So as the saying goes "A good story is medicine". And we abortion care providers have a few good stories to share. But we don’t say much these days because we are the targets of home grown terrorists, most of whom sadly are Christian MEN with tons of money and influence due to the Bush regime. We abortion providers learned a little over a decade ago to stay low to the ground least we become the target. As a provider of abortion care, I feel like I am on one side of a very small and worn bridge. On my side you are not pregnant...you regain control of your life and your body. On the other side are pregnant women desperately coming forward and crossing this very small and dangerous bridge. I stand there in this vision, Clint Eastwoodisque encouraging women to cross before the bridge goes down...
Why is it so difficult to help women receive quality abortion care in the United States today? Why do we allow this assault and lack of policy making leadership to continue? As a provider of quality abortion care for 27 years in the deep south I keep looking for reinforcements on the horizon. I see no leadership at ANY LEVEL to improve universal abortion care these days. Our policy makers are failing miserably. And the public is silent.
What happened? When did we forsake the women for political expedience?
It takes a village to provide quality abortion care. People talk (and attempt to avoid talking about) abortion but very few actually help create the structure and daily support for the provision of quality abortion care for all in the United States. There are so many reasons for this trend. Kossacks have read many recent wonderful diaries by Moiv, Dr. Bill Harrison and Beket on the antis and their treacherous ways of targeting abortion care providers. Just look what is going on in Birmingham this week. And look at the outrageous attack on late term provider Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. Sadly, current examples of this targeted domestic terrorism are only too readily available.
Who in their right mind would want to undergo this kind of alienation and fear provoking life in order to provide quality abortion care, a legal and simple minor surgery taking less than five minutes? And it sure is easy to ignore poor pregnant women in need of abortion care. At best, we get a glimpse of these women as targets of "welfare reform"...these irresponsible women having babies to get money from the state. Or look again at the clips of the Katrina victims...for a moment in time we saw these faces and were touched profoundly by their human suffering.
With only ONE CLINIC LEFT IN MISSISSIPPI (only in Jackson can you obtain abortion care) you can imagine pregnant women without transportation are fucked...as we all are when women are forced to bear children against their will on behalf of the state because they can't get transportation to get abortion care. There are many good reasons to have a baby but lack of transportation to get an abortion is not one of them. Go to [www.pbs.org PBS] and watch The Last Abortion Clinic on line. My clinic is the unnamed clinic which is visited in a neighboring state. Look at the women being denied care and ask yourself, as Americans how can we allow this assault of reproductive rights to continue unchallenged?
Why does no one care? I think part of it is that these women truly are the voiceless and the faceless with no representation in Congress so they are easy pawns brokered away on a daily basis. And we have a sophisticated anti movement that have "thrust" images of fully formed fetuses being killed with scissors to the the head. The whole "PBA" campaign was a goldmine for the far right...that sent politicians running from the abortion provision issue regardless that "PBA" images had nothing to do with what women with unintended pregnancy face on a daily basis. The antis also have been uniformly declaring concern for the health of women while restricting access to abortion care. If states REALLY CARED ABOUT THE HEALTH OF WOMEN THEY WOULD OPEN UP THEIR CHARITY AND STATE RUN HOSPITALS TO PROVIDE ABORTION CARE HIGH RISK WOMEN NEED.
It does take a village to provide quality abortion care and right now abortion provision is so ostracized and assaulted, much less supported with real resources (like abortion care training in medical schools) that it is amazing any woman anywhere in the middle of the country can access any abortion care AT ALL.
How many women and their families must suffer before we wake up and demand reproductive justice and quality abortion care for all?