Years ago, I saw a patient in Mississippi whom I still think of often because of her intense grief in the midst of pregnancy. She had had five children, the youngest of whom had died the year before from cancer. She knew that she could not care for another child, financially or emotionally. She had traveled two hours to see me for her first appointment, which is for counseling only. Even though she was resolute, and knew what was best for her family, the procedure could not be done that day because state law requires that it be done in a follow-up visit, after initial counseling.

I want for women what I want for myself: a life of dignity, health, self-determination and the opportunity to excel and contribute. We know that when women have access to abortion, contraception and medically accurate sex education, they thrive.

We who provide abortions do so because our patients need us, and that’s what we are supposed to do: respond to our patients’ needs. It is the deepest level of love that you can have for another person, that you can have compassion for their suffering and you can act to relieve it. That, simply put, is why I provide abortion care.