top of page

Our History


Preterm was founded in 1973, shortly after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion throughout the United States, and opened our doors on March 15, 1974. We offered abortion counseling and procedures through 10 weeks for a fee of $160. Our offices on Carnegie Avenue were designed to be homey and comfortable, decked out in golds and browns rather than clinical white.   


Today we’re a licensed ambulatory surgery center with a staff of over 50 medical and administrative professionals. For about 45 years, we have been an innovative leader in health care, earning a national reputation for excellence.


Preterm staff in the 1970s

1974: Preterm opened on March 15 and performed 3 abortions on the first day


1974: Successfully joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and National Organization for Women (NOW) as plaintiff against the State Auditor to force payment for abortion services for people on Medicaid (until the Hyde Amendment restricts Medicaid coverage again several years later)


1976: Along with the ACLU, successfully fought the first attempted Ohio parental consent law


1983: Offered abortion services through 16 weeks (and shortly thereafter through 17.5 weeks), after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the law requiring that second trimester abortions be performed in a hospital


1989: Human chains kept clinic doors open, as more than 100 people were arrested during the summer of "Operation Rescue"


1993: Began training OB/GYN resident physicians in world-class abortion care


1994: Moved to our new building at 12000 Shaker Blvd


1995 + 1998: Participated in the FDA clinical trials of mifepristone, the “abortion pill”


2004: Half of Preterm’s staff attended the March for Women’s lives in Washington, DC

Operation Rescue protest in 1989
Preterm trains health care providers

2010: Received LEED-EB certification by the U.S. Green Building Council


2010: Launched the My Abortion, My Life campaign to break the silence and stigma around abortion


2013: Along with the ACLU, challenged several anti-choice restrictions passed in Ohio, part of a national push to block access to abortion


2015: Expanded services beyond abortion care—birth control, STD testing, wellness care

bottom of page