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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 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 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 [ 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?

Originally posted to Readrock on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 08:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences


    Universal abortion care needs to become a working part of the Democratic platform.  Make the teaching of abortion care mandatory in all medical schools.  If the Democrats won’t speak for poor pregnant women seeking access to abortion care, WHO WILL?

  •  outstanding diary (21+ / 0-)


    Outstanding diary. Thank you for writing. Abortion care is indeed a compassion issue. Unfortunately, another tactic of the conservatives over the years has been to undermine the compassion we feel towards our fellow human beings. Stereotyping and blaming the victim (promotion of the memes about "welfare queens", "lazy poor people", "promiscuous women")has been the agenda of conservatives. They know that compassion is the antidote for conservative ideology.

    The personal stories make the issues that much more real to everyone. Thank you for revealing the truth about doctors and women who provide and need compassionate abortion care.


  •  Compassionate diary for compassionate people (16+ / 0-)

    Great diary Readrock, thank you. Unfortunately, LisaLL is right that the government and its right-wing base are undermining everyone's ability to feel compassion. In my opinion, right-wingers seem to lack compassion and empathy in general, it's like they have a personality disorder. And the Bush regime's tactics give the rest of us "compassion-fatigue" - too many disadvantaged people to fight for, and we need to look after ourselves too.

    Because abortion is such a controversial political issue, politicians have to spend a lot of time defending or attacking the basic right, instead of actually improving abortion care and access to it. We need to make abortion uncontroversial, accepted by a majority as a woman's natural right. Obviously not an easy task! And abortion care must be mainstreamed - taught routinely at every medical school, and offered at hospitals, doctors' offices, and clinics across the country.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -MLK

    by choice joyce on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 10:07:56 AM PDT

  •  Who Benefits from this policy? (12+ / 0-)

    If the result is to produce the next generation of cannon fodder for the ongoing war and cheap labor to produce the materials for war, then the guys at the top have no incentive to care about poor women, in fact, they profit from it.  
    In Illinois, once they started losing elections, they changed their tune.  I agree, it's time for the Democrats to quit pussyfooting around this issue and confront this government intrusion into our lives.  Make the lifers justify the damage they do.

  •  "How many women and their families must suffer (16+ / 0-)

    before we wake up and demand reproductive justice and quality abortion care for all?"

    I think you have already answered your question, readrock.  These women have very few voices in the current halls of the US congress and statehouses.  The poor and very young don't provide a hell of a lot of money or votes for politicians, and this is what is required for these voices to be heard.

    Hopefully pleas such as we are making, and a few of us have been making for many years, as we increase our numbers, will be heard.  And our efforts to educate the 1.3 million patients some abortion care provider sees each year about the importance of their votes and voices will stimulate a tidalwave of new political support.

    I am holding my breath that this might be so.  At least we have ALL the Demo presidential candidates coming to Chi town next month.  How great is that!
    At least we can make our voices heard.

    Glad you are back on the march, readrock.

    A private gyn office offering full gyn services including abortion care to 18 weeks.

    by william f harrison on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 10:24:21 AM PDT

  •  They are "the other" (10+ / 0-)

    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.
    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.

    You said it all right there. Women are always the first victims of moral cowards.

    We have politicians tough enough to continue funding the slaughter of women and children on the other side of the world, but not tough enough to defend the right of women right here at home to have safe, professional and affordable abortion care that enables them to control what happens to them and to their children.

    Like the women of Iraq and Afghanistan, they are expendable.

    The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

    by moiv on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 10:37:06 AM PDT

  •  Abortion clinics... (6+ / 0-)

    are the training grounds for other right wing assaults.

    History has shown that nobody pays attention any more to terrorism against abortion providers.

    I'm willing to bet that some reading this are asking:

    "What went on this past week in Birmingham?"
    "Who attacked Dr. Tiller in Wichita?"

    The media doesn't pay attention and neither do the authorities.

    The police refused to arrest trespassing protesters in Birmingham this past week, but DID arrrest the owner of the clinic in Tuscaloosa for refusing to go inside after they had refused to arrest protesters on her property.  It's all back asswards.

    And Dr. Tiller in Wichita gets "picketed" and harassed at his church.

    HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right

    by annrose on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 04:46:57 PM PDT

  •  I want choice (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, moiv, joyful, Readrock

    Thank you for all of your courage in providing choice.  My idea of what is "correct" is not my friend's idea of "correct."  And that's the whole thing. I want my cousin, my sister, my friend, my enemy, and every stranger to come to their own relationship with choice and God.

  •  The problem of framing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joyful, Readrock

    The single biggest problem with this issue for the Democrats is their refusal to try to frame the issue on their own terms.

    The Democrats have started saying things like "abortion is not a good thing, but it is necessary" and other similar statements.  As long as everyone across the political spectrum continues to state what a horrible thing a women's right to choose is, that right will become increasingly weaker.

    It's bad enough that already that doctors are afraid to perform abortions because of nutjobs who might kill them.  One thing that would help is to crack down on people who threaten doctors who perform abortions.  (do not call them abortion doctors, that's just another thing that gives into the Right-wing framing) Unfortunately, the government refuses to crack down on these people because they hope that the crazies will accomplish what they cannot through the legal system, an elimination of safe abortion and the white Christian male's dominance over women.

    It is truly a shame that our politicians refuse to take a stand on this issue.  I think it's a good utilitarian argument.  Society is simply better off when unwanted pregnancies are terminated as early as possible.  I personally think that if the government provided free birth control to anyone who wanted it, either condoms, the pill, or any other method, abortion rates might drop.  But their refusal to teach anything but the failed abstinence only plan just increases the number of unwanted pregnancies, and therefore abortions, by refusing to address the underlying problem.  

    I'm very much concerned that abortion rights are going to be completely destroyed in the next few decades if the GOP continues to hold sway over the Supreme Court.  We're already eroding Roe at the corners, one more solidly Anti-Abortion Justice is all the Right needs to send us back to alleyway coathanger abortions and bans on contraception.

    We have to make a stand now on this issue, if we wait much longer it's going to be too late and a generation will lose the right to control their own bodies.  And that, will be a loss for everyone.

    •  excellent points on the dems and framing (0+ / 0-)

      I think we dems lost ground and credibility by refusing to take a stand on this issue.  Clinton could have really been a leader here and women would have responded to her.  Instead we have this folks speaking of "middle ground" and "rare" rather than facing the reality women face every single day in America.

      And I agree the longer we "sleep" on these rights and remain silent, the more difficult and dire things become.

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