“In my journey as a physician and advocate,

Physicians for Reproductive Health has been a steadfast guide, benefactor, and friend, enabling me to be the best reproductive rights advocate that I can be.”    

Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc

Blog

We Stand With Planned Parenthood and All Providers Under Attack

We Stand With Abortion Care ProvidersThis has been a nonstop summer here at Physicians. We’ve been exceptionally busy, our doctors providing voices of reason in the media and on the Hill—particularly in response to the harmful attacks on our colleagues at Planned Parenthood. As President/CEO Jodi Magee said, “Physicians for Reproductive Health deplores the deceptive tactics used to distort and malign the importance of fetal tissue donation and offers support for women and providers that make the compassionate decision to donate.”

We are outraged at what’s happening, and are doing everything we can to fight back.

  • Physicians signed on to a letter with 17 other medical organizations to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), urging them to oppose Congressional efforts to deny Planned Parenthood federal public health funds. We also joined with 91 other organizations in a letter of support for Planned Parenthood to members of Congress.
  • We released a statement of support, which reads in part: We stand in solidarity with all the providers and clinicians who have been unfairly and inappropriately depicted in a smear campaign intent on destroying their integrity. These are our friends, and they have dedicated their professional and personal lives to ensuring access to safe, legal, and compassionate care for anyone who needs it.

And of course we’re speaking out:

  • President/CEO Jodi Magee published a letter in the New York Times, calling for more doctors to stand up and support abortion providers, noting, “While women who have abortions need our support, so do the doctors who care for them.”
  • Consulting medical director Dr. Anne Davis appeared on MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner to offer scientific facts about fetal tissue donation.
  • Davis was also interviewed by Yahoo! Health News about the importance of fetal tissue donation. This led to another piece on Yahoo! Health News about why women may choose to donate fetal tissue.
  • Board chair-elect Dr. Willie Parker was interviewed by Cosmopolitan about why he is standing with his colleague Dr. Deborah Nucatola at Planned Parenthood. His interview was quoted in an RH Reality Check article about why abortion providers should take legal action against the Center for Medical Progress. Parker also appeared on the news program Democracy Now!
  • Former Physicians board chair Dr. Suzanne Poppema published an op-ed in the Seattle Times in response to the attacks on Planned Parenthood.
  • Leadership Training Academy (LTA) alumna Dr. Sandra Penn spoke to the Albuquerque Journal in reaction to protests in New Mexico that aimed to intimidate women, defund Planned Parenthood, and interfere with access to safe and legal abortion.
  • LTA alumna Dr. Jennifer Kerns spoke to Public News Service about the attacks, noting, “Fetal tissue research is a longstanding area of research, and one that has consistently advanced science and medicine. Every member of society has benefited from treatment discoveries that have been made from this research.”
  • LTA alumna Dr. Leah Torres published a letter in the Salt Lake Tribune outlining the impact that defunding Planned Parenthood would have on the health and wellbeing of Utahns.

As an organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to comprehensive reproductive health care, we will continue to be alert to opportunities to speak out, to show our support for Planned Parenthood and all of our allied organizations, and to protect our doctors.

Illinois Minors’ Access Card

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of the 2015 Minors’ Access Card for the state of Illinois, available for download here.

We have updated this popular and important resource to reflect current state law and statutes and organized the information so that it will be easily understood by clinic staff and medical professionals who work with teen populations.

This updated Minors’ Access Card clarifies Illinois state laws around confidentiality and parental notification and provides guidelines for clear communication between physicians and their patients, all of which are essential when providing services to adolescents on critical reproductive and sexual health topics.

This card is the result of a collaboration with the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the American Civil Liberties Union, Inc., the Great Lakes Regional Chapter of the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine, and local physician experts who are part of our Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program.

Why I Provide

Why I Provide, the video that we unveiled earlier this year and which features five abortion providers discussing their work, is a welcome reminder of what makes our work so meaningful. Telling our stories in the face of adversity is one of the many ways we fight abortion stigma. Please watch it and share it with your friends and loved ones.

Why I Provide

Despite the current climate, we will not be deflected from our mission of advancing reproductive health care for all through our physician-advocates. We thank you for your support that enables us to do this work. 

Since early July, several excellent, respected doctors—our colleagues in reproductive health care—have been the subject of a ruthless and dishonest public campaign devised to discredit their work as compassionate providers of reproductive health care.

They were deceptively approached by a radical undercover anti-choice group whom they believed was working to help women donate fetal tissue to support lifesaving research. As physicians, their intentions were altruistic and caring. The same cannot be said for their attackers. Since these videos have been released, Planned Parenthood and other abortion care providers across the country have faced relentless attacks, both political and criminal. Some clinics have been targets of harassment and individual doctors and their families have received violent threats. Our society must not tolerate this domestic terrorism.

The sting videos, hacks, threats, and harassment of women and abortion providers must stop. When politicians and pundits champion the dishonest and fraudulent work of the so-called Center for Medical Progress, they tacitly endorse threats against physicians, nurses, and clinic staff. It is no coincidence that we’ve seen simultaneous, coordinated harassment in the weeks since the release of these videos. This extremism stigmatizes our friends and colleagues, further politicizes women’s health, and promotes dangerous behavior.

We stand in solidarity with all the providers and clinicians who have been unfairly and inappropriately depicted in a smear campaign intent on destroying their integrity. These are our friends, and they have dedicated their professional and personal lives to ensuring access to safe, legal, and compassionate care for anyone who needs it.

Every day, doctors who provide abortion care face attacks from anti-choice zealots who will do anything to achieve their goal: Stop access to legal, safe abortion. These actions are unacceptable and we stand with these doctors, no matter what.