Dr. C. is an abortion provider in Buffalo, NY and a member of our Family Medicine Reproductive Health Network. He has chosen to speak anonymously to protect himself and his family. We recently asked him what moves him to provide abortions and this was his answer.
It’s simple. I provide abortions because it is basic medical care and I am a general practitioner. The level of opposition to basic medical care simply astounds me. At their core, obstacles to birth control and abortion are sex-discrimination.
I ask men “have you ever walked into a store and bought birth control?”. Of course, in the vast majority of cases, the answer is yes–almost every man has bought a pack of condoms, myself included. Then I ask things like “did you have to go to a pharmacy? Were you able to buy it without talking to someone? Did you need a prescription? Did anyone shame you? Were you able to afford it?” The barriers are sex discrimination! Men in political office are making medical decisions for women, or at the very least, creating a burdensome environment to access care. You know that if men could get pregnant you’d be able to get an abortion easily.
I have a daughter. If she needed an abortion, I’d do whatever I could – I’d take her to Europe if I had to. That’s my privilege—I’m very lucky. And that’s the way it’s always been. If you have money, getting an abortion is no problem. You can pay for the travel, or you can pay for the psychiatrist to deem it necessary. On that level, restrictions to access are not only sexist, they are classist as well.
I care for many patients from surrounding states that have enacted strict abortion regulation. I’ve treated a 14 year old whose cousin risked life in prison to bring her across state lines to get an abortion because they lived in a state where parental consent was necessary. The 14 year old had been raped by a family member and other family members were incarcerated, so consent was impossible to obtain. What struck me is that this cousin, a kid really, had to risk life in prison because a politician somewhere thought he knew better about why someone might need an abortion. Have these guys ever talked to women? Why do they think they have the right to judge?
You asked why I perform abortions. I think the better question is how can I not?