PROTECT ABORTION IN BUFFALO, NY!
Buffalo Women Services (BWS) is working to protect patients from the harassment of anti-choice protestors. BWS is a secure facility equipped with cameras, metal detectors, and internal and external security features, but we fear the situation will exceed our current control. We have always had violence and protestors, but the recent overturning of Roe has emboldened them. Anti-choice protestors are occupying the vacant lot next door, becoming ever more brazen and intrusive, putting up free-standing ladders to video patients and photograph license plates. We have asked for help from the owner of the lot, the Buffalo Police and the New York AG's office to no avail. We would have been happy with a fence surrounding the vacant lot to keep the protestors out (which the City of Buffalo has not forced the owner to install), but now the owner states he is selling the lot to an anti-choice group.
BWS is an Article 28 Abortion Facility, licensed by the New York State Department of Health, that has served our community since 1983. We are woman- and queer-owned and operated. We are the only facility in western NY to offer second-trimester procedures. We embody "Your Body, Your Choice!" In 2014, we added a freestanding Birthing Center and have cared for over 650 clients who wanted natural, unmedicated, out-of-hospital birth. The team at BWS is dedicated to providing respect, real reproductive options and meaningful, empowered care. Abortion rights and reproductive autonomy are now under direct attack. We are heavy with grief and rage as the Supreme Court has handed down a series of devastating rulings, dismantling access to abortion while hinting that other rights won through struggle are at grave risk. Despite this, we remain undeterred, unapologetic, and unwavering in our commitment to providing abortions for every patient who wants one and reproductive justice overall. We have expanded our hours to welcome clients from Ohio and surrounding states who now cannot obtain the care they need within their own states.
As an independent facility (that is, not affiliated with Planned Parenthood), we do not have outside funding or name recognition. Recently, Governor Hochul announced a $35 million initiative, the Abortion Provider Fund, to help abortion providers. However, as an "indie clinic" that does not already receive funding, we will not qualify. With the increased support from across the country in a time of need, we are moving to GoFundMe for donations. We are seeking funding from you, our community, to respond to the urgent need we are experiencing. We have seen firsthand how compassionate, accessible abortion care saves lives and strengthens families and communities. We will continue our work to make sure abortion access is preserved post-Roe.
Donations will be used to purchase the lot next door, clean it up, protect it with a fence, use a portion for parking to accommodate incoming waves of patients while maintaining SAFE access. We will create a green space that adds to the beautification of our community while serving as a protective barrier around our facility.
We have very limited resources but will fight for all of our patients—local and from other states—to have access to services and control over their bodies and lives. Now is the time for everyone to join us in speaking out against abortion stigma and demanding our state lawmakers protect abortion access. It's time to donate to abortion funds that help providers continue their work and women and others access safe care. We have created a separate bank account for this project, Buffalo Women Services, Fundraiser Account. Here in our own community, we have an existing facility that has scaled up to address a rapidly growing need. We need your help to continue our work. Legal and accessible does not automatically mean safe. Procuring the neighboring lot that has become host space to an increasing threat will help us to hold and expand upon access to all.
We are Terri Fregoe and Katharine Morrison, MD, the owners and workers at Buffalo Women Services in beautiful Buffalo, NY, and we thank you!
For more information about our clinic, please check out our website; www.buffalowomenservices.com.
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BWS Buffalo Women Services