Written for the "Abortion: it's a health issue not a crime" Blogswarm for World Health Day, 7th April 2011.
Thank you to the abortion providers, the midwives, the certifying consultants, the nurses, the surgeons, the doctors, the people who manufacture the equipment, the cleaners, the receptionists, the launderers, the pharmacists who give out the medication, the GPs who refer. Thank you to everyone who assists with abortions in Aotearoa New Zealand and across the world.
In the battleground between women's bodies and fetuses, so often centred on the womb, we sometimes forget about the people who provide the vital health service of terminating pregnancies.
It can't be easy to do that work, some days, when there are people outside with nasty placards, intimidating your patients. It can't be easy explaining to new acquaintances what you do and waiting to see if they feel icky. And it can't be easy to support a pregnant person doing what may be one of the hardest things they've ever done.
It is your staunchness, your professionalism, your medical skill, your pragmatism that actually make abortions happen. Without health workers like yourselves we wouldn't have the option of safe abortions. Thank you, thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you.
NB: I've written a bit about abortion over recent years, but I've never written about this aspect of it before, and it's overdue. Anyone wanting to read my last big argument for a pro-choice law change should probably check out my Abortion - why it needs to be legal presentation from August 2010.
Comment direction: Let me introduce you to my dear friend the Abortion and Morality page. That's the special page we've set up with links to our posts about the morality of abortion, and there's even a handy comment section where you can argue about the moral angle to your heart's content. Kindly use it, rather than go into that on a post that is actually about thanking abortion providers and discussing service provision.