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Groundbreaking Feminist Clinic is Closing

The Women’s Choice Clinic of Oakland, known as the United States’ oldest feminist health clinic, will be closing as a result of the declining economy. Linci Comy, the clinic’s executive director, explained that “To balance the state budget, California has frozen [Medi-Cal] payments for services already provided, and for us, that is a fatal decision. With that and issues of the economy, it all came down on us in March. Our landlord let us know we have to be out in a couple of weeks. We’re looking at bankruptcy,” according to the Oakland Tribune.

The clinic, an independent feminist women’s health clinic that sought to provide affordable quality reproductive healthcare, opened in 1972 and has served more than 64,000 patients since then. In recent years, approximately 90% of the clinic’s patients received state aid or did not have health insurance. The clinic also worked with teenagers, patients who did not speak English, and the lesbian, gay, and transgender communities.

Kim Barstow of the Street Level Clinic in Fruitvale, California, commented in a press release that “Women’s Choice Clinic showed us a whole new way to approach health care that valued patient education and empowerment. And they have left an important legacy– there are literally hundreds of health care professionals now in the field who did their clinical hours and certifications at Women’s Choice Clinic. We are better off for WCC’s work, and it is a crying shame that they can’t continue.”

Sources:

Oakland Tribune 4/7/09; Women’s Choices Clinic of Oakland 4/7/09