Before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States, many underground groups helped people access safe abortion care in states and countries where it was legal. In Cleveland, a group called Cleveland Women’s Counseling provided abortion counseling and referrals. The group focused on finding clinics that met their high standards of medical care and counseling. They also started the Women’s Emergency Loan Fund to help meet the cost of procedures and traveling expenses for those who couldn’t afford it.
When abortion was legalized in 1973, Cleveland Women’s Counseling thought their work would end. But abortion care was still not accessible to anyone but wealthy women. They began planning to open their own clinic, one that would offer nonjudgmental services, reduced fees, financial support, and the highest-quality care. They opened Preterm in 1974, and we have been providing abortion care in Cleveland ever since!
The artwork on this shirt was the cover of a Cleveland Women’s Counseling hand-drawn pamphlet, which used comic illustrations to explain their work and how people could get help. Nearly 50 years later, people from Cleveland still struggle to get the abortion care they need, due to structural and financial barriers that result from systemic inequality and political attacks on every person’s right to bodily autonomy.
We at Preterm will never give up the fight to ensure access to empathetic, high-quality abortion care for everyone who needs it, regardless of their income or economic status.
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