Happy National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers!
Katha Pollitt over at the Nation urges readers to recognize this important day, and many of them aren’t having it:
On a more positive note….how about, National Days for:
State Exectioners (tough work & like Abortion providers, people die!)
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Emergency Room Staff
Dr. Death (starts w/K)
Posted by Happy at 03/09/2009 @ 2:09pm
Talk about a convoluted phrase; "Appreciation for Baby Killers".
What’s next, "National let’s euthanize a Senior Day"?
Posted by antisocialist at 03/09/2009 @ 3:24pm
A national day of recognition sounds a little callous and smug given that this issue is considered by many to be an extremely difficult moral issue at best. Still, the anti-choice crowd has largely determined rules of engagement, and they have used criminality at times to push their agenda, including terrorism. Pro choice supporters must maintain the high ground at all times. If this means going without accolades of public recognition and appreciation, so be it. Private support and thanks is totally appropriate.
Posted by OneVote at 03/09/2009 @ 7:19pm
Forgive me for giving too much airspace to naysayers, but I’ve posted these comments because they just sort of reinforce why this day is so important. Given the expected uptick in clinic violence, a troubling shortage of younger people interested and willing to takeover this important work in the future, and of course, just the simple fact that it’s such an under-appreciated field given the politics surrounding it (see above), it is necessary that those of us who are inclined recognize this day do so heartily.
So let’s just take a moment out of our lives to, at a minimum, pause and really appreciate the struggle abortion providers face, the controversy they endure, and the dedication demanded of them, especially in the face of violence and frequent social black-listing.
For a little more reading for the issues surrounding the expected increase in clinic violence, check out Eleanor Bader’s piece from yesterday outlining the tensions arising around various clinics as the new administration’s support swings in a new direction. And on Sunday, the New York Times had a piece up about the lack of younger people willing to work in clinics as directors and providers. Here’s just a little excerpt:
At 50, Ms. Burgess is the youngest member of the Hope clinic’s leadership team, which includes Ms. Baker; Debbie Wiehardt, 57, the office supervisor; and the two doctors performing abortions (the only men on the 30-person staff), who are both in their 60s…
Abortion advocates like Kelli M. Conlin, president of Naral Pro-Choice New York, say that while it’s not a problem finding younger doctors and support staff to work in clinics in large urban areas like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, it is an issue in more conservative places like upstate New York; smaller Midwestern cities; Southern states, including Texas; and rural areas.
Lastly, Dr. Suzanne Poppema has a piece up along similar lines. She urges:
Want to help save the endangered abortion provider? Here are three things you can do today. If you know a doctor who provides abortions, thank them for what they do. Call or write to your elected officials and ask them to consult with an abortion provider before voting on any abortion-related legislation. Too often, bills are passed without input from the very people they affect most. Finally, if you’ve had an abortion, tell someone about it. One in three women will have an abortion by age 45, yet it remains a taboo topic. The more we can talk openly and honestly about women’s abortion experiences, the more we can reduce the stigma around this procedure.
Katha also suggests:
You can show your support for the selfless people who make more than words on a page by making a donation to the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), an all-volunteer group which helps low-income girls and women around the country pay for their abortion care. As the economy sinks and unemployment rises, more and more women will find themselves both needing to terminate a pregnancy and unable to come up with the cost. Help WRAPP be there for clinics and for women.
And while simply wanting to show appreciation should be enough, it can’t hurt that if you send Katha your receipt for $50, she’ll mail you a signed copy of her collection of personal essays, Learning to Drive.
All arguments for recognizing this day and the courage of abortion-providers aside, let’s also just remember that this shouldn’t be reserved only for March 10. Most days of the year, clinics face the same threats and the same nasty politics. So if you don’t have time today to write a letter of thanks, make a donation, or whatever other creative ways you can come up with to recognize this day, March 11 isn’t too late. Neither is March 22nd. Nor July 25th. Nor the entire month of December! Appreciation is always appreciated.