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Commentary Abortion

I’m a Proud Abortion Provider. Here’s Why. 

Sunoz Soroosh

I feel that every day is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers because of the immense appreciation I receive from my patients, day in and day out.  

Every day, I walk through the doors of the Planned Parenthood health center where I work with a smile, often singing along to a song playing on my headphones. Many find this surprising considering there are usually anti-abortion protesters outside the health center taunting me and my patients or trying to convince me to “find a better job.”
They fail to realize I’m proud to be an abortion provider who puts patients first.

I’m a registered nurse at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York. I work with people who need compassionate, high-quality abortion care. I’m completing my master’s degree to become a nurse-midwife and nurse practitioner. My work at Planned Parenthood has given me not only the clinical skills to pursue a higher education, but also the confidence to support patients during a deeply personal experience.

Abortion is health care, and health care is a fundamental human right that needs to be accessible for everyone. The unfortunate reality is racism, economic inequalities, and hateful biases block people from getting vital health care—including safe, legal abortion care.

Women of color, transgender men, and gender-nonconforming people suffer the most from these systemic injustices that are exacerbated by lawmakers who oppose abortion rights. That’s why I show up to work every day. Despite bullying from anti-choice lawmakers and protesters, health care happens at Planned Parenthood.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration, through its domestic “gag rule,” has forced health-care providers to stop offering a full range of reproductive health options if they are to continue receiving Title X family planning funding. That means Title X recipients can’t refer patients for abortion care even if that’s the option they want. But in the medical community, there’s no debate—everyone deserves accurate information about their health-care options so they can make their own, fully informed decisions.

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People must have the freedom to decide on their own if, when, and with whom to have a family, without interference from politicians or anti-abortion extremists fixated on stripping people of their bodily autonomy. I trust my patients to make their own sexual and reproductive health-care decisions, and in return, they trust me to be honest and deliver care with dignity and respect. I will never cower from my vow to my patients or my community.

Today is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers, which was started in memory of Dr. David Gunn, the first provider killed by an anti-abortion activist in the United States. Threats and violence persist against doctors who provide abortion care: The National Abortion Federation (NAF) in 2018 reported a record number of violent incidents at clinics, while incidents of activists obstructing health-care facilities almost doubled from 2017 to 2018. Providers have seen an unprecedented surge in picketing outside clinics, according to NAF, as anti-choice activists are emboldened by an onslaught of legislative attacks against reproductive health care.

Nevertheless, I feel that every day is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers because of the immense appreciation I receive from my patients, day in and day out.

Being an abortion provider is more than a job for me. It’s a deeply personal commitment to helping people prioritize their health care needs and determine the future they want. Providers are here, protecting the lives and health of millions of people and their families—and we will be here for generations to come.

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