AUSTIN, Texas —
At the surgical center, the operating rooms are larger and resemble a hospital emergency room. There's equipment to administer anesthesia and monitor heart rate and blood pressure. There are two movable overhead surgical lights. Wider hallways than in the clinic allow stretchers to pass.
There's no difference in the number of complications patients experience at the clinic versus the surgical center, Miller said. The procedure typically involves removing the contents of the uterus without requiring cutting or stitches.
The surgical center has had a $400,000 annual loss since it opened, even though patients who go to that facility pay more for the procedures. The losses are covered using profit from the five clinics - meaning if all of them were surgical centers, she couldn't stay in business, she said.
"But all the same, I am in it for the long haul, for the true lifting of shame and stigma off of women and sexuality," she said. "It will take years. I hope it will happen in my lifetime."
Last month, Lauren Banks, 25, a customer-service representative at a call center, was waiting to consult with a Whole Woman's Health doctor about an abortion at the clinic in San Antonio. She was about 10 weeks pregnant and planned to have an abortion the next day, after she and her husband decided they were unable to raise the child. They already have three boys and would like to become more financially stable, she said.
"The clinic is fine the way it is," Banks said.