Maryland abortion facility on West Virginia border begins committing abortions

abortionist, abortion, abortion facilities

A Maryland abortion facility will begin seeing patients after delays kept it from opening its doors this summer.

The Women’s Health Center of Maryland is positioned just over the border of West Virginia, which has been described as a so-called “abortion desert.” The opening of the facility was announced earlier this year, with the location chosen specifically to fill in for the closure of West Virginia’s only abortion facility.

“Hours in any direction, there are no other abortion providers here — it’s smack dab in the middle of an absolute abortion desert, and that’s by design,” said Katie Quiñonez, executive director of the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia. The West Virginia facility was forced to stop committing abortions after state lawmakers passed a law protecting virtually all preborn children from abortion. Quiñonez will serve as the executive director for the Maryland facility as well. “Our communities deserve better — people should be able to access abortion care without delay or barriers,” she said.

In June, a “day of celebration” for the new facility was held, during which Quiñonez noted, “It will be a regional access point.” Cresta Kowalski, chairperson of the Mountain Maryland Alliance for Reproductive Freedom, said the facility will also be providing so-called “gender-affirming care,” saying, “This day is a day of celebration my friends for Mountain Maryland. Our tears are tears of joy.”

Though less than 100 people showed up to celebrate the facility, others arrived in opposition.

“As a father of five and soon to be six children, I’m surrounded by love,” Cody Butler told the Cumberland Times-News. “It’s important to me to protect the most vulnerable in our society — the pre-born children. The only difference between my children and the ones in the womb are their location. … We simply cannot kill because of the location of a child.”

Ultimately, renovations kept the facility from opening until now. “Pretty standard for renovations, they typically always take longer than you expect,” Quiñonez said. “And as abortion providers, we often do what feels like impossible, so we can become pretty ambitious. And we might have set an early goal.”

Her “ambitions” include committing abortions into the second trimester; recent research has shown that preborn children can likely feel pain at some point between 8 and 13 weeks, prior to the second trimester.

And though abortion activists bemoan the “abortion deserts” and claim that a lack of abortion will threaten maternal mortality rates, maternity care is not improved by abortion. What the women of Maryland and West Virginia need is not abortion; they need legitimate health care.

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