The William K. Rashbaum, MD, and George Tiller, MD, Awards honor two physicians who provide outstanding abortion services, one for career-long service and one for a doctor early in her or his career.
2013 Rashbaum-Tiller Awards
On Monday, June 3, Physicians for Reproductive Health held our annual Rashbaum-Tiller Awards Ceremony in New York City. We honored Eve Espey, MD, MPH, recipient of the 2013 William K. Rashbaum, MD, Abortion Provider Award, and Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, recipient of the 2013 George Tiller, MD, Abortion Provider Award. The keynote speaker was noted activist and actor, Martha Plimpton.
About the 2013 Recipients
Eve Espey, MD, MPH, is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Associate Dean of Students, and Family Planning Division Chief at the University of New Mexico. She also serves as Treasurer of the Society of Family Planning, as well as Chair of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) Work Group for Long Acting Reversible Contraception, a group dedicated to reducing unintended pregnancy through the increased use of contraceptives. Dr. Espey also serves as Chair of the ACOG Committee on Underserved Women. Dr. Espey is recognized nationally in medical education: she served for six years on the Undergraduate Medical Education committee of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics, a committee that helps set standards for medical student education; she has won numerous teaching awards from medical students, including—twice—the Khatali Award for best clinical teacher in the School of Medicine, the highest medical student award at the University of New Mexico; and, most recently, she received the Jonathan Mann Public Health Advocate award from the New Mexico Public Health Association for her commitment to public health and social justice issues. She has numerous publications in the area of contraception, abortion and medical education, and has presented locally, regionally and nationally on these topics.
Willie J. Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, is the immediate past Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington. He previously served as Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Parker received his medical degree from the University of Iowa, a master’s in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a master’s in science in health services research from the University of Michigan where he completed a fellowship in family planning in 2008. Board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and trained in preventive medicine, he has 20 years of experience in women’s health. His recent work has focused on violence against women, sexual assault, male responsibility in family planning, and women’s reproductive health rights through advocacy and the provision of contraception and abortion services. Dr. Parker is a 2007-2008 Physicians for Reproductive Health Leadership Training Initiative Fellow. He joined the Physicians for Reproductive Health board in November 2007.
About the Keynote Speaker
Martha Plimpton is known for her work on the big screen and in television shows such as The Good Wife, Raising Hope, and the 1985 hit The Goonies. She has appeared in over 35 films, dozens of television programs, and on stage in theaters large and small for over 30 years. She has been politically active since she was a teenager, marching for women’s reproductive freedom since the 1980s. She has lobbied Congress on behalf of Planned Parenthood and has spoken out for women’s reproductive rights at campuses and rallies across the country. Martha will work to see that a woman’s right to physical self-determination becomes the standard in America for as long as it takes. In a recent interview, she said that the 2012 election “…was a very clear referendum on the involvement of religious organizations in government decisions about health care… a majority of [the American people] do not agree with government interfering in women’s health care decisions.”
The William K. Rashbaum, MD, Abortion Provider Award
The William K. Rashbaum, MD, Abortion Provider Award honors a physician who provides outstanding abortion services and serves as an inspirational leader for colleagues, residents, and medical students.
Winners of the William K. Rashbaum, MD, Abortion Provider Award
The George Tiller, MD, Abortion Provider Award
The George Tiller, MD, Abortion Provider Award recognizes a physician early in his or her career who provides abortions while demonstrating leadership and courage, even in the face of adversity.
Winners of the George Tiller, MD, Abortion Provider Award
Dr. Rashbaum Remembered
William K. Rashbaum, MD, (1926-2005) was a gifted obstetrician and gynecologist, an inspirational teacher, a passionate advocate for a woman’s right to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, and a co-founder of this organization.
As a young physician, Dr. Rashbaum was regularly called upon to attend to women who had been seriously injured by illegal abortions. Following the legalization of abortion, he performed abortions in New York City and trained hundreds of medical students, residents, and doctors how to do so.
Dr. Rashbaum had a reputation for speaking his mind, but his patients knew him as a gentle and compassionate man who would hold their hands during difficult times. Dr. Rashbaum died in 2005.
Dr. Tiller Remembered
Dr. Tiller (1941-2009) was a family physician who provided abortions for more than 30 years, specializing in later procedures. He trained at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and then served as a United States naval flight surgeon in California before returning to Wichita to begin his private practice. His patients soon made it clear that providing abortion was an integral part of their health needs.
Dr. Tiller was tremendously active with reproductive rights and health organizations while providing critical services to women in need. Despite continual harassment and violence, he advocated tirelessly for the women he served. A former Physicians for Reproductive Health board member, Dr. Tiller mentored colleagues from around the country. He provided compassionate and quality care to women in difficult situations.
On May 31, 2009, Dr. Tiller was killed by an anti-abortion protestor.