The mission of the Feminist Women’s Health Center is to provide accessible, comprehensive gynecological healthcare to all who need it without judgment. As innovative healthcare leaders, we work collaboratively within our community and nationally to promote reproductive health, rights, and justice. We advocate for wellness, uncensored health information and fair public policies by educating the larger community and empowering our clients to make their own decisions.
The founding mothers recognized the existing medical system's beliefs and practices were based primarily on male assumptions of what was "best" for women. In the new center they created, they changed those norms. Atlanta's feminist clinic started with self-help groups that allowed women to ask frank questions about their bodies. Our founding mothers were inspired by a powerful idea -- to reclaim knowledge about their own body by learning from each other and ourselves through self-help. Self-help is the ability to understand, care for, and make one's own decision about healthcare. Self-help was a cornerstone concept of the women's health movement.
It was only a few years prior that safe and legal abortions were not available for most American women. Women with limited access to resources or information at that time sought "back alley" abortions, most risking their fertility, health, or lives. Shortly after the U. S. Supreme Court announced its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton (Doe was Roe's companion case from Georgia, represented by Margie Pitts Hames) legalizing the right for women to choose the outcome of their pregnancy, the first feminist clinic, the Los Angeles Feminist Women's Health Center opened and began providing safe and legal abortions.
Other activists soon opened feminist centers in other parts of California, as well as in Iowa, Florida, New Hampshire, Oregon, Washington . . .and here in Atlanta, Georgia. The early feminist clinics had an enormous impact on the way that women's healthcare is now delivered. They completely revamped abortion techniques to make them safer and gentler for women. They institutionalized the practice of informed consent and unbiased counseling, and made sure that women had complete, uncensored information about their options.
- We provide quality healthcare and community education regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic or immigration status;
- We respect the human dignity of all individuals;
- We act with compassion and caring;
- We remain committed to reproductive freedom and justice;
- We actively include those who experience unique barriers to both education and healthcare access including non-English speakers, youth, GLBTQI*, all racial/ethnic/cultural communities and people with varied capabilities;
- We provide medically accurate, comprehensive and respectful education;
- We actively seek collaborations within our community to accomplish shared goals;
- We recruit and educate young future leaders to continue our advocacy work;
- We utilize resources in a way that provides the same high quality education and healthcare within our scope of practice to as many clients as possible; and
- We provide a work environment for all employees that is affirming, empowering and respectful of them as individuals while encouraging success.
GLBTQI: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex*