Monday, June 01, 2009


This is a response to Tom, below. Its not that I disagree with him. Its just that I want, really very strongly, to push back against my own despair. I've waited all day to comment on this because I'm so devastated by this news. But reading this diary over at Kos Baby I have begun to hope that this terrible murder--a tragedy for hundreds of people and women and their families around the world, will be the beginning of the end for the anti abortion crusade.

It feels like for the first time women and their families are starting to step forward and testify about what abortion has meant for them. Instead of hiding their medical and personal history they are taking responsibility for defending future women's rights and personal choices.

I never had to make the choice to have an abortion but I would have, unhesitatingly, if it had been necessary to me and my family. But I have always known that getting one would be very difficult. I went so far as to ask my first obgyn when I was pregnant with my first child. It was a happy pregnancy, very much wanted, but when I chose my doctor I wanted to be sure that she would stand by me through any ups and downs and any difficult choices. Well, I asked her--if I needed one would you perform the abortion? --and she was totally shocked. Nice married women were supposed to remain ignorant of the reality of pregnancy and birth defects until some authority figure brought it up. She told me in no uncertain terms that she would not perform the abortion, even if it were medically necessary, and that none of the local doctors in private practice would do so. It had all been excluded to some clinic, somewhere else.

I've been in a rage all day that this good man was taken from us. But late in the afternoon I stopped and asked myself why on earth this very necessary medical practice has been banished from the hospital, from general practice, and from (apparently) the entire Northeast of the country. Why on earth was one man, vulnerable to an ignorant and angry militia tainted christianist community, left to carry the burden that should rightfully be assumed by all ob/gyn doctors on behalf of their patients?

Now is the time for women and their families to stand up and demand that women's right to full and complete health care coverage not be limited by the religious ravings of a fringe of militant nuts and their armed terrorist buddies. And I hope this will be the outcome of this brutal murder.

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