A Montana abortion provider surveys a landscape of political threats

MARA SILVERS Montana Free Press

On a Thursday in early August, Helen Weems and the two nursing assistants at All Families Healthcare in Whitefish had, by their standards, a typical day.

They arrived at the clinic early that morning, using a back entrance that routes them away from the anti-abortion protesters who post shifts in front of the building twice a week. Inside, they opened a key-coded door and entered a small waiting area with soft lighting, white walls, and a collage of bright thank-you cards. As they prepared for patients, one of the nursing assistants turned on an oldies radio station. The day’s first abortion was scheduled for 9 a.m.

In an interview later that day, Weems, the clinic’s founder and sole abortion provider, said the first patient was also fairly typical. The woman had decided to end her pregnancy, Weems said, because she and her partner were “super clear” they weren’t interested in having kids at the time. Like many of Weems’ patients, she was also feeling the emotional fallout of the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, upending the precedent that had made abortion legal for nearly 50 years.


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