I Am Dr. Tiller: New Website Shares Stories of Abortion Providers and Reproductive Health Advocates

By Christine Cupaiuolo — June 4, 2009

I Am Dr. TillerA new website launched today to spotlight stories of individuals working to make abortion safe, legal, healthy and accessible to women and girls: http://IAmDrTiller.com

Steph Herold, an abortion counselor at a women’s center in Pennsylvania who last month was inducted as an Our Bodies Ourselves Women’s Health Hero, and her partner, Yahel Carmon, created the interactive site. (Herold was nominated by her sister, who submitted a video interview and wrote that her older sibling is “a college senior who already has helped countless women with her passion for variety of different kinds of activism.” Here’s yet another reason to cheer on Steph, now a recent college graduate.)

“The goal of this project,” Herold told OBOS, “is to serve as a memorial to the lifework of Dr. George Tiller and as a living testimony to the courageous lives of abortion providers.”

The idea for the website was sparked by a staff conversation at the women’s center on how to respond to discussions that it’s OK to take the life of an abortion provider. Herold said she and Carmon decided to do something that would “personalize abortion care.”

“People need to know what we do and why we do the things we do,” said Herold. “It’s important for people to understand that so many of us who do this work in so many capacities do it for all kinds of reasons.”

Herold said she works as an abortion counselor — her full-time job since December —  because women deserve the best available care.

“Women should be respected for the choices they make with their bodies,” said Herold. ” I want to be able to make that choice — and dealing with the physical and emotional realities of that choice — as healthy as possible.”

IAmDrTiller.com aims to feature nurses, counselors, escorts, volunteers at abortion funds, or abortion doctors themselves. From the website:

You will not see the faces of these providers to protect their safety. What you will see is the story they decide to share — how they came to abortion work, what their function is at their abortion clinic, or their personal abortion story. We want to humanize these individuals to convey the kindness, courtesy, justice, love, and respect they have for women and the health care choices women make. We share our stories in hopes of ending clinic violence, to alleviate the shame associated with the abortion experience, and as an homage to Dr. Tiller’s outstanding and courageous life work.

To take part, submit a photo of yourself holding a sign or piece of paper (in front of your face) that says, “I Am Dr. Tiller.” Also include your story about the type of work you do related to reproductive health or your personal abortion story.

You can submit your photo and story via the website (instructions here http://iamdrtiller.com/submit), or email your photo and story to “info AT iamdrtiller DOT com” (your personal information will of course remain confidential).

Please contribute to the project if you can and share http://IAmDrTiller.com with your friends and colleagues. Along with the George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund, it’s a great way to focus our energy and resources.

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