Allentown Women’s Center (AWC) celebrating 35 years of providing women with compassionate and confidential care.

Our Philosophy

Our Awards

Our Staff

Our History

Our Facilities

Our Affiliations and Credentials

Our Volunteers

Our Privacy Policy

Our Commitment to Provider Training

“When I needed an abortion, my doctor told me that I could trust AWC to take good care of me.”

Our Philosophy

We provide quality reproductive health care in an environment where no one is judged for their choices. We are here to support you in making the right decision for yourself and your future.

We believe the world is a better place when women have the freedom to make their own decisions regarding their bodies, reproductive options and sexuality. We believe it is good for families and for society when women can decide for themselves whether and when to have children.

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Our Staff

We are here for you. You can be confident that our fully trained professional staff will provide you with care that is medically safe and emotionally supportive. Our physicians and certified registered nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioner are all board certified. Our counseling staff includes bi-lingual health care advocates who are available to you before, during and after your procedure. If you are undecided or ambivalent about your pregnancy, we can explore all of your pregnancy options and provide resources if you choose adoption or parenting.

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Our Facilities

In January, 2012, we moved to a large newly remodeled facility conveniently located in an industrial park. We have a large private parking area immediately adjacent to our entrance. We have the best in modern medical equipment.

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Our Volunteers

A few of AWC's wonderful volunteers!

We usually have volunteer monitors on Saturday mornings. They have faithfully supported us over the years by keeping a watchful eye on the protestors who are occasionally present at the entrance to our secluded parking lot for a couple of hours at that time. If you see anyone at one of the entrances to our parking lot trying to get your attention, it is not a volunteer or staff person. Drive right past them into our parking lot. If you see someone in a bright pink vest well inside our parking lot, it is a friendly volunteer who will answer questions if asked and who can guide you to our entrance in Suite 100.

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Our Commitment to Provider Training

We are mentors to the next generation of abortion providers. We train medical students and residents from area hospitals. We also welcome nurses, nursing students, medical assistants, and other professionals who are interested in increasing their understanding of abortion services to observe here.

Some of our staff first came to us as students, interns or volunteers and valued the works so much they came back as professionals.

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Clinic and Staff Awards

1986: Clara Bell Duval Reproductive Freedom Award
To our earliest public supporter when we opened and later longtime counselor Lois Slutter for her activism and service on behalf of abortion patients.

1990: Clara Bell Duval Reproductive Freedom Award
To our director and founder, Sylvia ‘Rusty’ Stengle, for championing the reproductive rights of women and their families for two decades, since before the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

1992: YWCA Leadership Award

To our Executive Director and founder, Sylvia ‘Rusty’ Stengle for political action and community education about reproductive rights.

2008: Abortion Conversation Project Vision Award

For the person or persons who challenge the stigma of abortion in everyday practice.
This is the first time this award was given to a clinic staff as a group, for their team effort both in the clinic and in the community, for their work to de-stigmatize abortion. We were so honored…

2010: PA Diversity Network Honor Award

To the Allentown Women’s Center for commitment and direct services promoting the health and welfare of the LBT (Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender) community.

2012: Philadelphia Women’s Medical Fund Rosie Jimenez Award
To Our Executive Director from 1998-2011, Jennifer Boulanger, for standing firm in dedication and bravery, providing abortion services despite persecution from anti-choice groups.

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History

Our founder, Sylvia ‘Rusty’ Stengle, fighting for the reproductive rights of Pennsylvania women in 1971

Our founder, Sylvia ‘Rusty’ Stengle, fighting for the reproductive rights of Pennsylvania women in 1971


A few key events in the past 35 years:

1978: We provide our first abortion services, to four patients, after three months of remodeling a space on the corner of Highway 22 and Airport Road in Allentown. We are the first and still the only independent abortion clinic in northeastern Pennsylvania, serving a 20 county region and nearby New Jersey.

1979: We are closed down capriciously by the local zoning board, which is being hounded by anti-abortion activists, under threat of high fines. We fight, successfully, to re-open our doors though a court order.

1981: We add other gynecology care to our abortion services, hiring a physician’s assistant, and expanding the range of our services.

1984: We do self-defense training for the staff because there are some clinic invasions by abortion protesters in nearby Philadelphia. We never need to use the training, but we are very empowered by our new self-defense skills and readiness for problems that don’t materialize.

1984: PA Medical Assistance stops reimbursing for abortion. We do a before-and-after survey showing the devastating effects of this on poverty level women’s ability to control their reproductive health. We do what we can afford to do to provide sliding fees for those in need…We are appalled at what a short-sighted and cruel policy decision has been made.

1985: We initiate general anesthesia for abortions, providing for the first time the opportunity to be asleep for an abortion procedure in our out-patient setting. We are very cautious; we hdo a great deal of research into safety, and a great deal of staff education. It turns out that complications from anesthesia, properly administered, are very, very rare.

1986: We acquire our first ultrasound machine and begin using it to do pregnancy sizings to determine gestational age more accurately than is possible with a manual pelvic examination. We now use it routinely during abortion procedures as well as for gestational sizing, which makes the procedure much safer than was possible without its use.

1992: We are proud to be one of five abortion clinics that fought restrictions on women by being plaintiffs in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey Supreme Court Case. To our dismay, the court decided to require a 24-hour waiting period before women could obtain abortions and also that teens had to have parental consent or else go through a judicial by-pass process.

2002: We begin providing medical abortions in addition to surgical abortions.

2002: Our building is part of a larger property that gets sold to a developer, causing us to move to a site on Union Boulevard in Allentown. As time goes along, protester activity increases at this site.

2012: We protect our patients and staff by moving to a secluded site in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park in Bethlehem. It has a convenient location and a large private parking lot, along with expanded newly remodeled space equipped with the best in modern medical equipment.

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Our Affiliations and Credentials

  • We are licensed, inspected annually, and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care.
  • We are in full compliance and each year renew the Department of Health and Human Services CLIA Laboratory Certificate of Compliance.
  • We are members of Pennsylvanians for Choice.
  • We are members of the National Abortion Federation.
  • We are members of the Abortion Care Network
  • We are members of GLMA – the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
  • We participate with Pennsylvania’s Patient Safety Authority
  • We are affiliated with the Abortion Conversation Project, Inc.
  • We support NARAL Pro-Choice America

Members of Our Staff Have Certifications or Memberships from the Following Groups:

  • ABOG: the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • ACOG: the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • The American Board of Pediatrics
  • The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
  • NBCRNA: the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists
  • ANCC: the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AHA: the American Heart Association
  • ARHP: the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
  • AMT: the American Medical Technologists
  • AAMA: the American Association of Medical Assistants
  • ANA: the American Nurses Association
  • ASCCP: the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
  • ICOWHI: the International Council on Women’s Health Issues
  • NCCC: the National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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Our Privacy Policy and HIPAA Compliance

Your privacy is a top priority for us. If you choose to share personally identifiable information via an electronic mail message, a phone call, or by postal mail, we keep it confidential. We do not provide this information to others unless you give us permission. Our staff are trained in confidentiality policies and procedures and comply fully with all Federal Privacy Laws and HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Click [PDF] for a copy of our HIPAA Privacy Practices.

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