Thursday, 7 April 2011

A sincere thanks

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.


Nikki Elisabeth said...

It's a bit US-centric but I love this post from the Hairpin:

I too am so appreciative of the staff of abortion clinics. They are amazing.

Anita said...

A couple of years ago I was reading NZ anti-abortion newsletters and saw the residential address of a doctor who has fought for our right to abortion and who has provided abortion services to women.

It struck me at the time because it was the first time I realised that abortion providers in NZ put themselves at risk for us. That the threats and violence we associate with the US must intrude into the sense of safety of NZers as well.

I am lucky, I have never needed an abortion. Yet the fact that, if necessary, if would be possible has made my life noticeably better.

So thank you to everyone who is part of giving me that.

Grateful patient said...

Thanks for this post. When I had an abortion, the staff were extremely professional and kind.

It's difficult to talk about, because of the rabid anti-choice lobby. I can hear them now, saying 'how kind is it to kill a baby' as an immediate response to what I have just said about abortion clinic staff.

I think there would be more input into this debate from women who were out about having had abortions if it weren't for a very real fear of the nastiness of those on the anti-abortion side.

I applaud those workers who must face this fear every day to provide an essential service.