Go ahead: Take a wild stab. Obviously, they are in good spirits and appear to be free of cares and woes. The woman on the right is laughing out loud, as though she just heard a good joke.
So can you guess what the four have in common? Judging from the website on which their picture appears, carafem.org, they’ve just had a “spa” treatment. But Carafem isn’t just any ordinary spa. Sure, clients will be welcomed with hot tea and comfy robes, and the clinic features wood floors and plush upholstery. But the kind of “makeover” these women are there normally goes a different name: abortion.
“It was important for us to try to present an upgraded, almost spa-like feel,” Melissa Grant, vice president of health services for Carafem told the Washington Post.
For $400, women will receive counseling and basic tests, then take an initial pill, before returning home with a second set of pills to induce the abortion the next day. The goal is to have clients in and out inside an hour. Like a typical salon or spa, women can schedule weekend and evening appointments online, or by calling a 24 hour hotline.
Typical pharmaceutical abortions cost $500, but Carafem is able to offer a cheaper rate because it will not provide surgical abortions or any abortion after the mother is 10 weeks along.
Carafem staff understand the “various emotions” that come with getting an abortion, the clinic’s site states, and promise to give “clear, non-judgmental, and accurate information” to clients.
And as for the photos on the site, which also includes the one at the left, Carafem president Christopher Purdy explains, “We don’t want to talk in hushed tones. We use the A-word.”
So far, there is a single flagship location of Carafem in Washington, D.C., but Purdy hopes to expand the model to other states. “It’s fresh, it’s modern, it’s clean, it’s caring,” he says. “That’s the brand we’re trying to create.”
National Right to Life president Carol Tobias said people will be “disgusted” by the idea. “Abortion is not pleasant,” she told the Post. “And trying to put pretty wrappings around the procedure isn’t going to make any difference.”
But Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, social policy and politics director of Third Way, praised the effort to “destigmatize abortion,” noting these efforts will attract young activists.
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.