Chelsea Clinton is pregnant, and some anti-abortion activists responded to the news Thursday by showing they don’t understand what being “pro-choice” means: being able to choose to have a baby, or not.
I get this all the fucking time. We’re pro-choice. That means choosing to keep, abort or adopt. Not pro-abort-everything-always. I’ve had unplanned pregnancies and kept them.We’re pro-do-what-is-right-for-you.
“It is my fundamental philosophy that patients are emotionally, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically competent to struggle with complex health issues and come to decisions that are appropriate for them.” - Dr. George Tiller
Four years ago Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider in Wichita, Kansas, was murdered. Today we remember his courageous and compassionate work as both a health care provider and a women’s health advocate.
This past weekend was the Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) Activist Leadership Institute. Being one of those selected across the country from the tons of applications, we experienced a whirlwind of information and workshops to be better organizers, activists, orators, and framers through the context of future abortion providers. At the end, as a “charger,” we discussed what our ideal 2016 would be in bout 10 minutes. Stuff in the circle is what we want. Stuff outside the circle is stuff we want to get rid of.
Apparently there was a lot of agreemtn on - men having babies and safe (implied) sex.
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic Supreme Court decision that ensured a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion. Unfortunately, since 1963, federal and state legislators have worked very hard to chip away at that right, decreasing access for women throughout the United States through restrictions on insurance coverage; waiting periods; and mandatory, medically unnecessary ultrasounds to name a few. The most significant of these is the Hyde Amendment, which keeps Medicaid from paying for terminations, leaving the poor and marginalized, those often at greatest risk for unplanned pregnancy, with the worst access. In the last couple years, we’ve even seen attacks on birth control. As future physicians, I believe it is our responsibility to be scientists in the face of ideology and stand up for the health and rights of our patients and communities.
On this day, I’d like you all to take just a little bit of time to read about the current attacks on reproductive health in the U.S., and the new restrictions that have come into effect even in just the last year. Texas actually defunded Planned Parenthood and Mississippi is on a crusade to make sure the state’s last abortion clinic closes its doors as soon as possible. This anniversary post on Mother Jones is a fantastic summary, including great research from the Guttmacher Institute, and here’s another post on five states we need to be watching in 2013. In case your interested, here’s some up to date Pew Forum polling.
Today, I encourage you all to take action in support of reproductive health and rights:
Please stand with me in saying we should treat reproductive health care like health care, by respecting women’s decisions in the face of their own unique realities. Take a moment today to be thankful that our obstetric wards aren’t flooded with self-induced, septic abortions as they were pre-Roe v. Wade, but also to realize that our past may come around to be our future if we don’t take action!