As a future physician and provider, Dr. Tiller’s murder shakes me to the core. A man, who spent a large portion of his life serving women through legal, safe procedures, was gunned down on his way into church. He was truly a women’s health hero. My thoughts are with his family today.
It is no surprise that so few medical students intend on becoming abortion providers. This life path can be dangerous-you and your family are targeted by radicals, your clinic picketed, and your patients harassed. Often, abortion providers can’t even discuss that part of their practice with their family and friends for fear of back lash. Those that become abortion providers do it because they believe in a woman’s right to choose and feel access to abortion is a basic right. Providers like Dr. Tiller, Dr. Carhart, and Dr. Hanson have shown us courage in the face of personal risk. They are truly inspirational leaders to those of us contemplating entering the field.
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Remember, without providers, there is no choice. We can fight for the legal right to privacy and the ability to obtain an abortion, but if there is no one left to perform the actual abortion, what is the point. [Consider donating to Medical Students for Choice www.ms4c.org. The only organization that fosters support for medical students considering abortion care as a career path.]
Dr. Tiller’s death must not be in vain. Now is the time to recognize the real threat to abortion providers and women seeking their services. Now is the time to recognize the extreme lack of abortion providers and resources for women. Now is the time to recognize Dr. Tiller as a hero, and perhaps in death he can truly change the face of the pro-choice movement and the future of abortion care.
As a group, we must come together in this time of tragedy-celebrate his life and look towards the future, together.
If you are in the DC area, there will be a vigil to honor the life of Dr.George Tiller from 6:30pm at the White House (LaFayettePark side) on Monday, June 1st. We will honor Dr Tiller and all that he has done providing safe, legal abortion for thousands of women. Bring a candle with you and any words you would like to share. Additional vigils can be found here: