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INTERNET WEBSITE PUTS ABORTION CLINICS ONLINEOctober 11, 1995
Abortion Clinics OnLine is an online website which lists abortion facilities in a specialized directory. They may be private physician's offices, state-licensed abortion clinics, surgi-centers, or hospital abortion services. Providers are listed by State, then City. Linked Home Pages include information on abortion procedures, patient instructions, prices, directions, etc.
Ann Rose, an Atlanta consultant to abortion providers all over the country, started the site in October of 1995 in an attempt to give abortion providers a coordinated presence on the Internet.
"When I first started surfing, I was surprised that there were plenty of sites devoted to the political issues surrounding abortion, but no sites detailing clinical services. The political aspects mean nothing if there aren't clinics willing to provide the services", she maintains.
A 20-year veteran of clinic management, Ms. Rose has personally visited over half of the approximately 1,000 abortion providers in the country. She works with them by presenting educational inservices on stress management, contraceptive risk taking, repeat abortion, why women delay, dealing with difficult people and other issues important to abortion clinic work.
Abortion Clinics Online currently has over 100 clinics represented in 40 states, and links to other supportive sites. Ms. Rose contends that abortion providers have always been on the cutting edge of health care advertising.
"In the 70's abortion clinics were one of the first health care entities to advertise to the public on television and radio. Now, health care advertising is widespread and totally acceptable. Clinics are increasingly interested in this new educational avenue," she adds.
Susan Hill, president of the National Women's Health Organization, a group of 8 clinics nationwide listed in Abortion Clinics Online sees the Internet as "the billboard of the 90's". She contends that you really can't get a grasp on how many people see and process your ad, but "the Information Superhighway is where the young people are, and that's where we need to have information about our services." She adds that "we have already gotten patients referred from the Internet, even in diverse cities as Jackson, Mississippi, and Fargo, North Dakota."
Of special interest to abortion providers is that the teenage and college populations are very connected with the Internet. Most colleges and universities have extensive computer facilities, even in the dorms. One thing we do know for sure is that young people rely very much on the Internet for information and education. Approximately 1/3 of abortion patients are teenagers, 1/3 are 20-24, and 1/3 are 25 and above. Abortion providers are innovative in recognizing that others are using computers daily and want to make their information available to these users.