Dr. Suzanne T. Poppema is Immediate Past Board Chair Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. She is the director of International Medical Consulting in Seattle, Washington, and is a retired associate professor of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. For many years, Dr. Poppema was medical director of an abortion clinic in the Seattle area, where she led some of the first clinical trials of mifepristone medication abortion in the United States. Dr. Poppema was previously chair of the board of the National Abortion Federation.
Dr. Susan Poppema, a close colleague of Dr. George Tiller's, reflects on what Dr. Tiller offered his patients and their families, something missing from the recent push for abortion restrictions in Congress and state legislatures.
A new declaration spells out the rights of providers to practice medicine free from fears of violence, harassment, and intimidation; to give patients complete, medically accurate information about procedure; and to continue training and research.
In examining rooms, we see women in terrible pain, but their suffering doesn’t count in Stupak/Pitts world. By banishing abortion from the reform bill, the amendment punishes women who need to end unwanted or unhealthy pregnancies.
On National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, we recognize that the threats to abortion providers have changed since the 1990s. Violent attacks have diminished. But state legislatures are still restricting and targeting providers.
Proponents of the South Dakota abortion ban argue that the health exception protects women's well-being. But the amendment would force physicians to make medical decisions with their attorneys, rather than with their patients.
Over the years, I've heard many myths about abortion that are as pervasive as they are false. Four myths in particular never seem to go away, though any doctor who provides abortions can tell you they just aren't true.
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