Our guest blogger reflects on having a mother who works as an abortion care nurse.
For decades, she was a nurse at the local hospital, providing care in both the Pediatric and Labor & Delivery units. She dressed in kid-friendly scrubs, covered with happy cartoon animals and bright splashes of color. She would often bring home crayon drawings that her young patients made for her.
At home, my mom maintained an extensive collection of first aid goodies. Anytime there was a bee-sting, bloody knee, tummy bug or sore throat, my dad would exclaim “Call the nurse!”– and there would be my mom, with her tool box of ointments, syrups, bandages, and instruments to really, truly make it better. That woman would make you a gingerale-slushy and a couch-bed that could make any flu bearable.
This woman was a soother of sick kids, a comfort to new moms and a support to families in true need of help and encouragement. She loved working with those kids and she adored caring for newborns and their moms. When she left her job at the hospital and, just a few years later, began working as an abortion care nurse, I wondered. Huh, I thought– what a stark contrast to what she was doing before. But I was wrong.
My mother has always provided care to women and families — and she still does.
In the abortion clinic, my mother continues to be an unwavering supporter of moms and their families. The majority of women seeking abortion are already parents. They choose abortion in order to provide the children they already have with all the care and attention they deserve in financially stable, loving homes. For these women, my mom offers support and care that is free of judgment, in a clinic that trusts women to build their families with intention.
My mother continues to be a soother of young people. Although Maine sees comparatively fewer abortions among teens than many other states, women under the age of 18 can and do access confidential and safe abortion care. Navigating the healthcare system, gathering the money to pay for services and bypassing protesters can be monumental challenges for young people; to know that they are greeted with care, respect and comfort once they are within the doors of the clinic is crucial.
Women and families deserve quality care, support, and trust, no matter what choice they are making in regards to building their own families. This is what those protesting outside our doors do not understand– everyone who comes through these doors is building their own family in the most compassionate, responsible way they know how.