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Memphis reproductive health center plans to bring abortion clinic to Carbondale

A reproductive center in Memphis plans to bring an abortion clinic to Carbondale, Ill.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 4:16 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - We are learning more about a Memphis reproductive health center’s plans to bring an abortion clinic to Carbondale.

The CEO of Choices Memphis said they chose Carbondale for its central location. Soon after, they had the support of city leaders and the health care community.

“It feels like we’ve relocated to Carbondale some days,” said Jennifer Pepper, CEO of Choices Memphis Center for Reproductive Health. “We’ve spent lots of time there and spent lots of time in the community since November working with folks. And we are hoping, we’re planning to hire lots of folks locally in Carbondale.”

Pepper said they intend to start hiring staff in the next 30 days.

We don’t know where the new Memphis Choices Clinic will be located yet, but the center’s website indicates the proximity to Carbondale’s Amtrak Station makes it a great place for a second location.

In the meantime, city leaders say they welcome the new clinic to the region.

“Carbondale is a regional hub for health care services and Choices’ decision to relocate here will only expand the resources offered locally and ensure the people who need those services have access to them,” said a spokesperson from the City of Carbondale.

Pepper also pointed to the encouragement they’re receiving from community members and non-profits.

We caught up with the co-founder of the Southern Illinois Unity Coalition, a group that supports the new facility.

“If we can be allies and a place for people to go so that they don’t further spiral down or if they feel like it’s not right for them, everybody should have that choice,” said Emerald Avril, co-founder of Southern Illinois Unity. “And if they don’t have it in their home state, at least southern Illinois is not that far away.”

The Carbondale clinic is set to open in August. When it does, it will become the southernmost abortion provider in the state.

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