Abortion Provider Appreciation Day
Every year on March 10 we celebrate Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. It is a special day to show our thanks and gratitude to abortion care staff, providers, administrators, and anyone who works tirelessly to provide patients with abortions or abortion-related care. Without fail, abortion clinic staff and providers show up for work, with full knowledge and understanding of the very real threats they face every single day, in order to open those clinic doors and make sure that their patients are able to have the abortions they want.
This is no small feat.
But providers do so much more than that. Who is on the front lines in State Legislatures around the country, in courts and at the Supreme Court, fighting tooth and nail to make sure abortion remains legal and access is expanded? It is abortion providers.
Who is challenging every single state law passed that makes accessing abortion increasing more difficult for pregnant people than it already is? Abortion providers.
Abortion providers are out there fighting for YOU. Fighting for your rights and your access to abortion. They deserve our thanks today, and every single day of the year.
History of Abortion Provider Appreciation Day
On March 10, 1993, Dr. David Gunn was arriving to work at his newly opened Pensacola, Florida abortion clinic. Dr. Gunn commuted to this clinic, and several others in the South, from his home in Eufaula, Alabama, 200 miles away. Having to navigate through a protest outside the clinic, he parked his car and got out to go into the unmarked back door of the clinic. That is when a man stepped forward from the crowd and shot Dr. Gunn in the back three times.
This murder is the first of an abortion provider. Since 1993, there have been 13 murders and 26 attempted murders of abortion providers, staff, escorts, and bystanders.
In 1996, the Refuse & Resist! Reproductive Freedom Taskforce organized the very first Abortion Provider Appreciation day. Their aim was twofold: “1) to hearten providers with positive public support and 2) to strengthen the movement by forging stronger links between activists and providers.” And while the first event was small, on March 10, 1998, the fifth anniversary of Dr. Gunn’s death, the day was planned as a huge event, and it has been celebrated ever since.
As an abortion provider in Detroit, I can tell you our staff looks forward to Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. We receive postcards, treats, and other special notes from people who support our work. It is so important, and it is so necessary to help feed our souls. We do this work because we passionately believe in reproductive FREEDOM for every single person. Often, it can feel thankless. We risk our safety for others, and we are demonized in the national media, and by the protestors outside our doors. But we know in our hearts, every single day we CHANGE LIVES. We help pregnant people regain control, regain power, and feel confident in their ability to make choices. We do this with compassion, heart, and joy. We thank you for letting us care for you. We cannot imagine doing anything else.