Today is March 10th, National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. It is a day to take time to thank the doctors, nurses, staff, and volunteers who ensure that all people have access to reproductive health care.
Our faith traditions teach us to care for the sick, restore others to health, and alleviate suffering. Like so many health care professionals, abortion care providers answer this call by offering their patients health care with love and compassion.
In this way, providers embody what it means to love your neighbor.
This is what we meant when we said in a recent statement that “Planned Parenthood does sacred work.”
Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers do the sacred work of meeting people where they are and walking alongside them as they make deeply personal health decisions, including whether and when to become parents.
First and foremost, these providers give their patients access to health care they may not have otherwise — because of their income, where they live, or long-standing systemic injustices based on gender, race, sexual orientation, or ability.
And, many providers go above and beyond solely giving patients access to care. They provide their patients with comprehensive information. They trust their patients’ moral agency. And, they support their autonomy to make decisions about their bodies and families.
“By giving patients access to care as well as trusting and supporting them, abortion providers affirm the inherent dignity and worth of their patients.”
As people of faith, we are thankful for abortion providers, and today we share that thanks publicly. We are especially thankful given that abortion providers are frequently met with hostility, vilification, and even violence. We acknowledge that Abortion Provider Appreciation Day is observed on the anniversary of the death of Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider who was murdered because of the care he offered. We lift up his memory and the memory of all those affected by the hundreds of violent attacks on abortion providers.
We pray that abortion providers may be acknowledged for the sacred work they do. We also pray that the compassionate care they provide may no longer be politicized or vilified.
On this day, we thank abortion care providers for the love, compassion, trust, and affirmation they share with their patients every day.
Throughout the day, we will be sharing stories from people of faith who are thankful for abortion care providers. You can share your story of appreciation by clicking here.