A few dozen Democrats this week proposed that Friday, March 10, should be recognized as Abortion Provider Appreciation Day to give thanks to the “essential, high-quality care” that abortion providers give to their communities.
In a House resolution proposed Thursday by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Democrats said the date marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Dr. David Gunn, who was killed outside his abortion clinic in Florida by a “White supremacist, antiabortion extremist.”
It said the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court last year is another reason to recognize abortion providers, some of which have had to close because of abortion restrictions in some states.
“Scores of clinics in already underserved areas were forced to close and more patients forced to travel to other States, increasing wait times at clinics, straining already thin resources and pushing people further and further away from their homes,” the resolution said.
“Abortion providers and clinic staff play a critical role in a world where it has become increasingly difficult for people to be able to make essential and time-sensitive decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures.”
The resolution states that abortion providers provide a range of benefits to women around the country.
“Abortion providers and clinic staff help to ensure that all people who can become pregnant can make their own decisions about their bodies and their pregnancies, and support their patients’ decisions by treating them with dignity, empathy, compassion, and respect, despite numerous challenges due to abortion bans and restrictions,” the resolution added.
“Abortion providers and clinic staff play an essential role within the reproductive justice framework, which was created by 12 Black women in 1994 who determined the necessity of adopting a human rights framework that demands every person has the human right to bodily autonomy, which includes if, when, and how to have children, to not have children, and to parent the children they have in safe and sustainable communities.
The resolution holds that putting restrictions on abortion providers ends up “deepening inequities caused by White supremacy, structural racism and systemic discrimination in the maternal health care system.”
“Black, Indigenous, and other providers and patients of color face heightened levels of threats, harassment, and violence as compared to their White counterparts,” it added.
In light of all of these important factors, the resolution calls for the recognition of Abortion Provider Appreciation Day to “celebrate the courage, compassion, and high-quality care that abortion providers and clinic staff offer to patients.” It praises the communities that are “proud to be home to abortion providers and clinic staff” and says it supports a future in which “access to abortion is liberated from restrictions and bans universally.”