Those of you who screamed your way through my TV clip of SD Congressman Bill Napoli, as he discussed his rape preferences— I have the antidote.
There was another interview in the same segment, with a woman who had the opposite effect: Dr. Miriam McCreary, the surgeon who flies from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls once a week to perform abortions because no one who lives in the state dares to.
Wasn't she great? Her matter-of-fact courage and diehard commitment, at age 70, choked me up.
"WHO is this amazing woman?" I asked. She looks like an bespectacled physician, modest in her presentation, and yet she's the hardcore last word in walk-it-don't-just-talk-it feminism.
I work at Regents Hospital and have taught ob/gyn residents ever since Roe v. Wade became legal. I've worked there a half a day a week teaching residents abortion procedures. So I've trained about 50 or 60. I would say less than ten of them are now doing abortions.
This is discouraging because you spend time training people and then they go into a practice and their practice partners say, "Oh, you can't do any abortions." And I've seen this over and over again with the residents that have graduated from the program where I work.
One of them in particular, he had a private practice near Fargo and was planning to do abortions and set up his own abortion clinic and he was harassed so much by local people that he had to close his abortion clinic and stop doing abortions. And this happens over and over again...
...Somebody picks me up at the airport and then when we get to the clinic, they take me in through a back door, so I don't have to walk through the picketers in the front and that prevents the picketing population from seeing me face-to-face. One day somebody was in the back though, and snapped a picture of me, I suppose for publication in their anti-choice literature, which I wasn't too happy about. But I said, "Well, I'm here. I'm doing this. I'm taking chances. If they publish a picture of me, that's the way it will be."
I'm hoping that there will be more and more doctors who are willing to provide abortions. Passing the torch is very important. There have to be doctors who are willing to do this and there have to be clinics who are willing to provide the service and willing to stand up to the protestors and not be intimidated by protestors and anti-choice people. I think young medical students are part of the future.
I found an interview with her, on a site devoted to a documentary film called "Voices of Choice: Physicians Who Provided Abortions Before Roe Vs. Wade." I'd like to see the whole feature; the excerpts are excellent. You can write Dr. McCreary from the same site and thank her from the bottom of your heart, too!