I am a student in a very conservative area where women are not likely to receive the care they need in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. I discovered this personally when I found myself pregnant three years ago. After taking the pill to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, I developed complications which local hospitals refused to treat, as there was still human chorionic gonadotropin in my blood. This means, in the eyes of the doctors treating me, I was still pregnant, and in order to have an abortion in Missouri, you must wait 24 hours. No one wanted to take care of the products of conception remaining in my uterus, which caused an infection.
I am lucky. I was able to return early to the clinic where I was given the medication to terminate the pregnancy. They were able to treat me, and I am still fertile, should I decide, on my terms, to have another child.
My career goals have changed due to this. Women who have been brave enough to share their own stories with me all say one thing: they wanted someone to stand beside them. Some of them had support; unfortunately, many didn’t. It is my intention now to continue my education in nursing so that I may specialize in gynecological care and work in an abortion clinic where, at least in some capacity, I may be an advocate to women just like those I spoke to, to women just like myself.
So often these women have no advocate, and they are left feeling alone and scared during a time when they need support. Many of these women have spouses who do not know they are terminating a pregnancy because they are in abusive situations where pregnancy is forced on them. Many of these women have friends who are so vehemently against their choice to terminate that the friendship is lost. In any case, what I want to provide is a hand, an ear, and a shoulder. I want the women whom I will care for in my capacity as a nurse to know that I am their advocate, that I respect and support not only their choice but THEM.
This is why I am Dr. Tiller.