I entered abortionland gradually. My parents never talked about it, I went to a Catholic school for years, so I don’t know how it started. But I used to be obsessed with learning about how people experienced their sexual bodies — I’d ask friends about their attractions, erections, menstruations, you name it.
Anyway, in college I became really interested in sex ed and family planning. I spent several months volunteering in community outreach and health education projects for a local women’s health center; then after college I found a job in their clinic. While I started out passionate about sexual health in general, eventually abortion stood out to me as something that I ought to focus on, precisely because many people drew the line there and I didn’t. It didn’t hurt that I had fantastic coworkers, a supportive work environment, exposure to fascinating clinical cases and many warm, appreciative clients.
Then I moved around some, first for a change of pace and then for school, and each time found something even more abortiony to occupy myself with. Now that I’m in school, I’m learning about various abortion-related research projects (clinical, social, and organizational aspects) which are so cool and important. But direct service, for all its challenges, pretty much rules: every day I can help several-to-many people get something they are seeking in order to make their life better.
It’s not a super exciting story, I guess! But I can remember being in (Catholic) middle school and going with the anti-choice flow, and it seems so weird to me now. I literally can’t see myself ever going back to that. Phew.
I am Dr. Tiller.