Activists from 18 States Gathered in Germantown, Maryland to Defend Dr. Carhart
Words of Choice joined hundreds of advocates, service providers and women’s rights defenders from 18 states in Germantown, Maryland, in July 2011 to support Dr. LeRoy Carhart in his effort to provide essential abortion care to women in need.
Clinic defenders mobilized in response to planned protests near Dr. Carhart’s clinic by Operation Rescue, a Kansas-based group—also working in co-ordination with Maryland anti-choice groups–that targets abortion doctors and calls for the end of all abortion and birth control, even at the risk of women’s lives.
Each year, approximately 1.2 million women in the United States terminate an unintended and untenable pregnancy. More than 95 percent of these abortions take place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy; an increasing share occurs before 8 weeks. Some abortions, however, necessarily take place later in pregnancy. The vast majority of late abortions are the result of long-planned and deeply-wanted pregnancies gone terribly wrong or of risks arising later in pregnancy that threaten the health and often the life of a pregnant woman.
There are few physicians left in the United States who are trained to perform later abortions, and fewer still who, facing constant assault, intimidation and threats from those who wish to deny women their rights to life and self-determination, are willing to risk their own lives to provide such care.
Dr. Carhart is one of those few. His willingness to expand his practice to the East Coast to provide such care to women in need and to train other doctors in providing safe abortion care is testament to his dedication to women’s lives.
Every woman has the basic human right to decide whether, when, and with whom to bear children. Unfettered access to birth control, abortion care and other forms of reproductive health care are essential pre-requisites enabling women to exercise their rights to self-determination, to make choices about the wellbeing of themselves and their families, and to participate fully as citizens. Dr. Carhart and other abortion providers make that possible. Without them, all women would be subject to lives of forced pregnancy and childbirth.
Activists gathered to send a message to politicians in Washington and in all states restricting or seeking to restrict abortion that we will not stand for restrictions on the rights to of women to self-determination. We are determined to protect and defend the right to safe abortion care for all women.
Words of Choice performs on July 31 2011 in Gaithersburg, MD, to support prochoice activists and the work of Dr. Carhart. Read more here.