Listen to the Call:
FEMINIST WOMEN’S HEALTH CENTER
SACRAMENTO, CA 95816
TAPE – 678
(Dialing, phone ringing 2x)
CLINIC: Good afternoon, Women’s Health. Would you please hold for a phone counselor?
CLINIC: Thanks for holding. How can I help you?
CALLER: Hi. Yeah. I was calling to see if you guys do abortions there.
CLINIC: Yes, we do. We offer the abortion pill and the surgical procedure.
CALLER: Okay. Do you know how much it will cost?
CLINIC: We have a sliding fee scale that’s based on how far along you are, your income, and your number of dependents.
CALLER: Well, my last period was like January 3rd.
CLINIC: January 3rd?
CLINIC: So that would make you about eight weeks and four days. About how much do you make a month?
CALLER: Well, the things is, I don’t have a job. I’m going to be 14 in a couple weeks. And my boyfriend said that he would pay for everything. I mean, he’s 22. He said that he would pay for everything. But would you guys have to tell my parents?
CLINIC: No. Everything is totally confidential. Your parents don’t have to know. It’s perfectly legal for you to have an abortion without them knowing. You’re eight weeks and four days. It would be a one-day surgical procedure, and you would be at the bottom of the sliding fee scale. So it would cost you $310.
CLINIC: The only additional cost, if you’re RH negative, which is a blood type, then we would have to give you a shot of something called Rhogam. And that’s an additional $75. Only about 10 percent of women are RH negative. Also one of the drugs we offer is an IV drug called Setanol, and if you take that it’s an additional $50. But you don’t have to take that. There’s other drugs we offer that are included in the price, that are included in the 310.
CALLER: Well, do you think that there’s any way that I couldn’t be pregnant?
CLINIC: Have you taken a pregnancy test?
CALLER: Well, no. I just haven’t had my period in a while, and we’re both just really scared.
CLINIC: You told me it was January 3rd. Well, the first thing you would want to do definitely is take a pregnancy test. I mean, you could have —
CALLER: Well, do you guys do that there?
CLINIC: Yeah, we do. Do you have any other symptoms like morning sickness or breast swelling, tenderness or weight gain?
CLINIC: Those are other symptoms of pregnancy. You could get a home pregnancy test which is almost as accurate as the test we give here.
CALLER: Well, I would just rather go there and have you guys do it.
CLINIC: Right. Or you could just come in for a pregnancy test which we do on a drop-in basis.
CALLER: Oh, okay. Well, now much does it cost?
CLINIC: Well, actually if I were you I would apply for what’s called the green card. You come in and just tell the receptionist — we do pregnancy tests on a walk-in basis, like from 9 to 4:30. So you just come in, tell the receptionist you want to apply for the green card. You’ll fill out a one-page form, and then she’ll issue you this card.
CALLER: Well, would they have to tell anybody that I was there getting a —
CLINIC: No, no. Everything’s totally confidential. We’re here to help you.
CALLER: What exactly is this card?
CLINIC: What the card is is a state-funded program. You might have seen commercials for it on TV. It’s the Family Pack Program. And it will pay for pap smears, which once you’re sexually active you should start getting those once a year. It will pay for your pap smears. It will pay for STD check, breast exam, birth control. It will pay for condoms. It pays for everything related to a gynecological visit.
CALLER: Oh. Well, my boyfriend said he would take care of everything.
CLINIC: Right. I mean, I would still recommend getting the card. But if he wants to pay cash for the pregnancy test it’s only $15.
CALLER: Oh, okay. Yeah, he said that he would take care of everything.
CLINIC: Okay. So why don’t you come in as soon as you can to have the test, and they’ll also have a consultation with you and go over all your options with you.
CALLER: If it turned out that I wasn’t pregnant, could I get birth control?
CLINIC: Yeah, definitely.
CALLER: It’s just me and my boyfriend don’t want to worry about all this again.
CLINIC: Yeah, totally. That would be the best thing for you to do. We can give you a birth control consultation and everything. And that’s why it would really be beneficial for you to get that card. I mean, it doesn’t pay for abortion, but it pays for every other kind of birth control, which is what it sounds like you need. The problem might just be that you’re having an absence of periods which could be for a number of reasons. And sometimes getting on birth control pills can actually regulate your period.
CALLER: Okay. Well, would that green card thing have to go through my house though?
CLINIC: No, no. Nothing’s ever sent to your house. It’s not connected to your — they’ll ask for your address I think on the form, but they would never send you anything.
CALLER: Well, could I send it to my boyfriend’s address?
CLINIC: Yeah. You could put your boyfriend’s address on there if you wanted. You can put whatever you want on the form. You could probably use totally fake information and I don’t think they would know. But lots of women who want to keep their services confidential come to our clinic, and lots of them use that card.
CALLER: Oh, really?
CLINIC: Yeah. Do you know where we’re located?
CALLER: My boyfriend does.
CLINIC: Okay. Well, we’re not open on Mondays, but you can come in as soon as tomorrow. And if you need to make an appointment or anything like that, they’ll have you call this line.
CALLER: My boyfriend and I don’t want anybody to know about us. Are you sure nobody would have to know anything?
CLINIC: I’m positive. Okay?
CALLER: All right. Are you there?
CALLER: I was just wondering, if I had any other questions, could I call and talk to you? What was your name?
CLINIC: Yeah. My name is Misty. And I’m not always working the phone, but you can always ask for me. If not, anyone here should be able to help you. And everyone who works here is pretty friendly —
CALLER: Well, I would just rather talk to you.
CLINIC: — and they’ll answer any questions you have; you know what I’m saying? I work with a lot of really nice people. Okay?
CALLER: All right. Thanks.
CLINIC: You’re welcome.