This week marked another huge loss in the choice community. Ryan Christopher Goskie died Tuesday after being admitted to the hospital with a sudden illness. He was only 25.
Those of you who met or had even heard of Ryan probably knew that he was something of an abortion rock star. Growing up in Granite City, Illinois, he responded to the awful spectacle of the protestors outside the Hope Clinic there by becoming a clinic escort when he was just a high school student. That is where I met Ryan, and I remember being so impressed by his sense of social justice, his energy, and how much fun he was to hang out with at 6:30 on a Saturday morning.
Ryan became a nurse and worked in two different abortion facilities. He went to conferences and rallies and wrote. He made fabulous friends and fell in love. He gave time and energy to organizations that he cared about, and he withstood the attention he received from all the antis who targeted him because he was the proud man who kept coming back to the clinic despite their hate. Ryan did what we do, only he took it to the next level.
I kind of feel like, if you took all the activist energy in me and then multiplied it with all the passion of another abortioneer, you still wouldn’t equal anything the size of Ryan’s contribution to abortion care and choice efforts.
I hadn’t seen Ryan in years, but I always felt like the future of abortion in the U.S. wasn’t in that much peril, not when Ryan was out there. I am so sad that he is gone. It is just impossible to understand.