaintiff in the historic Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt Supreme Court case, testified before a Senate committee on why we must stop Judge Gorsuch. (You can read her full testimony here).
Joined Lady Parts Justice League for a Beautification Project & Comedy Show in Fort Worth, TX
In May, our staff members joined forces with those on “The Vagical Mystery Tour” – Co-Creator of “The Daily Show” Lizz Winstead (who is also the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Lady Parts Justice League), Comedian and Actor Ian Harvie, and Comedienne Joyelle Johnson – for the “Don’t Mess With Access” comedy show, which benefitted Whole Woman’s Health and our advocacy organization, Shift.
The following day, Lady Parts Justice League volunteers, including Winstead, Harvie and Johnson, visited our Whole Woman’s Health Ft. Worth clinic location to plant shrubs outside and around the building. They also coordinated lunch for the entire clinic staff, that was provided by Deep Cuts Butcher Shop in Dallas.
Challenged Texas’ Senate Bill 8… and won!
In June, Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 8, an ominous anti-abortion bill that would further restrict abortion access for Texans. In July, we joined other abortion providers in challenging SB8, particularly the portion of the bill that would criminalize the D&E procedure.
In November, we took Texas to court (again). After presenting our case, witnesses, and evidence, Judge Yeakel ruled in our favor.
Launched a NEW Website
In August, we relaunched our Whole Woman’s Health website that features a new look, branding, and better mobile capability. As we expand our presence into new communities, our web presence has become more and more important in our work.
Offered No-Cost Abortions to Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey
At the end of August, Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey, leaving many without homes. Many of the abortion clinics were forced to close during and after the storm, despite their best efforts to help their patients. We know the need for abortion care doesn’t stop during a natural disaster, so we offered no-cost abortions to those patients affected by the hurricane.
With the help of Lilith Fund, our own Stigma Relief Fund, and other statewide funds and practical support networks like Fund Texas Choice, we were able to complete 85 abortions and 12 consultations at no costs to the patient during the month of September. We used $50,905 to cover costs, and raised approximately $25,000.
Our Stigma Relief Fund works year-round to help cover abortion costs for our patients in need; donate to Stigma Relief Fund today.
Opened New Clinics in Charlottesville, VA and South Bend, IN
In October, we excitedly opened the doors to our 8th and 9th locations in Charlottesville, Virginia and South Bend, IN. Both communities are classified as extremely hostile to abortion rights. In fact, 78% of Virginia women live in a county with no abortion clinic. Our clinic in Charlottesville continues our mission to offer quality care where it is needed the most.
Launched Whole Woman’s Health Alliance
In October, we launched our non-profit, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA). WWHA is part of a nationwide initiative to combat abortion stigma. Our Austin, Charlottesville, and South Bend clinics operate under WWHA. End abortion stigma and donate to Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (link) today.
Joined Clergy Members to Bless our Clinic in Fort Worth, TX
In November, we hosted clergy members and activists into our Fort Worth clinic for a blessing. We sang, prayed, and members of our staff had their hands blessed for the work they do to touch women’s lives. It was a beautiful afternoon.
Painted a Beautiful Mural Outside of our Clinic in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been to our clinic in McAllen, Texas, you know our building features an empowering mural painted on the side. We wanted to bring that same feeling and community connectivity to our clinic in Fort Worth. Artist Angelina Villalobos designed and painted a vibrant, empowering mural along the fence for all of our staff and patients to enjoy. It’s gorgeous!
We Continue to Expand and Welcomed Many New Staff Members
2017 brought change behind-the-scenes at Whole Woman’s Health as well. As we continue to expand into new states and communities, the need for a bigger staff made itself clear, and we welcomed many new faces to our teams in our clinics, headquarters, and our EmpowerLine. It’s refreshing to work with so many people who share our passion to provide quality abortion care. We are looking forward to continuing our work in 2018!