FORMERLY PHYSICIANS FOR REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE AND HEALTH

“As physicians, we need to share our stories.

By doing so, we will lessen the stigma of abortion. For our patients, and our fellow doctors.”

Linda Prine, MD

Provider Voices

As physicians, we believe that speaking about abortion helps remove the stigma that has been attached to it by anti-choice politicians and organizations. Physicians for Reproductive Health compiles personal accounts from our doctors across the country that explain why they are committed to preserving reproductive rights, improving access to comprehensive reproductive health care, and providing respectful, safe, and compassionate care to women seeking abortion. We honor our physicians and their work, and we want to share their stories with you.

Our physicians' voices:

Physicians’ Stories: Insurance Coverage for Contraception Changes Women’s Lives

My patient Michelle, age 25 and newly married, has a severe congenital heart disease. Pregnancy would be life-threatening; Michelle has a 50% chance of dying if she carries a baby to term. She isn't willing to take that risk.

Condoms are effective only 85% of the time, and the pill isn't safe with her heart condition. Together we agreed that the IUD would be best, an extremely safe and effective method that costs $800. Michelle was able to afford it only because her job's insurance paid for it in full.

Five Years Later: Remembering Dr. Tiller

Dr. George TIllerFive years ago, we lost a dear friend, a brilliant and compassionate physician, and a true hero. Dr. George Tiller was murdered at his church by an anti-choice extremist. While we will never fully be able to forget the tragic loss of this day, we also will take the opportunity to celebrate Dr. Tiller's life and work and share the ways in which he inspired and touched us all. Every year, we celebrate abortion providers at our Rashbaum-Tiller Abortion Provider Awards, named for Drs. William Rashbaum and George Tiller. This year, on May 19, we honored two incredible physicians: Dr. Carol Ball received our Rashbaum Award and Dr. Cheryl Chastine the Tiller Award. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen gave the keynote speech, alongside President/CEO Jodi Magee, Board Chair Dr. Nancy Stanwood, founding member and 2010 Rashbaum Award recipient Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, Trust Women founder Julie Burkhart, and Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota CEO Sarah Stoesz. The evening's speeches featured moving remembrances of Dr. Tiller and Dr. Rashbaum and rousing tributes to abortion providers everywhere. Read a Storify of the evening's Twitter feed here. RT14GroupRT14Group1In advance of the fifth anniversary of Dr. Tiller's murder, Dr. Stanwood spoke to Tara Culp-Ressler of ThinkProgress and MSNBC's Irin Carmon on the topic of clinic violence, abortion provider intimidation, and the future face of abortion providers. Dr. Stanwood says that despite the threats and anti-choice legislation, she is optimistic:
“If there’s a bright spot, it’s that the younger generation gets it. I see a new generation of people that is ready, willing, and becoming able to provide this service.”
Dr. Tiller once said: “Abortion is about women’s hopes, dreams, potential, the rest of their lives. Abortion is a matter of survival for women.” Today, as we do every day, we remember him and his impact on patients’ lives. Read more remembrances: Tribute: Former Physicians board chair Suzanne Poppema, MD, on Dr. Tiller's commitment to his patients and how we can honor his memory Video: From 2012, Physicians board member Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, discusses Dr. Tiller's generosity and kindness on Democracy Now! Video: Dr. Tiller talks about how he became a provider Video: Dr. Tiller explains why he continued his work, despite repeated harassment and violence Video: Voices of Choice, our documentary about pre-Roe abortion providers, featuring Dr. Tiller Oral history: "I have more to be grateful for than I have to be resentful about." Profile: A 1998 portrait of Dr. Tiller

Celebrate Abortion Providers Today!

NDAAPNSToday is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers, observed every year on the anniversary of the day in 1993 when Dr. David Gunn was murdered by an anti-choice extremist. Every year, we honor the courageous medical practitioners who provide this much-needed service and fight the stigma surrounding this safe, legal medical care.

How can you celebrate? Read our Leadership Training Academy Fellows’ stories about why they provide. Download and share our doctors’ messages on social media and say #Thx2AbProviders. Make a donation to Physicians today in honor of your local abortion provider. 

2014 Leadership Training Academy Fellows: Why I Provide

March 10 is the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. March 10 is the day in 1993 when David Gunn, MD, was murdered by an anti-choice extremist. To honor the courageous doctors who provide this much-needed service and to fight the stigma surrounding this safe, legal medical care, members of our current Leadership Training Academy class share their stories of why they provide and why they support their colleagues who provide.

I provide abortions because I trust every woman to make the best reproductive health care decisions for herself and her family. The decision to become a parent is one of the most important decisions people make in their life. As a mother and an obstetrician-gynecologist, I don’t believe pregnancy or parenthood should be forced on anyone. Abortion is an important part of caring for women, because 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime. It is a true privilege and honor to provide compassionate, high quality care to women throughout all stages of life.

Lisa Bayer, MD

Portland, OR

I provide abortions because I am a compassionate physician who respects the health and dignity of women and families. I provide abortions because I believe healthcare is a human right. I believe that safe, accessible comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, has the power to positively change lives and strengthen communities. I provide abortions because as a physician, a woman, a daughter, a partner and an aunt it is the right thing for me to do.

Erin Berry-Bibee, MD

Atlanta, GA

We live in a world that is glaringly unequal, and it is most unequal for women.

Until all women have unfettered access to contraception,

Until all women live free from violence in their relationships,

Until all women are truly valued in their communities,

Until all women have access to education and opportunity,

Until all women can experience pregnancy without fear and desperation,

Until all women can have healthy pregnancies,

Until all women are ready for the importance of motherhood,

Until we live in that perfect world, I will provide abortions.

Christy Boraas, MD, MPH

Pittsburgh, PA

I provide abortions because years ago someone provided one for me. Then, I was treated with gentleness and dignity. I knew I was in good hands. Now, I strive to provide the same high level of compassionate medical care for my patients.

Gillian Dean, MD, MPH

New York, NY

Providing abortions is and always will be an essential part of being a comprehensive reproductive health care provider. There will always be unwanted pregnancies, pregnancies with devastating fetal anomalies, and women too ill to carry pregnancies to term. There will always be birth control failure, reproductive coercion, and sexual assault. It is these difficult moments in a woman’s life when she needs high-quality and compassionate medical care the most. As an ob/gyn, it is my duty and privilege to be there for my patients through these difficult times.

Luu Ireland, MD, MPH

Los Angeles, CA

I provide because of the patients.