Why Do I March As A Doctor?
This past Saturday was the heralding of a revolution. Seems like a strong term however the impact it had on me as a woman, mother, daughter and physician felt just that strong. This past year has been an interesting one to say the least however my work as an obstetrician gynecologist still drives my passion. As a women’s health provider, I have learned that women’s health issues are many times passed to the back of the line when it comes to research, technology and funding. Hard pill to swallow but has not deterred my desire to educate, empower and enhance the lives of my patients.
Saturday, January 21st was historical for many reasons, not for the causes that we all marched for, unfortunately these have been there for many years. Our marching became a global event as the rest of the world joined in. I have never been more energized by those that surrounded me as we stood in solidarity for what we believe in. Violence or contention was not in the vocabulary, just our voices calling for equality as well as equity. Equity in our health, careers and also not to be victimized for our race, religion, sexual preference or genitalia!
When I have witnessed women denied for surgery, contraception or even a well woman exam because they were not covered by insurance, these are the moments that come to mind as I placed one foot after the other on the Mall last weekend.
To deny women the ability to come make sound decisions when it comes to their bodies, this is why I raise my fists in the air to show my disdain.
I had the pleasure to march with my residents who spend hours upon hours in the hospital for their training in order to provide women with exceptional care. To think they may have to fight policies and politicians in order to perform abortions or insert IUDs is appalling to me and sad that I cannot present to them a glimmer of hope in the fight for women’s rights.
Every day that I go to work, I speak to so many women that balance being a mother, wife, having a career also with various life hardships. I march so that whatever I can do to ensure their reproductive health is complete and exceptional. The journey of my quest to embolden my community has just begun and I hope to inspire more women along the way.
By Jessica Shepherd, MD, Gynecologist Expert