The Little Clinic That Could-Reflecting on 2020

The establishment and continued operation of Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend has been the perfect example of a clinic/community partnership. Since the first thought of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA) opening a clinic in South Bend was conceived, we have worked closely with our community partners and volunteers, and in fact, we could not have accomplished what we have without them.  

You can read here a blog by one of our earliest supporters and ongoing friend and clinic escort, April Lidinsky, about how it all began. All the hard work was worth it, and we celebrated our one-year anniversary in June! You can learn more here about the long legal battle to open the clinic.  

The partnership continues. While the staff provide compassionate care inside, the dedicated volunteer escorts make sure patients can access the clinic safely, past the aggressive anti-abortion protesters, and provide a comforting presence and a sympathetic ear. Other community supporters have spent countless hours beautifying the clinic property with bushes, trees and flowers that both look lovely and serve as visual reminders of the property lines that the protesters cannot cross. 

Going far above and beyond the call of duty, here is just one example of how supporters have stepped up for the patients in the South Bend community: 

There was a patient who came on a Saturday for a procedure and didn’t have the money to pay for her procedure. One of our escorts saw her crying in the parking lot. Upon learning that she didn’t have the funds, she escorted her inside and paid the entire amount on her behalf.  It literally brought me to tears.  It was such a kind gesture, and she did it like it was nothing.  

As 2020 comes to a close, yet another group of supporters have stepped forward as legal monitors, to independently document any illegal activities taking place outside the clinic including harassment, intimidation and violence by anti-abortion demonstrators.

The hard-fought victories in South Bend demonstrate just how much we can accomplish when we work together, and we are excited about what we may come up with next!  

Thank you for your ongoing support of Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend. 

Sharon Lau 

Midwest Advocacy Director