“Today is a clinic day, a surgical abortion day, a medical abortion day,” she said.
She pulls up the patient’s schedule for the day.
The sun has not risen yet.
“I’m printing out a list of the number of patients today. There must be at least 40 here, no more,” Wesley said.
The clinic performs abortions three days a week. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest.
“Advised. 3 cars are waiting.”
A radio clipped to Wesley’s yellow safety vest crackled with the voices of security guards stationed outside the parking lot’s brick building.
“Security guards advised me that there were already three patients waiting in the parking lot.
Security is Wesley’s number one concern.
She is a former Gwinnett County police officer who has served for 24 years. Prior to that, she served in the military for her ten years.
Her experience helps her work in the clinic. Because abortion day always attracts a small number of anti-abortion protesters. It’s always the same number.
Clinic staff are first-named to protesters.
They stand on the curb with their speakers as the patient’s car drives in and out of the parking lot.
“We must take God’s power into our own hands, and he has worked throughout human history,” protesters said. “It never ends well for those who do this, and it doesn’t do you any good to continue what you’re doing. Trust in Christ, ma’am.”
Wesley trains security teams to stay vigilant, monitor suspicious activity, and keep protesters away from facilities and away from patients.
“The biggest thing is not to engage with them because they say something and poke a bear,” she said. .”
She mostly stays at the entrance to the infirmary at the top of a small hill while guards monitor the parking lot below.
Your clipboard is always at hand.
“Good morning. Good morning. How are you all doing this morning? Do you have an appointment?” she said to patients approaching the clinic.
“Could you show me your ID as well?”
After Wesley’s initial check-in takes place outside, the patient goes inside and is fully registered at the front desk.
“They do blood draws. They do ultrasounds,” she said. “It’s an ultrasound to see how far they really are.”
progress during pregnancy. The Georgia cutoff is approximately 6 weeks.
Since the law went into effect, front office supervisor Antoinette said she doesn’t want to give her last name for fear of her safety, but has turned down an average of five to seven patients every day.
“I can’t care for people over six weeks old. Most women don’t know they’re six weeks old or pregnant in the first place,” she said. You may not even know.”
Those too far away can get counseling and information about access to abortion in nearby states.
The closest option is Greenville, South Carolina. Others are in North Carolina and Florida.
“There are many Kleenex that we go to every week,” Wesley said. “Usually by the time they come out, you can tell they’re turning away by seeing them holding a piece of white paper.”
“Go ahead,” said the guard.
“Okay, two cars, room for four,” Wesley said.
All surgical abortion patients must come with a driver who will pick up the patient after surgery.
“What kind of car did you drive today? What color?”
This goes on all day long.
Wesley checks in patients and their drivers one by one.
Most cars have Georgia plates, but other states like Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, and Ohio also have them.
and Mississippi. Here is the next patient.
She and her friend drove overnight to Georgia to get to the clinic, she said.
“So we had to leave around 12:30, no later than 1am.”
Mississippi enacted a so-called trigger law following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. Currently, abortion is only permitted when the woman’s life is in danger or in cases of rape reported to law enforcement.
A Mississippi patient said she was relieved to be able to go to Atlanta for an abortion, but wished she didn’t have to.
She said she is concerned about patients who cannot travel out of state.
“Some people just don’t have a way to drive five or eight hours, so I think they should be served closer. Look, you just never know what someone’s situation is.”
“We have space for two cars and four,” Wesley said, checking in more patients and drivers.
“Two cars, four people climbing.”
“Good copy. We’re at the top of the hill.”
Wesley said she loves her work at the Feminist Women’s Health Center.
“It’s not just a job for me. I’m very passionate about what I do here,” she said.
She said she tries to comfort abortion patients and make their visits a little easier.
Wesley is quick to offer kind words to patients and drivers.
“You can see how it affects their psyches, and you can see the tears welling up in their eyes,” Wesley said. Said God Know that this one incident is not going to determine the trajectory of the rest of your life Things happen But take your lessons from now on That’s it Ask them if they can give you a hug.”
Since the six-week ban took effect, Wesley said it’s been tough keeping so many patients away.
Now, the Georgia Supreme Court plans to file a lawsuit to challenge the ban this spring.