On March 10, 1993, an anti-abortion extremist murdered Dr. David Gunn, a Florida-based abortion provider. To honor Dr. Gunn’s life and work, and all of the courageous, compassionate people who provide abortions, we observe the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers on the anniversary of that tragic day.

This year, with abortion rights hanging in the balance and access significantly diminished in states around the country, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate the doctors, nurses and staff members who provide abortion services.

We have seen a radical abortion ban put into effect in Texas and copycat laws considered in states like Mississippi, Florida and Ohio. The Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade this summer; 26 states could quickly move to ban abortion, and abortion could be banned almost immediately.

But we know abortion is essential health care. Abortion access is important to me because it asserts that all women have bodily sovereignty and autonomy. The implications of having access to abortion continues to affirm such autonomy, thus leaving room for further conversation on equal rights for all. Continuing to protect the women’s entirety and adequate access to health care is a perpetuation of the hard work that all doctors and advocates have ensured throughout U.S. history.

Six in 10 Americans agree that abortion should remain legal. This National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers, I want to thank abortion providers everywhere and make it known that abortion should be safe, legal and accessible to everyone.

Hail Champagne

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