The fierce battle between those who support reproductive choice and those who don't has been going on since long before the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in with its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, and it hasn't stopped in the time since. If anything, it's only intensified.

The fierce battle between those who support reproductive choice and those who don't has been going on since long before the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in with its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, and it hasn't stopped in the time since. If anything, it's only intensified.

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Whole Women's Health v. Cole, to determine the constitutionality of a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers and for clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Over the past four years, in states including Ohio, over 200 new governmental regulations such as these have been put in place, resulting in a wave of abortion clinic closures across the country. And just this Tuesday, the Ohio House, following the lead of the Ohio Senate and the controversy created by some heavily edited videos, also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, the leading source of reproductive health and abortion services for low-income and uninsured women in the U.S.

Nonetheless, the act of terminating a pregnancy up to a certain point is, for now, very much a legal right. Those working to help women exercise it have been coming up with some creative ways to reinforce this message and foster a sense of safety for patients who visit abortion clinics, even when faced with the regular presence of vocal protesters on the sidewalk out front. Locally, Amanda Patton is a recognized leader in this effort.

As a patient advocate at Founder's Women's Health Center, one of two abortion clinics in Columbus and nine statewide, Patton connects with patients to discuss their procedural options for terminating a pregnancy and the costs and side effects involved, in addition to maintaining the clinic's website and blog.

"I've always felt like something inside of me was very appalled by the idea of making someone go through a pregnancy that they didn't want to," Patton explained. "It's just something visceral inside me. I don't know where it came from, and I can't deny it."

In the year-plus that she's been working with Founders, Patton has taken the initiative to revive the clinic's escort program, for which sympathetic volunteers are trained to act as non-confrontational buffers between patients and protesters during peak operating hours.

Last spring, she launched a successful effort to mobilize volunteers via social media for "Chalk the Walk," a monthly gathering during warmer months to fill the sidewalks surrounding the clinic with positive images and messages in colorful chalk.

According to Patton, "The chalking program was really started because protesters outside the clinic were writing things on the sidewalk that a lot of people found to be really upsetting."

"We'd go out and wash it off, but I thought, what if we had our own chalk?" she went on. "Let's cover the sidewalk in beautiful, non-threatening imagery and words that are generally uplifting. No matter what a woman's coming to the clinic for, it's going to cheer her up and distract her from the protesters standing out there… and it gives the community something to do where they feel they're actually making a difference."

More recently, Patton shifted the focus of a personal project to create and sell T-shirts featuring her exceptionally fluffy and photogenic cat, Boo Radley, to raise funds for pro-choice organizations. She opted instead to use the money for digital billboard space for Founder's.

"For any woman who would need these services, I wanted to send a message that we're here, and that it's OK to make this decision. So many women get tricked by the advertising for crisis pregnancy centers. I've had so many patients say, 'If I'd known they weren't really a clinic, I wouldn't have gone there, but they made me think they were going to help me in this process.'"

Once again, she found a group of volunteers who were eager to bring the idea to fruition. A single Facebook post from Patton yielded dozens of replies from professional creatives.

In the end, Patton had a complete billboard campaign, featuring clean, simple imagery and basic factual information. The designs appeared last week on a billboard at the busy intersection of Third and Spring streets. Patton is already working on a new T-shirt campaign to purchase more advertising space in 2016.

"I didn't know who to go to, and I'd never done or designed anything like this, so I couldn't have done it alone," Patton said. "I just went on the internet and said, 'Can someone help me?' and people just came forward. They didn't ask for money or anything."

The unveiling of the billboards brought a wave of shared photos from supporters. It also attracted the attention of some with differing opinions, like the anti-choice social action group Created Equal. Its members responded by parking a mobile billboard with counter-messaging and graphic imagery on the street below the Founder's ads. Rather than complain, Patton looked on the bright side.

"It just created more attention, so that was nice," she said. "I tweeted to them, 'Thanks for doing that!'"