International Safe Abortion Day 2021

One of the barriers to Safe Abortion is the lack of trained providers. Trained physicians can provide options counseling, connect patients to resources, provide terminations, or care for people post-abortion. In regions where abortion is heavily restricted, a trained provider can contribute to harm reduction, education, and support for people self-managing their abortions.

However, abortion restrictions, like the ones we are seeing in Texas and Poland, impact access to abortion education and training. So, to celebrate International Safe Abortion Day, we asked our members on what motivates them to advocate for safe abortion, to access abortion training, and to engage with MSFC. Be inspired by the dedication and clarity offered by our students in Ireland, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Why do you advocate for access to safe abortion?

Safe abortion is a necessary part of healthcare. Open and easy access to it is not only beneficial to a patient’s physical health, but to their psychiatric, emotional, and financial wellbeing as well. These benefits extend to their families and communities as well. Furthermore, safe abortion will always be accessible to those with the money and freedom to travel to it. Those benefits need to be expanded to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status.Kyla
People who are pregnant are completely entitled to make decisions about their body and healthcare in line with THEIR OWN values–not MY values or “so-and-so” down the street’s values. When people are desperate, they deserve to have a safe and trusted space to access these resources.Christen
I advocate for access to safe abortion to give women and birthing people autonomy over their bodies, to promote reproductive justice, and to support my future patients in maintaining control of their physical and mental wellbeing.AK
As long as there are people with unsafe or undesired pregnancies, there will be a demand for abortion. Abortion is an incredibly safe procedure when performed by a professional, but can quickly become fatal without that supervision. In cases where people aren’t able to access abortion care, more people die – I didn’t go to medical school to bury people.Brienna
For me, I consider that as limits the rights of women and of the human being conceived. the children need maternal love and the woman also needs to have the child with a man of her choice, in favorable financial condition. because all its conditions are not met, African women are exposed to doing it clandestinely and which results in multiple complications with maternal deaths of great prevalence in Africa. in short, I would like women to have their rights to decide on their reproductive activities.Elvis Butera

Why is it important to you to be educated on/trained in safe abortion?

Safe abortion is healthcare. Period.Anonymous
To have more skills and knowledge on have to provide it, like you can’t advocate for something you have no knowledge about, because people are always asking questions.Anonymous
As a routine medical procedure, physicians must be trained and knowledgeable about the basics of abortion provision and have the capacity to counsel on family planning options.Lucy
Nearly one in four women will have an abortion by age 45. Regardless of which medical specialty I select, these people will be my patients and deserve to have an informed and empathetic healthcare provider.Madeline
If abortion is legal, but no one can perform safe abortions, then abortion isn’t really legal. For me, it’s a call to action–I want to make sure I can provide save abortion services and counseling, because if a reproductive-focused physician cannot, then who else can they turn to?Christen
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community I have faced blatant discrimination in medical situations. I personally know the fear members of my community face when they interact with the medical community. This is particularly important regarding transgender patients interacting with the “women’s health” and the OBGYN system. Generally, the OBGYN community is exclusionary to transgender people. Usually this discrimination is not out right, I have seen it in ways that are almost invisible to the heteronormative community. Discrimination in these settings can be seen with the incorrect use of pronouns, assumptions of gender, categorizing the association of pregnancy and abortion with “women” and the overall limited education regarding how to preform pap-smears or medical procedures on people who are on hormone replacement therapy. The LGBTQ+ population is currently underserved in the medical community, and many friends and patients I have worked with have expressed their reluctance to confide in health professionals. I want to serve as a member of this community, to build new standards in OBGYN to become more inclusive. A part of that requires that I have education and training on safe abortions. I want to make sure I have a well-rounded education so I can discuss all options with my patients who may be considering an abortion.Oak

If you are not planning to be an abortion provider (for any reason), why is being a member of MSFC important to you?

I am planning on becoming an abortion provider, but I believe being a member of MSFC is beneficial to any medical student because being educated on the issues at hand is the first step in combating them. People turn to physicians for guidance on a multitude of topics regardless of their specialty, and they should be prepared to answer questions and combat misinformation throughout their careers. Furthermore, medicine is a field rooted in science, and the science has shown numerous times that access to safe abortion is beneficial to individual people and society as a whole. Kyla
It is to seek experience in leadership, which would help me to plead for the women who live the hell of clandestine abortions because of the laws established by men.Elvis Butera
Advocacy is important, whether it’s your community or not that is struggling.Christen