Trendy Health Startups Still Don’t Offer What Women Need

Why aren’t innovative women-centric health care startups providing abortion?

Lux Alptraum
Elemental
Published in
9 min readJun 17, 2019

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The Tia Clinic in New York City. Credit: Tia

InIn early April, I attended a press breakfast highlighting new initiatives and startups in the world of reproductive health care. Held in a meeting room in a swanky midtown New York hotel, the event — billed as “The Future Is Female-Centered Healthcare” — featured a panel discussion of women from a number of reproductive health care-focused startups, including the birth control telemedicine services Nurx, IVF clinic Kindbody, women’s clinic Tia, and online pharmacy Capsule. The president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health was also present.

In the weeks prior to this breakfast, I was reporting about abortion practices in so-called “safe” states — places where abortion is still considered to be easily available — and I had been learning how, even in places where the procedure is legally protected, abortion access is often thin on the ground. As longtime providers age out and retire, and younger doctors opt out of learning the basics of abortion care, the number of people offering abortion services is dwindling. In 2011, there were 1,720 facilities providing abortions in the United States; in 2014 — the last year that the Guttmacher Institute, a leading research and policy organization…

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Lux Alptraum
Elemental

OneZero columnist, Peabody-nominated producer, and the author of Faking It: The Lies Women Tell About Sex — And the Truths They Reveal. http://luxalptraum.com