On March 10, 1993, I got a call from a woman who owns an abortion clinic here in the Washington D.C. area. Through her hysterical tears I heard her say that “they just killed one of our doctors in Florida.” There was no more information after that – just the shocking statement. After that first call, all hell broke loose.
Within a few minutes, I got a call from Susan Hill, my long time friend and owner of a chain of abortion clinics known as the National Women’s Health Network. A few years earlier, Susan founded the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, the group that I worked for. She quickly confirmed that a doctor had been killed in Pensacola – and that the doctor had actually worked at one of her clinics. His name was David Gunn.
I’ve written before about the events that transpired once we received this shocking news. David Gunn’s murder was front page news for several days because he was the first abortion doctor to be killed for performing abortions. His assassin surrendered after pulling the trigger, was convicted very quickly and to this day remains in jail in Florida.
I share this story because yesterday was yet another anniversary of that horrible day. But I share it also because, although it was the day that Doctor Gunn was killed, March 10 is now known as “National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.”
All across the country, it is a day when supporters of abortion rights take a moment to personally thank all of the doctors, staff and owners who work in or run abortion facilities. Actually, while I never shy away from the word “abortion,” I think “abortion facilities” is a misnomer because it minimizes the scope of the services these people offer to women. There is a lot more than abortion when you are offering reproductive health services. Indeed, take a minute to go to www.abortion.com and look at some of the websites of the clinics that are listed. You’ll get a much better idea of the amazing work that they do.
They irony, of course, is David Gunn and the other doctors who were later killed, were not just doing abortions. As the general public recently discovered with the Susan B. Komen fiasco, these doctors might also be performing mammograms or testing for chlamydia. Not to mention the provision of birth control which is on everyone’s tongue, especially Rick Santorum’s. Oh, the pro-lifers can wallow in their myopia over the abortions that are performed in these clinics, but any person of average intellect knows that there are more things going on in these facilities than abortions.
This does not mean, however, that I am “apologizing” for the abortion services that are provided. To the contrary – I applaud my former colleagues for having the courage to perform this procedure knowing that their car could blow up at any time or that the next person walking up to them in the mall could be carrying a gun. As Doctor George Tiller found out when he was ushering parishioners into his church, there is no sanctuary from a demented mind who actually thinks he might be “saving babies” if he shoots an abortion doctor.
I want to applaud the abortion doctors who, despite the dangers, continue to be there to help the millions of women who have picked up the phone and made an appointment for an abortion. I applaud the counselors who take the time to talk to the women to make sure they are positive about their decision. And I applaud the nurses who hold the woman’s hand while she is in surgery.
- Ok to Lie to Patients, if Abortion is Involved (aleksandreia.com)
- What It Means To Be An Abortion Provider (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Doonesbury Tackles Abortion (breadnroses.ca)
- Abortion clinic ‘targeted by hacktivist’ (thetimes.co.uk)
- Supporting women travelling to the UK for abortion (mamanpoulet.com)