Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dr. Harrison

Dear Dr. Harrison,

I was fortunate enough to hear you speak last fall when you visited my southern medical school. As a first year, I sat wide eyed listening as you eloquently explained your motivations to provide comprehensive women's health care, your drive to ensure that all women have access to safe abortions, and the factors you have had to overcome in order to offer these services. The stories you told of the patients you have encountered inspired me. I have no doubt that these patients, and so many more, are standing with you now in solidarity.

I spoke with you briefly after the presentation, asking if it is better to do the MSFC externship between first & second year vs. during 4th year electives. Along with replying that 4th year is preferable you also suggested that I should come to your clinic to do it. As someone struggling with the conservative nature of my school's OB/GYN department, that warm and welcoming invitation is something that I will always carry with me. It is a rose among the thorns of naysayers and hurdles trying to keep me from being trained as a provider. Just as you did not hesitate to offer yourself as a teacher and mentor, I promise to never hesitate in pursuing my education. In following your lead, I will not let obnoxious barriers keep me from providing safe and affordable care to women in need.

Thank you for all you have done. Thank you for believing in women's rights, and for letting these beliefs shape your actions. Thank you for being a warrior on the front lines. Thank you for inspiring all of us future providers. Thank you for paving the way for me and my peers to be abortion providers, to be guardians of women's rights, and for showing us that we can actively model our values and beliefs. You are leaving us with mighty big shoes to fill. While we might not be able to fit in them perfectly, I can promise you that we will continue to march on. Your patients need us to, the women of Arkansas need us to, the women of The United States need us to, as well as the rest of the women in this world.

While the words will never be big enough, they are the best I have:


(just another MSFC member and future abortion provider who is inspired by you)

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