Choices and the History of Abortion


Check out the video chronicle of our journey in building our facility in Jamaica, Queens, narrated by Choices President and CEO Merle Hoffman.


Choices Women's Medical Center was founded in 1971 by Merle Hoffman, a leading advocate of women's rights and reproductive freedom. This was shortly after abortion became legal in New York State, two years before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationally.

Choices stands for Creative Health Organization for Information, Counseling and Educational Services.

The first woman to come to Choices was from New Jersey, a state where abortion was still illegal at that time. She was young, married with one child, but having a child at that time was financially impossible for her. Since that day so many years ago, Choices has been there for hundreds of thousands of women assisting them in what is one of the most difficult and profound decisions of their lives.

Today, New York State is one of the few states that has almost no restrictions on getting an abortion There are no laws requiring parental notification or consent, and no required waiting periods.  Choices also believes teenagers need to have the same access to reproductive health services as adult women and are fully capable of making decisions for themselves. If you're a teen and need our services, read more here.

New York is also one of the few states that continue to offer Medicaid funding for low-income women. Today, women come to Choices from all over New York, many other states, and many countries to access our services. (If you're from outside of New York, find out about our Out of Town Program here.) Each patient has her own story and her own reasons, but they know and trust that they will receive the best of care, compassion and confidentiality at Choices.

Our Core Services – And Values

At Choices, you can get a first-trimester abortion (the first three months of pregnancy) the same day you come in, or begin the process of a second trimester abortion. Choices provides medical abortion services (the abortion pill) up to 9 weeks gestation and surgical abortion services in both the first trimester (up to 12 weeks gestation) and second trimester (from 12.1 to 24 weeks).

Choices also offers OB-GYN services by a team of top gynecologists, which include annual checkups, a range of birth control options, including the morning after pill, free pregnancy testing, HIV testing and counseling, STD testing and treatment, and much more.

We also pride ourselves for our Choices Prenatal Care Program, where our patients receive the highest quality prenatal care during their pregnancy.

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 to carry their pregnancy to term. We are committed to helping women make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones, and committed to quality women's health care throughout their reproductive – and post-reproductive – lives.

Choices Women's Medical Center is licensed by the State of New York as an outpatient medical facility in Queens, 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 our full range of reproductive health care.