February 7, 2013
Consulting Medical Director Anne Davis, MD, MPH, spoke to Irin Carmon of Salon about the impact of Catholic hospitals' doctrine on patients who need urgent care for pregnancies that have gone wrong.
As Carmon explains, Catholic hospitals "abide by the ethical directives handed down by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for use in medical care. And they generally treat the fetus as a separate patient with equal standing [as the woman]." This can force physicians to take measures to save a fetus that will hurt the woman's health.
Says Dr. Davis, "You let people get sicker when you have something to stop them [from] getting sicker—that's antithetical to what we do in medicine." Read more about the impact of Catholic doctrine on pregnant women's health.
January 28, 2013
Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health mourns the death of Thomas Allen, MD, an ob/gyn, abortion provider, outspoken advocate for comprehensive reproductive health care, and PRCH supporter. Dr. Allen, who provided abortions within the hospital system in Pennsylvania beginning in the 1940s, participated in our documentary and multimedia project, Voices of Choice. PRCH celebrates his courage, compassion, and belief in social justice. Thank you, Dr. Allen, for speaking out and helping women.
About the Roe v. Wade decision, Dr. Allen said, “The essence of the whole debate is that women should have control over their bodies and their reproductive rights without interference of the state.” Read his account of being a pre-Roe provider here.
January 23, 2013
Because Mississippi is the state whose abortion services are most in peril forty years after Roe, several journalists turned to our board member and former Leadership Training Initiative Fellow Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, for perspective. He provides abortions at Mississippi's remaining clinic and is a physician plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging a state law meant to shut the clinic's doors.
In a profile on the American Prospect's website, Dr. Parker explains why he began working at the clinic despite the intense anti-abortion pressure surrounding it: "I knew what a lifeline that clinic was for people who were already struggling and who were black and brown. That allowed me to overcome any anxiety."
In his appearance on The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur, Dr. Parker talks about his experiences in Mississippi as well as what led him to begin providing abortions several years into his career as an ob/gyn: "I became uncomfortable having to turn women away when in every other aspect of their reproductive health care I was prepared to provide services for them."
MotherJones.com includes Dr. Parker in a photo essay about the clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, and Atavist.com has released The Last Clinic, a fifty-minute documentary that features Dr. Parker prominently.
In his examination of abortion rights in the United States 40 years after Roe v. Wade, Associated Press reporter David Crary looks to both our Consulting Medical Director, Anne Davis, MD, MPH, and our Board Chair, Douglas Laube, MD, MEd.
Dr. Davis underlines the importance of abortion access: "If you know some women, you know a woman who's had [an] abortion."
Dr. Laube assesses the current state of abortion politics: "I see the movement toward the religious right being countered by a growing movement among practitioners and advocates for maintaining this as legal. That means the controversy will continue. But it also means we will hold our ground."
Read more from Drs. Davis and Laube.
North Carolina's News and Observer asked former Leadership Training Academy Fellow Amy Bryant, MD, about new state laws on abortion in view of Roe's 40th anniversary. Says Dr. Bryant, "The abortion restrictions passed over the last year or two are nothing but attacks on women's health and dignity." Read more of Dr. Bryant's comments.
January 23, 2013
Forty years ago, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States. To mark four decades of safe, legal abortion, we are proud to offer, for the first time online in its entirety, our 25-minute documentary Voices of Choice: Physicians Who Provided Abortions Before Roe v. Wade.
This video features physicians and advocates who helped as many women as they could before the legalization of abortion: Bylle Avery, Dr. Curtis Boyd, Dr. Eugene Glick (1929-2010), Dr. Mildred Hanson, Reverend Howard Moody (1921-2012), and more.
The suffering they saw moved these men and women to push for safe, legal abortion for anyone who needs that care. Their experiences inspire us to keep going until abortion is truly accessible throughout the nation, without restrictions that hurt women and their families.
Watch Voices of Choice today. In an editorial about Roe's 40th anniversary, the San Jose Mercury News called the documentary "required viewing ... It's important for all Americans to know what it was like before 1973."
Help us recognize Eve Espey, MD, MPH, and Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, at the 2013 Rashbaum-Tiller Abortion Provider Awards.
Video: Pre-Roe Doctors
The documentary Voices of Choice features physicians and advocates who witnessed women's suffering before Roe v. Wade. They helped as many women as they could obtain safe abortions.
Help physicians and concerned supporters improve access to comprehensive reproductive health care—donate to PRCH!
Who We Are
PRCH is a doctor-led national advocacy organization. We use evidence-based medicine to promote sound reproductive health policies. We believe in reproductive choice for everyone.
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“Mothers’ lives were lost in the days of illegal abortion. We just cannot let that happen again.”
Mildred Hanson, MD, from “Why I Provide”