Feminist Health Center fills a key role

Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The Concord Feminist Health Center has been a part of downtown Concord since 1974. We have always been respectful neighbors. We have supported the businesses on Main Street and in the community at large. We have provided many free services to New Hampshire citizens for over 37 years.

We have even picked up the slack in areas that were affected by the state's devastating cutbacks - most recently, the HIV/STI clinic in Concord which closed due to budget cuts. Since we have never received state or federal grants, we weren't affected. However, when we saw the negative impact it has had on the community, we rolled up our sleeves and opened our doors for those in need at significantly reduced rates.

Our clients are your neighbors, mothers, sisters, nieces, aunts, friends, colleagues. They come to this health center for services such as pap smears and clinical breast exams because they want quality care and to be treated with compassion and respect. We offer sliding scale fees for women who have no insurance or are underinsured by way of having huge annual deductibles.

All of our services are legal and safe. We offer women a choice when it comes to unintended pregnancies: continue the pregnancy and parent or work with an adoption service or have an abortion. For those of you who do not believe in what we do, you do not have to be a client of ours. Rather than protest and harass our clients who are seeking services, please work with us in educating people about birth control.

Do you realize that if all men wore condoms during every act, there would be over a 90 percent reduction in abortions across the country? Men have the ability to prevent pregnancy, yet it's the women who walk into our health center who are persecuted and terrorized.

Our clients are good women. Why should they be intimidated by protesters because they are choosing to receive health care at the center? We must stop the sidewalk bullying. Please support us by volunteering to escort women into the health center, past the bullies, or give to our Pledge a Picketer Campaign. For more information, call 225-2739 or email dalia@feministhealth.org.

(Dalia M. Vidunas is executive director of the Concord Feminist Health Center.)