Pioneers in Family Planning
Family Planning Associates Medical Group (now FPA Women’s Health) was founded in 1969, soon after abortion became legal in California. At that time it was called the Avalon-Slauson Medical Group. All of the pregnancy terminations and other medical services were performed at Avalon Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles.
In many states, abortion was legal only for cases in which continuance of the pregnancy would be life threatening. California law was relatively liberal and many women came from Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and other states to receive legal abortions.
FPA’s two physician founders, Dr. Edward C. Allred and Dr. Kenneth L. Wright, began immediately to concentrate on developing simpler and less expensive abortion procedures. In those early years, Dr. Wright pioneered the use of saline amniocentesis, a technique for terminating pregnancy safely in the second trimester.
First Outpatient Facility
The United States Supreme Court ruled that state laws restricting abortion were unconstitutional in January of 1973 (Roe v. Wade). As part of the decision, the Court ruled that abortions no longer had to be performed in hospitals. This landmark decision opened the way for pregnancy terminations and other family planning services to be provided in outpatient facilities. It was now possible to develop a warmer, more flexible environment and reduce fees.
Several months later, FPA opened Southern California’s first major outpatient pregnancy termination facility in Santa Ana. In the years since 1973, twenty-four other facilities have been added with the service area expanded to include Chicago, Illinois, making FPA the largest independent family planning service network in the United States. A list of FPA office‚ locations‚ appears in this web page.
Recognized by Major Health Agencies
A major factor contributing to FPA’s rapid growth has been the large number of private and government agencies, as well as physicians in private practice who choose not to perform abortion and sterilization procedures but rather refer their patients to FPA for these services. A list of referring organizations will be provided on request.
Modern Equipment Warm Environments
FPA clinics are supplied with modern medical equipment and staffed by physicians and nurse practitioners who are professionally trained in all aspects of pregnancy prevention and pregnancy termination. Facilities are designed and furnished to provide a warm, comfortable environment in which patients can feel at ease.
Family Planning Services Offered
Professional services provided at FPA offices throughout the state include:
- Pregnancy testing
- Early pregnancy testing
- First trimester (13 weeks)
- Dilation/curettage (aspiration )
- General or local anesthesia
- Second trimester
- Dilation and extraction
- Birth control
- Gynecological exam
- Information on methods
- Assistance in choosing a method
- IUD‚ (intrauterine device) a long – term birth control method
- Sterilization by tubal cauterization
- Well Woman Exam
- ECP (emergency contraceptive pill)
Skilled, Professional Physicians
In keeping with our commitment to provide the finest quality medical service available, all FPA physicians practice exclusively for Family Planning Associates Women’s Health. Patients are given complete information about what to expect when they leave the facility. Any post-operative questions and problems are evaluated and resolved promptly and appropriately at no additional fee.
Professionalism and quality remain the hallmark of FPA. Our physicians specialize in gynecology and practice exclusively for FPA. Offices are furnished with modern medical equipment along with a warm and comfortable environment. Patients have easy access to care through conveniently located clinics as well as a twenty-four hour triage phone line that is staffed with nurse practitioners who are trained and experienced in recognizing and responding to patient concerns. FPA has on-call physicians at all times, and maintains professional relationships with other physicians and hospitals in the community to provide continuous patient care.
In 1996, FPA was accredited by the‚ Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. As such, it became the first family planning provider in California to be accredited. FPA’s ongoing commitment to quality of care is evident in its continuing participation in the accreditation program.
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We thank you for choosing Family Planning Associates Women’s Health, and we hope that this information about us will increase your confidence in us. Your‚ comments, suggestions, and criticisms‚ are invited.