In honor of the hard work abortion clinic providers and workers do to keep access to abortion available for everyone who needs it, March 10 is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers.
Anti-abortion protesters started harassing in front of abortion clinics soon after they were opened. The hateful words, signs and violence they bring to a doctors’ office have always been present for clinic staff.
There seems to be an ebb and flow in the escalation of the violence, but it has been present every day clinics are open.
- Nineteen eighty-five alone saw approximately 150 attacks against abortion clinics and family planning providers. The newspapers seemed to report a new attack every day.
- “Intimate Wars“, by Merle Hoffman, pg 146, Published in 2012 by the Feminist Press
We are now seeing a period of increase of anti-abortion rhetoric and violence.
Imagine the stress of going to work every day by a different route to be sure you aren’t followed, checking your car for explosives every time you get into it, checking your work area for explosives, being trained to carefully open mail at work, screening phone calls for serious threats, and being alert to any person entering the clinic for potential violence.
CareerCast.com compiles a list of The 10 Most Stressful Jobs. Their list for 2012 includes a lot of professions that are definitely stressful. The abortion clinic providers and workers are invisible in these statistics, but I imagine it would be more stressful than any others on the list.
- In 1996, March 10th was declared a National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers by a group of national organizations and individuals as a way of giving back to the people who risk so much to ensure women have access to abortion.
- March 10th is the anniversary of the murder of Dr. David Gunn, the first provider murdered by an anti-abortion extremist. Since then doctors and clinic staff continue to be attacked, their clients mercilessly harrassed, their facilities bombed and burned, and their doctors and staff murdered. Yet they continue going to work, braving an increasing onslaught from fundamentalist extremists, because they know their services are absolutely indispensible to the equality of women in this society.
What can you do to let these abortion providers know you appreciate their sacrifices?
- Send cards and letters of appreciation to your clinic
- Send flowers or other small factory-sealed gifts to the staff of your clinic
- Volunteer to be a clinic escort
- Donate funds to help provide access to abortion. (Our “How to get involved” page lists some suggestions)
- Raise your voice publicly by writing letters to the editor of your newspaper, writing your legislators and
- Most importantly by voting for pro-access candidates in the elections.
Join us March 10th in thanking abortion providers for their dedication.