ALBANY — Concerned about possible federal cuts to programs like Planned Parenthood, a Queens legislator wants the state to step in.

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic said she will be introducing legislation this week requiring the state Health Department to create a program that would make up funding to Planned Parenthood and other family-planning programs cut by the feds. Designed to “ensure the continuity of family-planning services in the state,” the bill is modeled after one that recently passed in Maryland.

“With the uncertainty coming out of Washington, it is critical that we take the necessary steps to ensure access to quality care is maintained in New York State,” Democrat Rozic said.

The state program would fund providers like Planned Parenthood that offer services like cancer screenings, sexually transmitted disease testing, contraception, pregnancy care, and general well-woman visits. It would also cover providers that perform abortions.

Rozic said the idea is to ensure that groups that provide women’s health services are not forced to close due to federal cuts.

Trump last week signed a bill into law that allows states to deny federal family-planning money to groups like Planned Parenthood that perform abortions.

Rozic fears Trump in May will seek to further erode family-planning service groups by eliminating funding for those offering abortions. If the federal government defunds Planned Parenthood, the organization in New York could see a loss of about $25 million in Medicaid reimbursement money and potentially another $10 million in direct federal grant dollars for preventive services, said Fern Whyland, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts.

The Assembly, during recent budget negotiations, sought to include a $20 million contingency fund for family-planning services, but the allocation did not make the final spending plan. The budget contains $750,000 in state funding for family-planning services that has been included in years past.

A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo said the administration would have to see Rozic’s bill before commenting.

Robin Chappelle Golston, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, praised the assemblywoman’s bill for “sending a message to extreme politicians that every New Yorker deserves access to basic health care.”

Allowing federal family-service funds to be cut “hurts those who are already struggling to get by and those who already face barriers accessing health care — especially people of color, those with low to moderate incomes, as well as people who live in rural areas,” Golston said.

The bill faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate.

State Conservative Party Michael Long said lawmakers should reject any legislation that would continue funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions.

He said he would not be against the state making up for lost federal funding for other family-planning services like prenatal care — but only if they find the money by making cuts to other parts of the budget.

“We have a large enough budget that you don’t have to create something new to adjust to any shortages from the federal government,” Long said.

Rozic said her bill, if passed, would build on a provision in the new state budget that allows the governor to come up with a plan to address federal cuts that total more than $850 million. The governor’s plan would automatically go into effect unless the Legislature comes up with one of its own within 90 days.

Source: NY Daily News

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/queens-lawmaker-push-state-funding-planned-parenthood-article-1.3063677?cid=bitly

 

“I’m just happy that our story didn’t die with our daughter, and that some good can hopefully come out of this.”

 Meet Lindsey Paradiso, a photographer who lives with her husband, Matt, in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Lindsey Paradiso / Via facebook.com

On Oct. 19, 2016, Paradiso posted about her experience having a “late-term abortion” at 23 weeks. Since then, the post has gone viral, with over 100,000 shares.

“I was watching the [third presidential debate] and when I heard Trump say that late-term abortions were ripping babies out at nine months, I went into a full panic attack and started sobbing because I couldn’t believe people actually thought that happens, so I had to share my story and set things straight,” Paradiso told BuzzFeed Health.

The story went viral after she shared it that night, and it began trending again recently after Virginia proposed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

In February 2016, Paradiso was 18 weeks pregnant with her daughter Omara when doctors discovered a mass on the baby’s neck during a routine ultrasound.

The ultrasound showed a bubble on Omara's neck, which she said doctors believed was a rare tumor called a 'teratoma' but wouldn't know more until they did an MRI. 'The doctor told us it was in our best interest to terminate the pregnancy because her dying was pretty inevitable ... but we didn't want our baby to die ... we wanted to give Omara a fighting chance,' Paradiso wrote in her blog.

facebook.com

The ultrasound showed a bubble on Omara’s neck, which she said doctors believed was a rare tumor called a “teratoma” but wouldn’t know more until they did an MRI.

“The doctor told us it was in our best interest to terminate the pregnancy because her dying was pretty inevitable … but we didn’t want our baby to die … we wanted to give Omara a fighting chance,” Paradiso wrote in her blog.

“We wanted her no matter what,” Paradiso said, so they planned to wait until Omara was viable at 27 weeks to deliver her surgically so doctors could operate on the tumor, which ensured the best chance of survival.

“We had to have her delivered early by an EXIT procedure, which is basically like a larger and riskier C-section, because her tumor was so massive that at 27 weeks she would be too big to deliver vaginally,” Paradiso said.

Along with the EXIT procedure necessary to save Omara’s life, Paradiso said she faced the risk of infertility with the procedure but was willing to go through with it if it meant Omara could survive.

Three weeks later, Paradiso got an MRI that confirmed their worst fears: The tumor had tripled in size and was growing into her head, chest, lungs, and eyes. It was inoperable.

Lindsey Paradiso / Via lindseyparadiso.com
Lindsey Paradiso / Via lindseyparadiso.com

After Paradiso and her husband went to two other hospitals for more opinions, they sought out experts at the nation’s top children’s hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for an MRI.

“We still had hope, they said they saw one or two cases per year of this and showed us a little girl with the same tumor as Omara who survived until viability and spent her first year in the NICU but now lives a somewhat normal life,” Paradiso said.

However, doctors learned from the MRI that Omara’s case was far worse, and the tumor was growing inside her brain as well. “It was aggressive lymphangioma, and it was three times the size of her head by now and they were 99% sure it was fatal,” Paradiso said.

The doctors believed the tumor would kill Omara before 27 weeks, at which point Paradiso would have to have an EXIT procedure, as the tumor would be too large for her to have a D&C.

'I was willing to risk never having kids again with the EXIT procedure if it meant Omi could survive, but now that we knew she would probably die before viability, the thought of also being infertile was too much for us,' Paradiso said. She and her husband chose to have a procedure where a lethal injection is administered to the baby and labor is induced afterwards. 'Our hospital where my OB-GYN was couldn't do it, so we traveled about an hour away — and we were lucky, because a lot of parts of Virginia are very restrictive,' Paradiso said.

Lindsey Paradiso / Via facebook.com

“I was willing to risk never having kids again with the EXIT procedure if it meant Omi could survive, but now that we knew she would probably die before viability, the thought of also being infertile was too much for us,” Paradiso said.

She and her husband chose to have a procedure where a lethal injection is administered to the baby and labor is induced afterwards.

“Our hospital where my OB-GYN was couldn’t do it, so we traveled about an hour away — and we were lucky, because a lot of parts of Virginia are very restrictive,” Paradiso said.

“I was in labor for 40 hours, it was so painful and exhausting but I wanted to deliver my daughter so I could hold her and say goodbye,” Paradiso said.

Omara's heart stopped beating on Feb. 26 and she was delivered on Feb. 28. 'It was so painful,' Paradiso said, 'I didn't want to get pain meds so I could remember everything, but after over 12 hours, halfway through, I couldn't handle it anymore and got an epidural. When I delivered her it felt like an out-of-body experience.'The family chose to have Omara buried and held a small funeral service for her.

Courtesy of Lindsey Paradiso / Via facebook.com

Omara’s heart stopped beating on Feb. 26 and she was delivered on Feb. 28. “It was so painful,” Paradiso said, “I didn’t want to get pain meds so I could remember everything, but after over 12 hours, halfway through, I couldn’t handle it anymore and got an epidural. When I delivered her it felt like an out-of-body experience.”

The family chose to have Omara buried and held a small funeral service for her.

“When she was born and we could see the extent of the tumor, we were shocked,” Paradiso said.

WARNING

This image is graphic

Click to reveal

'To give more context, when we took the picture (above) where you can see her tumor, it had already been drained and reduced in size,' Paradiso said.

Meghann Chapman / Via lindseyparadiso.com

“To give more context, when we took the picture (above) where you can see her tumor, it had already been drained and reduced in size,” Paradiso said.

In Virginia, abortion is legal in the first trimester, legal in the second trimester only at licensed hospitals, and illegal in the third trimester except under certain circumstances.

Those circumstances include cases where the continuation of pregnancy is 'likely to result in death, physical or mental impairment of mother.' In all cases, women must receive state-directed counseling and wait 24 hours before the procedure.

Quackersnaps / Via gettyimages.com

Those circumstances include cases where the continuation of pregnancy is “likely to result in death, physical or mental impairment of mother.” In all cases, women must receive state-directed counseling and wait 24 hours before the procedure.

“If there was an abortion ban, I worry that I would’ve been forced to carry her and never been able to hold her in my arms,” Paradiso said.

Since her experience, she has joined a support group for women who've terminated late-term pregnancies and also joined NARAL, a pro-choice advocacy group. 'I testified in front of the general assembly in Richmond last week in support of two women's reproductive rights bill because the best way to affect legislation is to tell personal stories of how that legislation would've affected you had it been in place,' Paradiso said.

Lindsey Paradiso / Via facebook.com

Since her experience, she has joined a support group for women who’ve terminated late-term pregnancies and also joined NARAL, a pro-choice advocacy group.

“I testified in front of the general assembly in Richmond last week in support of two women’s reproductive rights bill because the best way to affect legislation is to tell personal stories of how that legislation would’ve affected you had it been in place,” Paradiso said.

Source: Buzzfeed

https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolinekee/this-woman-chose-to-end-a-wanted-pregnancy-at-23-weeks?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=healthtfb&utm_medium=post&utm_content=buzzfeed-march9&utm_term=.rj4260Nnx#.oyoAa8l6E

To those working in reproductive rights in the US, doctor Willie Parker is a hero. “A colored boy from Birmingham,” Alabama, as his 1962, pre-Civil Rights Act birth certificate described him, Parker grew up in abject poverty, fourth of six children, raised by a fierce single mother. Against all of the obstacles his country stacked against poor, African-American boys and young men, he became a doctor. Parker progressively expanded the horizon of his dreams and ambitions. First, he aimed to get any education at all. Then he made it to college, summer school at Harvard, and eventually onto med school.

It’s perhaps because of all those obstacles that he became a crusader. After years as an ob-gyn, in 2005 he had what he calls his “come to Jesus moment.” As a devout Christian, he realized he could not justify his choice to not perform abortions—not as a doctor, and not as a believer.

Since then, he’s been on the front line of what in the US is a war, and not just a legal one. While over 200 state laws have been passed in the past decade to try and curtail the right to abortion, 11 health practitioners, including Parker’s own mentor, Dr. George Tiller, have been murdered by anti-abortion activists. “No one on earth expects a large, bald black man in sweats and a baseball cap to be a doctor at all, let alone one of the last abortion doctors in the south,” Parker writes in his memoir Life’s Work: a Moral Argument for Choice. With courage and just enough lightness, he does not let threats deter him or racist insults provoke him. He continues providing safe and compassionate abortion care to the women who need it in the southern states where they are least likely to see their rights honored—Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

As the Trump administration moves forward to cut funding to clinics that provide abortions—the main providers of reproductive care and education for millions of American women—and opposes support for women’s reproductive rights at home and abroad, Parker’s book provides a tight moral and religious case in favor of choice. It has the potential to speak to an audience far beyond those who are pro-choice.

As a doctor and as an advocate (Parker chairs Physicians for Reproductive Health), Parker debunks the myths around abortion with scientific precision and moral clarity, stripping away political interests, social prejudice and religious misconceptions to show it exactly for what it is, a medical procedure that offers women control over their own bodies. The scientific rationality with which he speaks about the practical, routine elements of his work are educational and eye-opening. Yet what’s most poignant about his book is how Parker demonstrates that he has made his medical and ethical choices, not despite his faith, but because of it.

For Parker, the moral and religious arguments against abortion are misguided at best: The will of God, he says, manifests itself in human’s free will. That extends to the freedom to choose whether or not to take part in the reproductive process, a divine freedom accorded to women as it is to men, regardless of their biologies.

“Decision-making should not stratify by gender,” Parker told Quartz, “and so if the most essential thing is to men so to be self-determining, and to be able to make complex decisions, women are no less capable of that.” Yet, as he writes, abortion is subject unparalleled social and government oversight and stigma, something that finds no equivalent in medicine. “By accidental biology, the procreation process plays out in the body of a woman,” the writer told Quartz, so “if women have equal agency to men, that process should not trump the ability to be self-governing, to have bodily integrity, or moral authority to make decisions about her body, including reproduction.”

In the US, one in three women have an abortion in their lifetime—and fewer than 5% ever regret doing so. Anti-abortion activists describe women who seek or contemplate abortion as full of doubt, misery, and regret. Parker says his experience is quite the opposite. He serves women who overwhelmingly know exactly what they want, and why, and are capable of making the choices they need to make with rationality and conviction.

“How can a pregnancy be more important that the woman herself?” Parker asked rhetorically during the interview. Any attempts to force a woman to carry forward a pregnancy she does not wish to have denies rights to a life that already exists. Limiting a woman’s right to self-determination renders the label “pro-life” disingenuous. Parker highlights how abortion is exploited as political currency to get votes, most notably in the election of 2016 when US president Donald Trump turned anti-abortion only when he sought to the Republican nomination.

Parker traces how opposition to abortion rights has become an “effort to save a patriarchy that is in its last vestige as a society becomes more diverse, with gender identity, race, class, religious identity.” In that, he doesn’t spare just conservatives politicians and their supporters. He takes on religion, too.

“In the world of the Bible, bearing many children was a woman’s most important job,” writes Parker. Yet “in that ancient cultural context, however, abortion is never mentioned…The death of a fetus is regarded as a loss but not a capital crime. Throughout Jewish scripture, a fetus becomes human when—and only when—its head emerges from the birth canal.” The New Testament doesn’t mention abortion at all. Thus, for Parker, the idea that life begins with the mere meeting of sperm and egg is offensive to God.

What he calls a “theology of abortion” is an appeal to religious people of all faiths to look beyond what they are taught by the patriarchal ranks of their churches:

“[I]f you set aside the idea that God is like Siri, telling you to go left and go right, then the whole business is sacred. All of it. A pregnancy that intimates a baby is not more sacred than an abortion. …The God part is in your agency. The trust—the divine trust—is that you have an opportunity to participate in the population of the planet. And you have an opportunity not to participate…The process is bigger than you are. The part of you that’s like God is the part that makes a choice. That says, I choose to, Or, I choose not to. That’s what’s sacred. That’s the part of you that’s like God to me.”

Parker uses his personal journey to shed light on an often foggy matter with compassion and understanding. He speaks about finding inspiration for his work, and life, in Martin Luther King Jr.’s work, learning from him “not to be compassionate by proxy.” He identifies a thread of radical solidarity that runs through all civil progress—be it for race, gender, or income equality.

“My decision to go home and to practice was informed by the reality of people who look like me,” he explains.

Parker understands oppression in its most pervasive and insidious forms—masked as a right to suppress, determined to blame the victim. In this light, being able to provide abortions for the women who need it most is nothing more, and nothing less, than a form of social justice.

Source: Quatz

“Abortion is never mentioned” in the Bible—a Christian ob-gyn on why choice is pro-life

“I said, ‘Go ahead, alter the scene. We’ll just have a lot of articles about how you altered the scene.’”

ABC
Olivia Pope got an abortion on Scandal during Season 5, which aired in 2015. 

On Season 5 of “Scandal,” protagonist Olivia Pope has an abortion. The scene is minimal, short (about a minute long) and a revelation. Viewers saw Pope dressed in a hospital gown, laying on a doctor’s table with her feet in stirrups. It’s clear that she is having an abortion ― and yet no words are used to describe it, only images.

The scene was widely praised for portraying abortion as the minimally invasive medical procedure that it is; a health care decision women make for themselves. But in the Hollywood Reporter’s new oral history of the show, pegged to “Scandal’s” 100th episode, Shonda Rhimes and Bellamy Young (who plays Mellie) revealed that some people at ABC didn’t want Pope’s abortion scene to happen at all.

Rhimes made it clear to the magazine that she told ABC she wasn’t going to back down.

“I said, ‘Go ahead, alter the scene. We’ll just have a lot of articles about how you altered the scene,’” she said. “We had done an abortion on a military woman who had been raped earlier on, and we were doing nothing different than we did in that scene — they just didn’t like that it was happening to Olivia.”

“I don’t think abortion had ever been presented as an emancipated woman’s option before,” added Young. “And it’s set to ‘Silent Night.’ The balls to pick that song.”

Anyone who watches “Scandal” knows how this ended. Rhimes stood her ground, and the world got to see abortion treated as something that isn’t shameful, but a fact of life for many American women.

As NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said at the time in an interview with Variety: “The impact of popular culture on public opinion and on taking what are thought of as ‘taboo’ issues and putting them front-and-center and giving permission to talk about them, that is a very significant impact and can’t be overstated.”

Source: Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scandal-iconic-abortion-scene-abc_us_58ee37dee4b0c89f91233e44?utm_source=nar.al&utm_medium=urlshortener&utm_campaign=FB

President Donald Trump signed a bill Thursday that will allow states to withhold federal funds from organizations and facilities that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood.

And for a president fond of spectacle, the signing was unusually private, with no media present.

The bill reverses a rule enacted by Barack Obama, days before the end of his presidency, that barred states from withholding state-managed Title X family planning funds — state grants aimed at helping low-income individuals receive family planning services at reduced or no cost — from health providers that offer abortions. The reasoning was that those providers also often offer services like contraception and screenings for sexually transmitted infections, and under the Obama-era rule, states could only deny providers the grants if they could not actually provide family planning services.

Crucially, the new measure also does not keep abortion providers from receiving federal Medicaid reimbursements, a policy option often referred to as “defunding” Planned Parenthood. (It is already illegal to use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergency.) But its impact could still be immense, abortion rights groups say.

“Four million people depend on the Title X family planning program, and by signing this bill, President Trump disregards their health and well-being,” Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement condemning the signing. In the last six years, at least 13 states that use Title X grants have approved limitations that would keep abortion providers from participating in them, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report.

The bill passed only narrowly in Congress — Vice President Mike Pence, the highest-ranking government official to ever attend the anti-abortion March for Life, had to step in and cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of the measure. Groups who oppose abortion have pointed to Pence’s action as a sign that Trump is keeping his campaign promises to restrict abortion access.

“That allowed choice for the [states] on how they want to spend healthcare dollars,” Kristi Hamrick, a spokesperson for Americans United for Life, told VICE News before the signing. “That was a huge change, a huge victory.”

Trump has also already set into motion several other measures to restrict abortion access, such as slashing funding to the family planning agency the United Nations Population Fund and reenacting the global gag rule.

Source: Vice

https://news.vice.com/story/trump-made-sure-the-media-didnt-see-him-sign-a-bill-to-cut-planned-parenthood-funding

PHOTO: INGRID NAGY/GETTY IMAGES
Yes, you read that headline correctly.
In a story noted on Broadly, Missouri State Senator Bob Onder (R), opposed a tax increase that would benefit the St. Louis Zoo. Why? Partly because the bill would ban employers from discriminating against employees who’ve had an abortion, use contraception, or are pregnant.
Onder then gave a fiery speech which drew parallels between abortion clinics and the zoo. He incorrectly noted that McDonald’s and the St. Louis Zoo offer more regulations than abortion clinics. Then, ever the Batman to his Robin, Onder’s cohort, Senator Wayne Wallingford (R) chimed in with damnatory comments. “Maybe we should send the people that want an abortion to the St. Louis Zoo, because we know it’ll be safer,” he said.
“You know, it’s funny that you say that, Senator. That’s another line of questioning I wanted to point out,” Onder responded.
He proceeded to explain that the St. Louis Zoo required a five-day waiting period before euthanizing an animal. Then — perhaps in an effort to dig himself into a deeper sexist hole — he mentioned that before having an abortion procedure, Missouri clinics require women to wait three days after meeting with their doctor.
“Let’s think about this. Babies, it’s three days, so although there are members of this body who don’t agree with that three days, babies are three days,” Onder said. “So, zoo animals, it couldn’t be more than 24 hours, right?”
So yes, he just compared a woman’s legal right to terminate a pregnancy to euthanizing animals.
The comments received a great deal of backlash, prompting Onder to defend his opinions in an interview on The Marc Cox Show, a local radio program. “When we’re debating on the Senate floor, sometimes we make serious proposals, and sometimes they’re tongue-in-cheek to make a point,” Onder said. “The humorlessness and the lack of appreciation for irony and satire on the left is on full display here.”
Source: Elle

I am a pregnant abortion provider who is pro-life. By that, I mean that my work as an obstetrician/gynecologist in the Bay Area is conducted in service of women’s lives, not just those of their unborn children. I provide care with respect, compassion, and dignity, whether my patient needs an abortion or prenatal care, a cancer screening, or if she’s in labor. When I say I’m “pro-life,” I mean that the literal sense of the word “life,” not the way it’s been twisted by anti-choice advocates who want to shame, punish, and control women, their bodies, and their choices.

In my opinion (and in my work), there is nothing “pro-life” about policies that force clinics to close and put women’s health at risk. There is nothing “pro-life” about denying women the ability to make decisions about their own lives. There is nothing “pro-life” about taking away a woman’s health coverage for abortion, forcing her to the economic, emotional, and physical brink. On the contrary, abortion providers like me give women and families their lives back, save women’s lives, and help to ensure the health and safety of their current and future children. Though some may argue that being a pregnant mom who’s also an abortion provider somehow makes me a “hypocrite,” I’ll say this: I see no conflict of interest. I have a duty to my patients. I also have a duty to myself, and mine is very much a wanted pregnancy.

In the course of my work recently, there have been moments when I’ve been at the same stage in my pregnancy as patients I’m providing an abortion for. It gives me cause for reflection, especially when I consider the anti-abortion myths that have helped shape the way we talk about abortion, and the assumption that women aren’t “smart” or “thoughtful” enough to make their own decisions about an unwanted pregnancy. But the reality is this: Women are smart and thoughtful enough to make those choices. In fact, women who have made the decision to have abortions do so carefully, seriously, and with full awareness of what it means to end a pregnancy. After all, according to the Guttmacher Institute, 59 percent of women who have abortions are already moms.

Courtesy of Pratima Gupta

Recently, I’ve felt my fetus kick mid-procedure, and it reminds me that I am on this pregnancy journey as well as my patients — I’m just taking a different path. It can be jarring to be so physically reminded of my own pregnancy as I am ending the pregnancy of another woman, but it doesn’t make me any less committed to being an abortion provider, and it doesn’t change or alter my opinion of my patients by any means.

I WAS PARTICULARLY DRAWN TO THE FIELD OF FAMILY PLANNING BECAUSE I BECAME A DOCTOR TO HELP PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES WITH HEALTH AND DIGNITY. MY WORK AS AN ABORTION PROVIDER ALLOWS ME TO DO THAT.

Patients often ask me if it is difficult for me to provide their abortions because of my own pregnancy, and my response is simple and honest: “It’s not your time now, but it is for me. If and when you decide to become a parent, I will be by your side then, too.” And I will. I am fortunate in knowing that mine is a planned and desired pregnancy. And precisely because I know how profound and personal the decision to continue a pregnancy is, I continue to support all women who seek an abortion. All too often we frame the reason for an abortion as reactionary — something hadto happen to these women for them to want to end the developing fetuses inside them. But in my opinion, the only “good” or “necessary” reason they need to give — if they even feel comfortable giving one at all — for wanting an abortion is that they no longer want to be pregnant. Some of my colleagues will give preferential treatment or priority to women seeking abortions for fetal anomalies, but this is contrary to my medical and ethical practice of beneficence.

Right now my 4-year-old son understands what I do for work as “helping ladies.” When he’s old enough to ask more detailed questions, I’ll be proud to tell him that I help women realize the decisions they’ve made about their lives, pregnancies, and futures. I’ll tell him that I’m there for women who want to end a pregnancy as well as those who want to become parents because I want to normalize abortion as part of the health career I willingly chose.

NO ONE SHOULD BE FORCED TO CONTINUE A PREGNANCY AGAINST THEIR WILL — CERTAINLY NOT BECAUSE SOME POLITICIAN WANTS TO INTERFERE, THEIR LOCAL PROVIDER HAS BEEN DEFUNDED, OR BECAUSE THEIR INSURANCE DOESN’T COVER THEIR CARE.

I’ve often been told by my patients and their partners that I don’t look like an abortion provider, and that I’m “much nicer” than my patients were expecting. I’ve been an abortion provider for nearly 12 years, and I respond to each comment in the same way: I support my patients in a non-judgmental manner, whatever their decisions, whatever their reasons. I add that I was particularly drawn to the field of family planning because I became a doctor to help people live their lives with health and dignity. My work as an abortion provider allows me to do that.

In fact, many of the patients who see me for abortion care will then request that I provide their prenatal care in a subsequent pregnancy. To me, this means I’m truly giving women quality care that respects their decisions and safeguards their health and lives. Women who give birth and women who seek abortion are not “different” women — they’re the same women, only at different points in their journeys, operating under different and unique circumstances. In my career as an obstetrician and gynecologist, I serve patients for life. Over time, I can care for (and protect) the same patient for sexually-transmitted infection screenings, pap smears, birth control, prenatal care, deliver their baby, end a pregnancy, and consult on menopause. There are often days when I’ll provide an abortion for one woman and deliver a baby for another within a few hours of each other — this is the continuum of my life.

I TRUST MY PATIENTS TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR THEMSELVES, JUST AS I HAVE MADE THIS ONE FOR MYSELF.

As I embark into this new world as mother of a newborn, I am readying myself for the sleepless nights, dirty diapers, stresses, worries, and toll on my mind and body. I am doing my best to plan for the logistical, financial, and social supports my family will need to thrive, all while I juggle the demands of a baby and toddler. All of this serves to remind me that no one should be forced to continue a pregnancy against their will — certainly not because some politician wants to interfere, their local provider has been defunded, or because their insurance doesn’t cover their care.

To those who might critique the decisions of my patients, or my own decision to provide abortion care, the commitment to become a parent (or have another child) is one of the most important decisions a person can make. I trust my patients to make the right choice for themselves, just as I have made this one for myself. I’m honored to support the women I care for as they choose to (or not to) create life, and I hope that we can move toward a day when each and every woman is supported, trusted, and respected for their choices. That’s the future I want for my patients, and my children too.

Source: Romper

https://www.romper.com/p/im-pregnant-im-a-mom-im-also-abortion-provider-50142?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=onsite&utm_campaign=1