On Saturday, March 7, 17 activists gathered at the Outrage DC for a letter writing party to thank local abortion providers in honor of National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. Reproaction teamed up with carafem, an independent abortion provider with a clinic in Chevy Chase, Maryland, for this event.
National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers celebrates the work of providers and honors the life of Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider who was murdered outside of his Florida clinic by an anti-abortion extremist in 1993. Dr. Gunn dedicated his life to providing abortion in rural areas of the South and was murdered for that very reason. Providers continue to face widespread violence, harassment and intimidation from the anti-abortion movement. A Feminist Majority Foundation survey from 2018 found that 24 percent of clinics experienced one or more incidents involving severe violence or threats of severe violence.  Fifty-two percent of clinics also reported that they had experienced targeted threats and intimidation against doctors and staff. 
Abortion providers often put their safety at risk to provide compassionate, high quality health care. The work of providers – including doctors, nurses, doulas, receptionists, clinic escorts and others, is what keeps local clinic doors open and ensures people in our communities are able to get the care they need.
At our writing party, activists wrote dozens of cards for our local clinics, including carafem, the Dupont Clinic, Planned Parenthood’s Carol Moses Center and the Falls Church Healthcare Center. We also wrote cards for those who support patients seeking abortion care, including the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force (WACDTF) and DC Doulas for Choice. As a reproductive justice organization, we also recognize that the right to abortion has never ensured access, which is why we also took time to thank the DC Abortion Fund and the Blue Ridge Abortion Fund, both of which help fund procedures in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region.
The sentiment was best described by one letter that reads, “Thank you for your bravery and dedication. You have one of the most challenging jobs, and I thank you immensely for doing it. You touch the lives of so many people. Keep up the fight.”
This is the third year Reproaction has hosted a letter-writing event to celebrate local abortion providers in the DMV. We’re proud to stand in solidarity with local providers in service of our mission to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice.