Monday, September 21, 2009

my secret identity

The other day, I was sitting in the “Doctor Room,” the area we all congregate while seeing patients in the clinic. This is where we have conferences, this is where we shove food into our faces when we have a moment, this is where we reconvene after seeing a patient, and this is where we write our notes.

I had been working with the same attending for several days now and had disclosed my interest in becoming an Ob/Gyn and including abortion services in my practice. Well today, this particular provider decided to announce to all 15+ people in the “Doctor Room” that I wanted to be an abortion provider.

Shit, shit, shit. I thought, as I lowered my head. Why did she just make an announcement? My secret identity is out-how would my colleagues respond?

That’s fantastic! We need more providers! Tell me how you got interested in the field!

Woah! All positive comments, all supportive, all encouraging. I was shocked. I guess I didn’t know what to expect, but this kinda blew me away.

I don’t really know why I thought there would be a negative reaction. I think as people in the abortion world, we are taught to watch what you say, be vague, don’t mention what you do (or in my case, what I want to do). If anything, I realized in that moment that most physicians really care about this issue. Even if they are not providers, they think it’s important and they support it. Phew!

I’m not quite ready to totally disclose my aspirations to the world, but perhaps we can all share a bit more about ourselves. By doing so, we can see that people really care about our work and appreciate it, and they can see that we are real people here to support the future of reproductive health.


  1. Man! When I first became an Abortioneer I had a friend who liked to out me at every opportunity: "Hey, anti-anti works at XYZ Abortion Place! Isn't that great?" Not cool. You never know how people are going to respond, and either way it's not their business to tell, even with the best of intentions. And it has nothing to do with shame, but as long as there are folks out there who want to give me shit I'd like to protect myself, thanks.

  2. I feel grateful you wrote this. In live in a conservative area and we always think that we're not supported in our community. Recently, I've been spending more time in our community + I've been surprised by how much support there really is. It felt so much less isolating. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  3. I totally agree Anti-anti. I definitely did not want to be outed, but it was nice to hear such support and encouragment. Too bad this can't happen all the time!

  4. That's awesome. Though, this past weekend, every time I said Abortion, the once-interested man walked away. It felt lonely.

  5. Oh anti-anti, my partner totally does that, even when it's a big awkward non-sequitur -- or at least, he used to but has turned it down a notch since I asked him to. I noticed it happened more during times when he wasn't excited about his job, and apparently felt the conversation about his own occupation wasn't interesting enough. Hence: "...but SHE works at an abortion clinic!" Um yeah, great introduction.


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