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Charlotte Clinic Featured in New Documentary

The "Care in Chaos" documents a Charlotte abortion clinic and the challenges faced by staff to service their patients. (Care in Chaos)
July 19, 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The daily protests outside a clinic in Charlotte that offers abortion services now are the subject of a documentary.

The clinic, A Preferred Women's Health Center, is reportedly the busiest clinic of its kind in the state, where employees and patients alike are subject to loud and large protests as they enter the building. Clinic administrator Calla Hales, who is featured in the film, "Care in Chaos," said her staff also is legally required to tell women considering an abortion things that aren't medically proven.

"We're asked to say things that aren't scientifically true," she said, "like there is a higher risk of breast cancer or sterility in their future, a higher risk of miscarriage - things that scientifically have been debunked, but we're being asked to tell patients this in advance."

North Carolina law requires that women be counseled when they seek an abortion and mandates that they view an ultrasound before the procedure. The state also is one of six to mandate a 72-hour waiting period. This week, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are challenging a similar Iowa law in court.

Investigative journalist Lindsay Beyerstein, who directed the film, said protestors are knowingly breaking the law in some cases.

"They're basically daring the attorney general to enforce the FACE Act, which is the law that makes it a federal crime to blockade an abortion clinic," she said. "So, I think we're in for a lot of conflict and a lot of struggle in the months ahead."

The U.S. Department of Justice is in charge of enforcing the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, but that must be led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

While her job is hard, Hales said, she is driven by a larger belief.

"Women are people. Women are more than just baby-making machines," she said. "In order for women to be full members of our society - of our democracy, of our civilization - they have to be able to make choices about what happens to their bodies, about if and when they have kids, and that should affect everybody, because everybody is connected to women in some way."

Opponents of abortion argue that the rights of a mother should not outweigh those of an unborn fetus.

Watch the documentary online at

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC