Why Providers Want to Hear from Young Activists
Posted by Summer
April 11, 2014
Being a second semester college senior, I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a morning person. My earliest class starts at 9:30am and Tuesday/Thursday mornings are struggle city. So when I saw that the panel I’d be speaking on started at 7:45in the morning (!!) I was a bit nervous. Would I be ready to have important conversations at that hour? Would others?
Luckily for me (and for those who attended my session) the answer was yes.
“Uniting Leaders of Tomorrow’s Reproductive Justice Movement with Providers of Today” was a short panel discussion centering around issues that are important to the reproductive justice as a whole movement from a variety of angles (including activism, organizing, policy, and education) and the MDs in the room were completely engaged. We presented the panel at the National Abortion Federation Annual Meeting mainly to professionals who provide abortion services as well as those who support them and researchers.
My entire experience at the NAF Annual Meeting but especially on my short time on this panel helped me to understand that many physicians and medical providers are so busy providing care, doing research, and having lives outside of their work that activism for the reproductive justice movement may be impossible. This leaves many of them feeling isolated from the RJ movement and the needs of young people, including those who they regularly serve. And they are hungry for information, for knowledge, for strategies to engage with young people. They want to know how they can help us, how they can mentor us and support our work.
I felt totally uplifted, engaged, and excited after our hour and a half conversation. The people who provide abortions all over this country are truly heroes. And they are heroes that want to hear our voices! I felt valuable, like I had something to add and something to offer.