Thanking Brave Pre-Roe Providers

Next Monday, March 10, we will mark the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. It's not a day that most Americans know about or commemorate, but it's a significant one for me. After all, I am an abortion provider, and I never would have chosen this career path if not for the inspiration and guidance of providers who came before me.

As a fourth year medical student, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. William Rashbaum in New York City for a month-long training in abortion. Dr. Rashbaum was an outspoken supporter of abortion, having witnessed many women dying from botched, illegal procedures before the Roe v. Wade decision. He saw how banning abortion hurt women, and devoted much of his career to training other physicians–like me–to provide safe, legal abortions for our patients.

This year, in honor of the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health created a letter thanking the brave physicians who provided abortions before the Roe decision. PRCH will deliver the letter on March 10 to those providers. Please take a minute today and join me in thanking the courageous men and women who helped make abortion legal for women in America.

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  • invalid-0

    As Bill Rasbaum’s step-son, I want to thank you for your kind words about him. We desperately need young doctors like you to continue his work. Thank you.

  • invalid-0

    Do you likewise think it is OK for abortion opponents to break the law?

  • invalid-0

    it’s important to thank the docs that kept this right alive, but ALSO to thank great doctors like you who continue the advocacy and fight to keep safe abortions available. You are inspirational.

  • invalid-0

    It is so important to recognize and honor the care-givers who have provided safety and support to women over the years. Thank you, Dr. Gupta, for saving women’s lives!

  • amanda-marcotte

    You're singing the same song that racist William Buckley was singing during the civil rights movement. Wah wah, yeah racism is "bad", but much worse is a bunch of people breaking the law.


    The question here is not whether the law will be broken. Unjust abortion laws will be broken. The only question is whether or not the victims of injustice—women who need to terminate in a state that forbids it—should be mutilated or should be safe. That is, should they get professional care from a doctor breaking the law, or kill themselves douching with bleach?


    So now that we've got the real question, Vegan—death by bleach, or safe illegal abortions?


    Abortion opponents break the law to harm, not help people.

  • invalid-0

    and stop making your idiosyncratic anti-choice views into a liability for other vegans.

  • invalid-0

    Perhaps Mr. Rashbaum’s recurring nightmare of a tiny victim trying to hold onto uterus walls by the fingernails continued after his death. Regardless, he is probably responsible for newly designated hot spots in Hell.
    How are your dreams, Mrs. Gupta?

  • mellankelly1

    Enough with the dramatics… Dr. Rashbaum never murdered an infant; he performed abortions for the women who needed them.  And Hell is imaginary… sweet dreams!

  • invalid-0

    Better? It was an honest question, and Amanda answered with a very fair reply. You did not.

  • invalid-0

    Yes, I do think it was OK for Rosa Parks to break the law. I’m down with the Deacons for Defense arming themselves against vigilante hate crimes, and what the ALF does to free animals from enslavement. My point was that if you support one breaking of the law, you have to at least be open to the opposing side doing the same thing. While I’m not a fan of it, its perfectly understandable for the Center for Consumer Freedom and the freepers to be going undercover at the National Conference on Organized Resistance. I wasn’t happy being photographed last year, but its not like they’re doing something animal rights activists wouldn’t have done in their shoes.

  • harry834

    I'm as pro-choice as anyone, but dissing Vegan because of his screenname for merely asking an uncomfortable question? Hard to sell.

    And I agree that Amanda gave a fair response.

    However, Grammar, I do appreciate your vigilance against anti-choice attacks. I just don't think Vegan's question constitutes such an attack.

    Questions are welcome here.

  • harry834

    I am divided on this, seeing how anti-choicers can use it against us. And I'm not talking about violence, which most will condemn. The sneaking around noted by Vegan above. Animal rights activists did it too.

    However, I am proud of all the doctors who did take on this risk. The choice to help women, while it was illegal, is a courage that saved lives. It really is sad when our laws are so unjust.

    And sadly the anti-choicers include otherwise decent people like Tim Cannon. The laws they make are the laws that kill women, and destroy their futures. While we debate over fetal personhood, those with indisputable personhodd – women – are forced to serve as incubators, with no concern for their own welfare, need to space births, and human desire to determine the course of their lives.

  • harry834

    when something grows inside your body, we'll let you decide whether or not you want it to grown there. It's your body, your choice.

    Allow the same autonomy for others

  • invalid-0

    Harry, “Vegan” is a well-established concern troll whom I recognize from Pandagon. I wouldn’t say the same thing to any old random netizen.

  • harry834

    I'm learning new things everyday, perhaps I was too easy on Mr Vegan.

    Tell me more about this character…I'm genuinely listening

  • invalid-0

    the Daily Kos too. So many comments get hidden, there is concern some Kossacks are mis-using the system to hide comments they don’t like, as opposed to truly offensive comments.

  • invalid-0

    If either of my daughters was raped and did not want to have the baby, I would be very upset if she was not able to have a choice. Thanks Pratima, Dr. William Rashbaum, and all those that came before you for keeping our daughters safe and free to choose in America.

    I am not saying that there are not instances where I would not oppose abortion. What I am saying is it is not my choice. Is not our world already too full of children without parents and living in poverty and poor circumstances due to poor decisions by immature adults not ready to take on the responsibility that a parent has to its children, or to parents without the means to support a child physically or mentally. Why would you force a person who realizes that they are ill equipped to support a child and want to make the right decision, in their mind, to force upon society another burdon to bear?

    Please keep hell and other religious connotations out of the topic. This is a human decision that the only people able to make the right decision are the mother, father and parents. Its their choice not God’s, Jesus’ or Allah’s. I was raised Catholic and I believe that most of the tenants of Catholicism are man made rules (see woman cannot be priests and priest cannot be married, but have to give marital advice – blind leading the blind) to control the public from disease, frailties and wrong doing among other things. The basic tenants of loving others, respecting other etc…is what the people who choose to bring religion into the discussion should be focusing on. Respect their decision, even if it would not be yours.

  • invalid-0

    Ah, posting creepy, melodramatic attempts to frighten and guilt a young woman for doing her job on an internet forum where you’re clearly not wanted. Can’t you just feel the pro-life love? The overwhelming kindness and compassion? So humble about it all, too!

  • invalid-0

    Thank you so much for all that you do. Even if I never need your help, I’m glad that it’s available to me and to other women.

    (And don’t let the crazy anti-choice harrassers with too much time on their hands make you feel bad! They resort to scare-tactics because they haven’t come up with a valid argument.)

  • invalid-0

    I teach remedial English to high school students who are having trouble graduating. Recently, I gave a descriptive writing assignment where the students were asked to describe their dream homes. A girl who was currently in foster care after being removed from her horribly abusive parents chose to write in a more abstract sense, and wrote instead about her dream world. She said that in her dream world, no children would be born who did not have at least one parent who wanted them and could take care of them. I was shocked to read, from a fifteen-year-old, an exact restatement of my own feelings and those of so many kind, responsible, and moral people who I know. There are 100,000 children in foster care in the United States, and I do not see the anti-choice activists standing in line to snap them up because of their compassion for human life.

    Thank you, Dr. Gupta, for providing women with one more tool with which to take control of their lives. You uphold both the highest standards of morality and your Hippocratic oath by helping without judgement, and with compassion.

    Isn’t it ironic that the people who tend to vote for the party which advocates less government intrusion into people’s lives do not see the hypocrisy of invading women’s uteri? I wish you all could have attended the March for Women’s Lives and had the chance to speak with some of the older women who lost sisters and friends to unsafe abortions pre-Roe vs Wade- it might have changed your minds. Chances are that a woman you know has terminated a pregnancy for very personal reasons and grappled with that decision in her own way- even those of you who regularly attend a house of worship.