Over the last week I’ve had the unbelievable privilege of attending two remarkable events: the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health honors ceremony and a fundraiser for Trust Women PAC. Both events had inspiring speakers that included Dr. Carhart, members of the Tiller family, Emily Lyons, and others. The PRCH event honored the lifework of two outstanding abortion providers, while the Trust Women PAC specifically honored the life of Dr. Tiller. The energy at each event was different – at PRCH, we were celebratory but somber, at Trust Women PAC, we were engaged and enraged. Why the difference?
The PRCH Honors was a gathering of physicians and healthcare professionals who lost a colleague, a mentor, and a friend. The assassination of Dr. Tiller affected their work in a way that many of us can’t comprehend. How do you move on when someone in your field is murdered because they are in that field? Can you move on? Do you keep doing your job knowing that you’re putting your life in danger? Your family’s well-being in danger? Being in a room of clinicians and providers who do just that floored me. It makes sense to me that we were all teary after hearing Jeanne Tiller (Dr. George Tiller’s wife) and her daughter speak. The event was as much about celebrating the achievements of abortion providers as it was about mourning the loss of one of the field’s heroes. There was some political talk, but the evening was mostly focused on honoring the work of specific providers. I left feeling proud to be a member of a community so courageous and so involved in honoring women’s life choices.