Women's Health Specialists Timeline


The Chico Feminist Women’s Health Center (CFWHC) begins offering reproductive health services.


CFWHC supports the Nurses Strike in Chico and advocates for women on Medi-Cal to receive prenatal care.


CFWHC joins the Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers (FFWHC). We collectively researched and wrote "Women’s Health in Women’s Hands”.


CFWHC sponsors "Abortion in a Clinic Setting”, the first medical symposium addressing abortion in Northern California. How To Stay OUT of the Gynecologists Office by the FFWHC is published. FFWHC meets with the FDA to gain approval for the Cervical Cap. CFWHC releases an "Affirmative Action Plan” to improve maternity care.


A New View of A Woman's Body by FFWHC is published.


FFWHC writes "Clinic Guidelines and Protocols” to increase the use of health workers in family planning clinics.


Dido Hasper is appointed to the Governor’s Midwifery Advisory Council to develop legislation to legalize midwifery in California. CFWHC brings the Anti-Trust lawsuit against local medical community to increase access to abortion care.


We opened the Redding Feminist Women’s Health Center! CFWHC signs a settlement agreement with local physicians to get needed medical backup for women post abortion. We went on a European Self Help Tour visiting women's groups in London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Milan and Geneva. We went to China and Japan to visit women’s groups and  hare self help.


Women Centered Pregnancy and Birth by FFWHC is published. CFWHC starts "Fertility Health Services” providing care for infertility and donor insemination. CFWHC attends the first U.S./Nicaraguan Health Symposium.


Redding FWHC is evicted by anti abortion protesters and moves to a new location. CFHWC develops the "Clinic Escort" program to help women get through anti-abortion protestors at clinics.


CFWHC gets a Restraining Order against anti abortion protestors to limit the level of harassment to clients.


We open the Sacramento Feminist Women’s Health Center!


We adopt the Women's Choice Clinic in Santa Rosa. After years of harassment, bogus felony charges (inspired by the anti-choice Governor Deukmejian) are dropped against the  directors of CFWHC for volunteering their time at the clinic.


Redding FWHC is evicted for the second time due to anti abortion harassment. We find a new and permanent home after being closed for one month. FFWHC lectures at the National Congress of Family Planning in Seville, Spain.

Met with The Daughters of Mother Jones: women miners and families of miners at the Pittston coal strike in Virginia


Redding FWHC is gutted by arsonists. We transport clients to Chico. We re-open in three months. Sacramento FWHC gets a Restraining Order against anti-abortion protestors to limit the level of harassment to clients. The Women's Caucus of the American Public Health Association gave their award for significant contributions to women's health to Shauna Heckert. CFWHC sues the State of California for discriminating against abortion providers who serve women on Medi-Cal. Santa Rosa FWHC is invaded by antiabortion protestors

and held hostage for 8 hours.


Santa Rosa FWHC is evicted due to anti abortion

harassment. Chico FWHC is hit with butyric acid in the bathroom walls by an anti abortionist posing as a patient. The Sacramento Women’s History Museum gives their award for "Courage” to Shauna Heckert.


Redding FWHC is gutted a second time by arson fire. We open six-months later. CFWHC starts Women's Health and Wellness, a program for older women. We started services for men in all clinic sites.


We started Adoption Choices of Northern California. FWHC hosts the Sacramento Women's Health Awards Dinner and honors Kathryn Hall, MPH and Charles Stice, M.D for their significant contributions to women's health. Redding FWHC has its fourth arson attack.


We win a permanent injunction against Sacramento picketers after a three week trial. This injunction serves as a model for providers nation-wide. We join in with the start of the Women’s Health Collaborative of California.


We change the name of our clinics to "Women’s Health Specialists” to survive managed care changes in health care delivery.


We help start the Sacramento Community Clinic Consortium Ms. Magazine honors the work of Carol Downer, the founder of the Self Help Clinic and the first FWHC.


CFWHC responds to California's Medi-Cal managed care conversion, advocating for low-income women to have access to care.


We host a tour and self help clinic for national women leaders of Guinea. CFWHC provides key testimony against anti-abortion leader, Joe Scheidler in the NOW vs. Scheidler RICO law suit. We start the Sacramento Teen Care-a-Van with Diogenes Youth Services. Soroptimists International of Chico honors Dido Hasper with the "Advancing the Status of Women” Award. We start providing non-surgical abortions.


Katrina Cantrell, Redding Clinic Director, is elected to the board of the National Women's Health Network in Washington, D.C. The Hirsch Award for the Advancement of Self Help is awarded to Eileen Schnitger, FWHC Director.


We are the first provider of the "Abortion Pill” in California after its approval by the FDA. We create "Living and Loving” for the Far Northern Regional Center. The program provides health, sex and abuse prevention education to women with developmental disabilities.

We created the "Women In Need” Fund to provide economically disadvantaged women access to abortion and women's health care.


We designed and launched our website www.womenshealthspecialists.org. We started the Phoenix Teen Clinic in Petaluma, CA.


We went to London to present self help at the Menstruation Conference in Liverpool. FWHC takes a stand against the invasion of Iraq. FWHC goes to Cuba to learn about their women’s health care system and share self help. Katrina Cantrell is elected to the Board of Directors of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center in South Dakota.


FWHC hosts the Sacramento Women’s Health Awards Dinner and honors Senator Deborah Ortiz and Tina Roberts. We successfully moved our permanent injunction against anti-abortion protestors in Sacramento to our new location. We successfully lobby for a County Ordinance in Sacramento establishing a "buffer zone” to protect all reproductive health facilities. The Indigenous Women’s Network in New York gives their "Award for Activism” to Katrina Cantrell, Director at FWHC.


We received core support grants for outreach services from The California Wellness Foundation

and The Women’s Foundation of California.

WHS staff & community activists work to defeat Proposition 73 Parental Notification Initiative.

WHS produced and distributed 18,500 Teen Survival Guides in Northern California.


FWHC travels to Caracas, Venezuela to meet with local women’s health committees, community kitchens and radio programmers.

Opened the Grass Valley satellite clinic in collaboration with Nevada County citizens for Choice.

We opened the WHS satellite clinic in Rancho Cordova in collaboration with UC Davis.

300 supporters, founders and community leaders celebrated CFWHC’s 30thanniversary in Chico.

Went to court in Chico FWHC v. Canfield, an anti-abortion protester who threatened our physician. The California Supreme Court refused to hear Canfield’s appeal in which Canfield claimed he is the only one who can provide "informed consent” to women seeking abortion.


Became a Title X agency- expanded Outreach & Education Program.

Created a Learning Lab in collaboration with Shasta College.

Created and launched the Young Women’s Leadership Project, funded by Global Giving

Worked successfully to defeat Prop 85, Parental Notification initiative.

Initiated the annual Dido Hasper Speculum Give Away in honor of her passing in 2004.

Began broadcasting weekly on the Mien Radio Network about reproductive health and justice.

Family Planning Inc endowed FWHC through the Shasta Regional Community Foundation

Co-hosted a community meeting with ACCESS on the Supreme Court’s Abortion Ban decision.

Caravanned to Oakland to Tim Wise presentation on confronting racism.

Co-founded the Feminist Abortion Network, national membership organization of women-run clinics.


Presented at The California Wellness Conference on Women’s Health.

Expanded Outreach & Education to 180,000 community people.

Presented at Reproductive Freedom Day by the California Coalition of Reproductive Freedom.

At SisterSong conference presented Self Exam in Self Help groups.

Ani DiFranco did a benefit in Chico for FWHC.

Expanded hours at The Clinic!, our satellite in Grass Valley with Nevada County Citizens for Choice.


Invited by Migrant Health Promotoras, we conducted 6 day Self Help tour to Hidalgo county on the Texas, Mexico border, presenting self-exam to 12 groups of women.

Partnered with Radio Mexico in Redding for weekly Spanish language health education programs

Collaborated with Girls, Inc. and presented sexual and reproductive health information

Provided Local Indians for Education leadership training on reproductive health and justice.

Raised $12,000 with Global Giving to present the first Chico Young Women’s Leadership Program


In March the Affordable Care Act was signed in law. WHS Executive Director, Shauna Heckert received the Generation Award from the California Coalition For Reproductive Freedom for her

contribution as an outstanding champion of women.

SisterSong participants attending workshop "Walk in My Shoes,” an interactive card game developed by FWHC using real life barriers to abortion to stimulate discussion

In Redding we created an HIV referral Network "Celebrating, Empowering, and Networking” with 12 partnering agencies participating in health fair hosted by WHS.


Raised funds in the National Network of Abortion Funds bowl-a-thon for our Women in Need Fund.

Raised funds through North Valley Community Foundation’s annual Annie B’s Community Drive.

WHS went to Grindstone Rancheria Mechoopda Tribal meeting with youth in Chico, CA to speak about access to reproductive health care.

Lobbied for AB 499 to provide youth with preventive STD education and services

Joined the planning committee for the SF Gay Men’s Chorus: The 2010 California Freedom Tour


Opened new satellite services in Anderson, CA, an underserved area of Shasta County.

Created collaboration with the TEACH program of UCSF to train residents in abortion care at WHS’s clinics. WHS Chico and Redding clinics anchor the Rural Leadership Advanced Training Effort (ReLATE) partnership with TEACH at UCSF.

Collaborated with Hollaback! creating Virtual Self-Exam groups with women from five countries participating in live online group. Increased policy impact supporting AB 2348, Access to Birth Control, authorizing RN’s to dispense hormonal birth control.


Began program with UC Davis to train residents in family planning and abortion care at WHS clinic

Moved Sacramento clinic and Administration offices to newly renovated space on Ethan Way

Rasied our voices at the capitol in support of: AB154, approving NP’s, CNM’s and PA’s to provide clinic abortion services in the first trimester; AB 899 Repeal the Maximum Family Grant; SB 138, The Confidential Health Information Act.


Funded by Covered California and Sierra Health Foundation, WHS provides face to face education to 19,000 people in 5 rural counties on accessing health insurance through Covered California

ReLATE graduate joins WHS to provide services and training in our rural clinic sites. WHS has graduated 12 residents from this program. WHs precepts student nurse practitioners in women’s and reproductive health care delivery.

Presented at Black Women For Wellness’ "Get Smart B4You Get Sexy” conference in Los Angeles

Provided workshops for 12-18 year old youth at the Tribal Youth Preparedness Cultural Camp at Whiskeytown Lake, CA


Medical Director Margie Shelton-Gross awarded the C. Lalor Burdick Unsung Hero Award by the National Abortion Federation for excellence in training and mentoring residents in abortion and reproductive health care.

Opened reproductive health services at American River College, Cosumnes River College and Sacramento City College Student Health Centers.

Lobbied for SB 23 to Repeal the Maximum Family Grant Rule to pay for infants born on CalWorks

Testified on behalf of AB 775, the Reproductive FACT Act which was signed into law.