Students impacted by closing of Angles
Angles clinic offered sex-education and support to students for over forty years
April 14, 2017
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On March 31, the Angles clinic in Northfield closed.
Angles’ clinic has provided health care, sex-education, and support to youths in the North Shore since 1973, starting in a basement and then moving to their location on Maple Avenue.
Laura Deutsch, dance and sophomore health teacher, said, “It’s been around a really long time. My sister was a volunteer there for over ten years. It was there when I was in high school.”
About the clinic closing, Angles’ Board President Kathleen Lloyd-Jones, MD, said, “We consider this initiative to be a success story, not a failure. We set out to make a difference more than four decades ago and we have indeed accomplished our goal.”
Angles has come to speak to New Trier Sophomore health classes for many years, and will continue to come to speak to students about LGBTQ education and referrals to help students find places for the support they would have gone to Angles for.
Deustch said, “They say it’s a good thing. They say people are getting better health care and don’t need them as much.”
Senior Meg Jansen agrees saying, “We have access to other resources, and I think that kids will ask their parents to go see a doctor if there is a serious problem. But I think in other areas that are not as affluent, it might be more helpful there because they don’t have the resources.”
However, many students feel this is a loss and there is still a need for the clinic in the community. Senior Ally Smith said, “It takes resources away from students.”
Some of those resources included gynecological exams, morning after pills, birth control prescriptions, pregnancy tests, and counseling for girls who consider having abortions.
The clinic was for both boys and girls, also offering tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV for $20 during their Men’s Clinic times. The clinic also offered more affordable birth control.
“It was always comforting to have Angles, such a beneficial place, so close by,” said Senior Ben Higgins who first heard about Angles during his health class sophomore year.
“Taking it away probably won’t have too much effect except for a few people with STDs and pregnancy. That might be tough to deal with without Angles, but not too much else will change.”
Deutsch added, “I think are some people who cannot talk to their parents and don’t have insurance or healthcare. I think there it’s really sad that population won’t be able to get birth control, gynecological exams, plan B pills.”
Sophomore Charlie McCormick said, “I’m not sure if I’d ever use that as a resource, but some people might be disappointed because it was a good resource, but I bet there’s gonna be other things out there that will replace it.”
Deutsch said she thought students would be able to go to a Planned Parenthood on N. Broadway. Angles has a list of places to refer students for the resources they would have gotten from Angles and more on their website.
Angles’ vision is, “A world in which issues related to sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity are discussed openly as a natural part of the human experience, and in which teens and young adults have the information, tools, and support they need to be healthy and confident in this aspect of their lives.”
The clinic’s Medical Director, Loren Hutter, MD, said, “Our clinic was such a success because of the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. In my 32 years with the organization, hundreds of support staff, nurses, midwives, and physicians made Angles a safe and caring place for our community’s youth. We owe them a heartfelt thanks.”