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Friday, September 18, 2015

Planned Parenthood

I stand with planned parenthood because every person deserves the right to autonomous, private, and non-judgmental healthcare. I understand that people believe abortion is wrong and I have no qualms with that. You are allowed to believe every single belief you have but that does not mean you get to inflict those beliefs onto another person.

We spend countless hours learning how to care for patients without judgment, without opinion, and without pressure. That’s what healthcare is all about. Everyone has the right to make their own choices about their own body. A doctor guides, advises, and helps educate but no one gets to make decisions about your body except for you.

Consider a patient with high blood pressure who continues to eat fatty food. As a doctor you can advise the patient of the risks that will come with continuing their diet, you can encourage your patient to switch out a burger for a salad once and a while but at the end of your visit, that patient is perfectly able to drive through McDonald’s to enjoy a milkshake. And they have every right to do so. Any decision about their health is theirs and theirs alone. 

In medicine no one can force you to donate blood. No one can inflict their beliefs on your body. If my brother was dying of kidney disease and I happened to be an exact match, no one could force me to give him my kidney. (No worries Eric, you can totally have one). No one can force me to give him anything and that is because I have the autonomous right to my body and all decisions applicable to it, except for my reproductive health.

Congress proposes defunding planned parenthood because they don’t believe in some of the medical procedures the clinics offer. Frankly, it is none of congress’s business what any man or woman decides about their health. I do not advocate for or against any procedure, I believe that is not my place. I think that every person should get to choose what happens to their body for themselves after careful and accurate advisement. Forget the societal implications and the HUGE backwards step for women’s equality – every person deserves to make their own choices when it comes to their body and as a medical student and later a physician I will never stop fighting for that.

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