In honor of National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, we asked abortion providers to describe their experiences and why they do the work they do. Show a provider your appreciation today.
When I think about providing abortions and helping women self-induce abortions, I rarely think, “Why am I doing this?” More often I think, “Why are other health care providers not doing this?” As a women’s health care provider, I am invested in the well-being of my individual patients but also in the collective health of women in society. Not health as in the absence of illness, but health as in the physical, mental, spiritual, political, economic and social well-being that allows women to fulfill their dreams. And that includes power to make decisions about their sexuality, bodies, reproduction and ultimately future.
For me providing abortions is both a conscientious commitment to women and a political one. Abortion is about gender equity and self-determination, more than simply a medical procedure that women need when they determine that it is not the right time for them to carry a pregnancy any further or to raise a child. I never ask women the reason they are seeking an abortion, I trust them to make the best decision for themselves. For me providing safe and compassionate abortion care is about reversing the de-valuation of women and girls and ensuring they have the opportunity to lead the lives they wish to lead. And in large part it’s also about resistance, resisting the violence of stigma and silencing around abortion and abortion work. Women need abortions and deserve they be provided in the same way all medical care is with beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice.