About Us

Mission Statement

The Emma Goldman Clinic is a not-for-profit independent organization founded in 1973 by a group of women driven by feminist ideals.  We exist to empower women and men in all life stages through the provision of quality reproductive health care that includes abortion services, gynecology services, safer sex promotion, and active education. We promote respectful, client-centered and participatory health care through informed decision making, client rights, advocacy and expansion, and support of pregnancy choices.

We strive to provide an environment in which diversity is acknowledged and celebrated. We are actively committed to staff diversity in employment policies and practices. We strive to increase economic, geographic, structural, and language accessibility for the clients we serve through fundraising, outreach, and advocacy.

We offer non-judgmental, quality health care services. Our goals are inspired by our belief in the larger ideals of feminist philosophy: political, economic, and social equality.

Promoting Self Health

Setting standards for care - We offer women comprehensive information about health issues and treatments, empowering them to make decisions for their ownhealth care. Once a woman has experienced this type of care, we believe she will expect the same standard of care from all health care providers for herself, her friends, and her family. In this way, we help make all health care providers more responsiveness to the needs of their clients, and therefore elevate universal standards of care.

Self-cervical and self-breast exams - We promote regular self-exams as a tool for learning and monitoring what is normal and healthy. While this does not replace the need for routine exams from a health care provider, it is another way women can take responsibility for their own health.

In our abortion and gynecology services we promote patient rights. This includes being totally informed of medical diagnosis, procedures, possible complications, and aftercare; medications and their side effects; the right to read and copy all medical records; the right to confidentiality; the right to have a patient advocate; the right, in short, to become an intelligent participant in your own health care by having all questions answered in language you can understand.

Emma Goldman Clinic's position as a leader in the women's health movement is alegacy we strive to carry forward. This means advocating for women's health care needs from the exam room to Capitol Hill.

We acknowledge that women are capable of understanding and evaluating information about their own bodies and health. Women belong at the center of decision-making for their health care. For this reason, we strive to promote clients rights through all of our services. These rights include:

  • Complete and accurate information about diagnosis, procedures, and possible complications
  • Information about medications and side effects
  • Access to all medical records
  • Confidentiality
  • A patient advocate or support person
  • Non-judgmental health care

Every woman has the right to become an informed participant in her own health care. We want women to be empowered by the information they gain, and through the choices they make.

Challenging Medical Practices

Breast Implants - The Clinic assisted a client through the maze of medical transport regulations so her bio-medical tissue could be entered as evidence in a class-action law suit against breast implant manufacturers.

Norplant - When Norplant was released as the latest and greatest method of birth control, the Clinic made the decision not to offer Norplant to our clients. The reason for this decision was two-fold. First, enough research had not been done on its side effects and removal. Second, some legislators and law enforcement officials proposed uses of Norplant that had the potential of mandating birth control in a way that would disproportionately affect young women, low-income women, and women of color. The Clinic is opposed to legislated birth control, and was unwilling to participate in oppression through coercive birth control tactics.


Legislators and Regulatory Boards - We work with elected officials and regulatory board representatives at every governmental level to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of women in health care policy.

Affiliations - The Emma Goldman Clinic works very closely with other health care providers throughout the region. We are also affiliated with a number of national public policy organizations including National Abortion Federation (NAF) and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Our work with these organizations helps us stay informed and to effectively direct our advocacy efforts.


The Clinic seeks to improve the ability of women to make choices for themselves. Beyond the right to legal abortion, choice depends on access and affordability of services. Every day we provide services for women from all over Iowa and neighboring states. For many women, finding the funds for services is a tremendous obstacle. A woman's ability to pay is often limited by low income, no credit, a dangerous home situation, or the inability to use family insurance.

The Emma Goldman Clinic Access Project includes:

  • Half price gynecology services for teens
  • Discounted services for students
  • Free pregnancy testing and options counseling
  • Reduced fee abortion services for women living on lower incomes
  • Additionally reduced fee abortion services for women on Title XIX
  • Services for victims of rape or incest