This article by carafem’s Vice President, Melissa Grant, originally appeared on the Huffington Post.
January 21st 2017 was a day that marked the uprising of an incredible movement in the U.S. People from all genders, races, ethnicities and religious backgrounds joined hands and took a stand for what they believed in, and in many cases, who they believed in.
During what can feel like a divisive time in America, the silver lining is many of us are coming together, uniting, to support people of all backgrounds, and we are a force to be reckoned with. The over 1 million people in Washington DC and 5 million plus people worldwide who joined the Women’s March in their respective communities are a testament to that. It is important we acknowledge the power of our numbers and collective voice. We have to keep supporting each other to ensure progress moves forward.
Today marks the 24th National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. It is a day not only to recognize the importance of allowing pregnant people to control their own reproductive lives but also a day to say thank you to all abortion care providers who fight to keep the abortion option available. Thank you to providers for believing in your clients’ right to choose what’s best for them and their families. Thank you for believing abortion care is basic health care. Thank you for standing strong in the face of adversity. And thank you for everything you do, every day. We see you. We hear you. We respect you. Today is your day, so please don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Now let’s take a moment and talk about the word “provider.” A “provider” could be a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant or midwife – those who deliver direct care. But a “provider” is also a receptionist, an office manager, a medical assistant, a volunteer, or anyone who helps keep the doors open and operations running smoothly. It is a team effort and every person involved is appreciated today for his or her contribution to this important, safe, and legal health care option.
Much like the clinics, the abortion care community is also a “provider.” Sharing ideas, best practices, news, and continuing to support each other is essential to maintaining and perpetuating progress in abortion care. So, on behalf of carafem, I would like to extend thanks and appreciation to all providers who help ensure women have a choice in their own health care decisions. Let us continue to work together to build strength in our community, and power in our collective voice.