Abortion providers are the backbone of reproductive health care. They are there for patients in emergencies, and often experience stigma simply for providing a procedure that is essential to economic and reproductive freedom. My doctor was there for me ten years ago, and with the mounting challenges and restrictions providers face every day, I am ever grateful.
First recognized in 1996 to commemorate the assassination of Dr. David Gunn, National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day honors and celebrates those in our community who put their lives on the line to ensure we receive safe abortion care. In time for this year’s appreciation day, RH Reality Check interviewed Dr. Cheryl Chastine, an abortion provider at the South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas.
A young provider, Dr. Chastine represents the future of abortion care; she infuses reproductive justice values and transgender patient care into her practice. She has given up a lot, personally and professionally, to provide care to her patients throughout the Midwest and the Great Plains region, but she refuses to back down due to threats or intimidation. Instead she fights back by providing the best possible care to her patients, who often travel long distances as additional political and economic hurdles are put in their way.