Saturday is Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, a day when reproductive health specialists and their staff around the country stand in defiance of abortion stigma, hate, and threats of violence to declare their pride for the work they do. Whether you’ve had an abortion, you’ve thought about an abortion, or you just love someone who had an abortion, it’s important to remember how valuable these health-care providers are in our communities. This March 10, take some time out of your day to make sure your local abortion provider knows just how appreciated they are.
If you’re still on the fence about why you should celebrate this weekend, here are ten reasons to appreciate your local abortion provider.
1. Abortion providers make sure you’re safe. The people who work at your local abortion clinic care about your safety. They aren’t just working to keep you safe from anti-choice harassment, they’re working to make sure you’re safe from sexual violence and domestic violence at home too.
2. Abortion providers make sure you’re supported. Having an abortion can be an emotionally turbulent time for some people. Most abortion clinics provide free counseling before, during, and after your abortion, so you always have access to someone you can count on if you need to talk. If you can’t get back to the clinic where you had your abortion, there are abortion talk lines like Faith Aloud and All Options that offer free, nonjudgmental support whenever you need it.
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3. Abortion providers are community leaders. An abortion provider’s work doesn’t stop when their patients have all gone home for the day. For many doctors, when the lights go off in exam rooms, work shifts to community spaces, meetings, and public campaigns aimed at eliminating stigma, removing barriers to abortion access, and changing public perception of anti-abortion restrictions.
4. Abortion providers know how to have a good time. Being an abortion provider, especially in a red state, where anti-choice legislators are making it difficult to practice, is hard right now under the anti-LGBTQ, anti-women Trump administration. Luckily, providers know how important it is to decompress, recharge, and celebrate themselves and their teams when necessary.
5. Abortion providers provide great medical care. Abortion providers are medical professionals, often the same doctors a patient might turn to for help with a pregnancy or delivering a baby. They’re experts in their fields and dedicated to utilizing the best available research to give their patients the best outcomes possible, despite what anti-choice laws might have you believe.
6. Abortion providers are here for everyone. Not everyone who has an abortion is heterosexual or woman-identified, and abortion providers know that. More and more clinics are adopting non-gendered language, expanding access for members of the LGBTQ community, and ensuring that trans and gender-nonconforming patients feel safe and welcome when they need abortion care.
7. Abortion providers know you might be broke. Although the majority of abortions in the United States occur during the first trimester, when costs are lowest, states are continuing to pass restrictions making it harder for people to access timely care. Additionally, several states have laws banning private insurers from covering abortion procedures, making it hard for clinics to remain open in rural areas, and requiring two or even three visits to the clinic. Prices for abortion procedures go up as pregnancies progress, so the longer someone waits, the more money they need. As such, abortions can be expensive, and not everyone has access to enough money to pay for the care they need when they need it. Abortion providers understand this, and that’s why they’re dedicated to helping patients find financial assistance when they need it. Between clinic-based funds and the National Network of Abortion Funds, there are resources—though never enough—to make sure patients can access to the abortion they need, whether they can afford it or not.
8. Abortion providers know you might change your mind. Abortion isn’t the right decision for everyone, and abortion providers know that. They understand that sometimes patients might change their minds. If you decide to continue your pregnancy, your clinic can help you find resources to parent the way you want to. If you decide to consider adoption, your clinic can help you connect with an adoption agency that will respect you and your choices.
9. Abortion providers know you might be back one day. Abortion providers see thousands of patients every year and they know some of those patients need more than one abortion in their lifetime. They’ll never judge you, shame you, or question you for coming back if you need another abortion.
10. Abortion providers won’t ever stop fighting for your rights. Abortion providers are tough, and they won’t back down from a fight. All over the country, clinics and providers are showing up in legislative chambers, city halls, and court rooms to make sure your rights are never taken away. Do you remember when Whole Woman’s Health won its landmark case at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, overturning blatantly unconstitutional anti-choice regulations? I do!
Have I convinced you yet? If so, it’s time to put your appreciation to work! Head on over to the Abortion Care Network’s Abortion Provider Appreciation Day page to send a message of love and support to your local clinic.