[TW hostility to agency, anti-choice rhetoric]
"The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker" is an Esquire profile on Dr. Willie Parker, a doctor who flies into Mississippi from out of state in order to provide abortions at the state’s last abortion clinic — which, of course, the state is trying to destroy.
The article is amazing, and Dr. Parker is even more so. People like Dr. Parker - courageous, kind, empathetic - are a shining sliver of the best of humanity. It’s so sad that we are only really to recognize and appreciate people like him in the face of such this dark and terrible demonstration of the WORST of humanity.
This is especially true when you consider our current political climate. Only a month ago, the US Supreme Court made a detestable, unanimous ruling in McCullen v. Coakley, determining that buffer zones around abortion clinics violate protestors’ free speech rights. There is absolutely no question that this ruling will further undermine abortion access, which state legislatures — like Mississippi — have been endeavoring to erode in every conceivable fashion.
Ten percent of the nation’s abortion clinics have closed in four years, and we are still not having a serious, meaningful, loud, public conversation about the increasing restriction to abortion access.
People like Dr. Parker are the last hope for those millions of women who need — and deserve — safe and affordable access to procedures that impact their lives, both in the physical and medical sense as well as in the abstract ability and right to chose and follow their own destinies.
This is about more than abortion. It has always been about more than abortion. It’s about agency. It’s about power. It is about trusting women to make their own decisions about their lives and bodies. It’s about free will, dignity, health, autonomy, respect, and empathy.
It is about more than just abortion, although it shouldn’t have to be.
To quote Dr. George Tiller,
"Make no mistake, this battle is about self-determination by women of the direction and course of their lives and their family’s lives. Abortion is about women’s hopes and dreams. Abortion is a matter of survival for women."
Thank you, Dr. Parker, and all those like you, for doing what you do.