A Doula’s Reflections on Thanksgiving

This post was authored by Emily C., a doula with the D.C. Doulas for Choice.

I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I have a wonderful family, great friends, a safe place to live and the all the resources I need to accomplish my dreams. On a professional, activist and, for me, spiritual level I am thankful for many elements of the reproductive justice movement. I am thankful for the honor of knowing such wonderful and compassionate people through this Collective. I am thankful to work at a clinic that provides safe and accessible abortions and has a staff dedicated to serving women. I am thankful for abortion funds that help my patients get seen. I am thankful for reproductive health organizations that combat racism. I am thankful for the doctor at our clinic who has provided abortions for almost fifty years and continues to do so because he truly believes in women. But mostly, I am thankful for my patients. Every day they share their wisdom with me and trust me with their stories. They grant me the privilege of entering their space during their abortions and births. Their journey fosters solidarity between us that drives me get out of bed each morning. I am constantly in awe of their strength and the efforts they make to achieve their own form of liberation.

We, as advocates plan, organize and collaborate to help women access care, but sometimes we forget that it is our patients who create their own change. They sell their jewelry, cars and couches to raise money for their abortions. They walk through lines of protesters to enter clinics. They power through hours of contractions to bring new life into the world. They call abortion hotlines for days on end to get funding. They organize childcare and get themselves to clinics. They stand up for their birth plan during labor. They make choices that honor themselves and their families. I am thankful for all they do. They are the most powerful people I have the honor of knowing. I hope you too can give thanks this holiday and every day for these women and the efforts they make to enrich and progress our communities.

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