About Us

Choices Women’s Medical Center is conveniently located at 147-32 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, NY, 11435, near Jamaica Hospital and the Jamaica Station transportation hub. It’s easy to get to from all five boroughs and beyond, and is located within a thriving medical community.

Choices offers the highest quality health care, and because we can help you sign up for same day Emergency Medicaid and services, we can treat patients who otherwise might not be able to afford the care they need. At Choices you can always get same day or next day appointments when you need them.

Reproductive health services at Choices include: free pregnancy testing for patients under 18 years old; Prenatal care; STI & HIV testing and treatment; Counseling ServicesGynecology including birth control; Colposcopy and LEEP programs; and abortion procedures. All services are completely confidential for patients of all ages, with no parental or partner consent or notification needed for any of them.

About Our Founder

From the second floor of a small house in Philadelphia where she spent much of her youth, to a walk-up in Paris where she lived on bread and cheese while studying to be a concert pianist, there would have been no way to predict the subsequent direction of Merle Hoffman’s life which has been intertwined with the struggle of women and girls for equality and freedom.

A pioneer in women’s reproductive health care, Hoffman established one of the first ambulatory abortion centers in the nation in 1971, shortly after New York State legalized abortion and two years before the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  Since then, under her visionary leadership and practical guidance, Choices Women’s Medical Center has become a full-service women’s health facility, including complete gynecological services and a busy prenatal department, along with providing abortions up to 24 weeks and many other services.  It is one of the largest and most comprehensive women’s health centers in the country, serving over 40,000 patients each year.

Choices Women’s Medical Center and Choices Mental Health Center (established in 1995 to specialize in a feminist model of counseling) were both founded with Hoffman’s philosophy of “Patient Power” which has been used as a model for many other women’s health centers across the country.

For over 40 years, she has met the challenges of anti-choice harassment, death threats, evictions, protests and public attacks with unshakable courage and outspoken commitment.

In 1977, Hoffman co-founded the first national professional organization of abortion providers, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and became its first President.  Her dedication to women has led her to travel the country, debating anti-choice leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry. In 1988, Hoffman organized the New York Pro-Choice Coalition and led it to develop a national strategy for defending clinics against blockades, harassment and invasions. She publicly challenged New York City’s Cardinal O’Connor in the first pro-choice civil disobedience action at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1989 where nine people were arrested, holding up her iconic six-foot long coat hanger while declaring, “Women’s Rights are in a State of Emergency.”

In 1982, Hoffman produced, directed and wrote the documentary film, “Abortion: A Different Light,” and in 1986 she produced and hosted the first feminist TV show, “MH: On the Issues,” a syndicated 30-minute cable TV show. The program’s first guest was Congresswoman Bella Abzug.

Hoffman also began a newsletter in 1982 which developed into the print magazine On the Issues, the Progressive Women’s Quarterly, an acclaimed publication with an international reach, featuring articles and interviews with notable activists and thinkers, including Kate Millet, John Lewis, Elie Weisel and Phyllis Chesler. In 2008, On the Issues became an online magazine, increasing its reach even further.

In 1994 she embarked on another historic effort, working with Russian officials and doctors to develop Choices East, the first feminist outpatient medical center in Russia. In the process, she organized Russian feminists to deliver an open letter to Boris Yeltsin on the miserable state of women’s health care.   In 1995 she was invited to address an international panel on women’s therapy issues at the International Women’s Conference in Beijing and in 1997 worked with feminists against rape in South Africa. In 2012 she was invited to address Parliament in London on the nature of the anti-choice threat in Britain.

Hoffman’s writings have appeared in numerous publications and journals, and her article, “Selecting the Same Sex” on sex-selection abortion, was awarded the Front Page Award for Political Commentary in 2010 from the Newswomen’s Club of New York.

In 2005, Hoffman chose to become a mother and traveled to Siberia to adopt a three-year-old girl whom she named  Sasharina, a combination of Sasha—meaning Defender of Humanity – and Irina (her given Russian name) – meaning Peace. She hopes that Sasha, like all of our daughters, will grow up to express both.

She has received numerous awards from civic and political organizations including the New York City Department of Corrections, the National Organization for Women, the Congress of Racial Equality and an award for Lifetime Service to the movement from the Veteran Feminists of America.  A recent recipient of the Kate Millet Award, Hoffman has been profiled in film and print on many occasions.

Hoffman’s Archive Collection of her papers, including On the Issues Magazine and Choices documents, are at Duke University where she endowed the Merle Hoffman Directorship of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.

Merle Hoffman’s challenges and triumphs are described in depth in her memoir published in 2012 by the Feminist Press, Intimate Wars, the Life and Times of the Woman who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Boardroom.

Our Mission

Founded in 1971, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court Roe V. Wade Decision legalized abortion nationwide, Choices was one of the first legal abortion clinics in the country.  Choices was there at the beginning of what would become known as the Women’s Health Care Movement and was instrumental in discovering, naming and implementing the basic components of the highest quality women’s health care.

Our name “CHOICES” stands for Creative Health Organization for Information, Counseling and Educational Services. Our mission is based on a commitment to provide truthful, honest, compassionate and state-of-the-art care to women accessing abortion services.

At Choices Women’s Medical Center, we firmly believe that in matters of pregnancy and childbearing, women and their lives must come first, and women – as well as teens – must be the ones to decide whether or not to carry their pregnancy to term. We are committed to helping women make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones and to providing quality women’s health care throughout their reproductive – and post-reproductive – lives.

Choices provides medical abortion services (the abortion pill) to women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant and surgical abortion services in both the first trimester (the first three months or up to 12 weeks pregnant) and second trimester (from 12.1 to 24 weeks pregnant). Choices can provide first-trimester abortions the same day you come in, or you can begin the process of a second trimester abortion.

In addition, Choices offers GYN and Prenatal services by a team of top gynecologists, including annual checkups, a range of birth control options including the “morning after” pill, free pregnancy testing for women 18 years of age and under, HIV testing and counseling, STD testing and treatment, and much more. All services are completely confidential, and no partner or parental permission is needed for any of our services.

Choices is here to help you understand your choices and provide you with many options. We are proud of our Choices Prenatal Care Program, where our patients receive the highest quality prenatal care during their pregnancy, up to delivery time and after delivery. Choices works closely with the delivery teams at several area hospitals, including North Shore/LIJ, Jamaica Hospital and more.

Choices Women’s Medical Center is licensed by the State of New York as an outpatient medical facility and is subject to its regulations for all health care providers. Choices Women’s Medical Center is accredited by the AAAHC (American Association of Ambulatory Health Care) and has one of the best clinical outcome statistics in the country. We are committed to providing the very best of a full range of reproductive health care.

Since our inception, Choices services have grown even more to meet the needs of our expanding population. Choices will continue to add new services and develop to meet the needs of the community. What remains constant is the same commitment to deliver all services with the same concern, compassion, high level of quality and education as our initial mission demanded for our abortion services.