In an act of radical rebellion and expansion CHOICES is reclaiming birth, maternal, and infant health as rightful parts of feminist reproductive healthcare. With the opening of our new Comprehensive Reproductive Health Center in 2019, which will include the first licensed birth center in Memphis, TN, CHOICES will become the first non-profit health care provider in the country to offer both birth services and abortion care along with a full behavioral health program.
The birth experience for women, particularly in the US south, has become increasingly institutionalized and nearly a third of all American births now involve a Cesarean section. American women are in poorer health when they become pregnant, and are failing to get proper care. Through a full range of direct services the new center will reflect and serve the reality of women’s lives – that the women who at one moment in their lives need safe respectful care when they give birth may at another time need safe and respectful abortion care and who may at another time require sensitive, culturally appropriate mental health services.
The new center will also address our community’s staggering infant and maternal mortality rates. The current infant mortality rate in Shelby County is 10.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, and the infant mortality rate among infants born to black women is almost triple that of babies born to white women. CHOICES expanded service model will enable us to reduce the overuse of cesarean surgery and address the profound racial healthcare disparities by providing low-cost, high-quality birth and pre-natal care for low-income women using the midwifery model of care. This model is directly linked to improved outcomes for both maternal and infant health.
CHOICES is an independent, non-profit reproductive health clinic founded in 1974. CHOICES provides free community education and outreach programs in addition to cutting-edge patient services ranging from first-trimester abortions to fertility treatments. The agency has been extremely successful to date with a unique model of expanded medical services (gay and lesbian health care, transgender hormone management, locally funded free LARCs, fertility services, etc.) coupled with strong advocacy leadership (initiated statewide coalition Healthy and Free Tennessee). We are passionate about ensuring that everyone has access to the full continuum of comprehensive reproductive health care regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, HIV status, economic status, or religious beliefs.
If you think this is as exciting as we do, please consider making a donation earmarked for “New Center.”