Bicameral resolution honors abortion providers and clinic staff by designating March 10, 2024 as “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day” ~

Washington (March 12, 2024) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai'i), Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who led 23 of their colleagues, in reintroducing a bicameral resolution honoring abortion providers and staff by designating March 10, 2024 as “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.” The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day resolution affirms that abortion providers are valued as they provide reproductive care despite pressures, restrictions, political interference, and threats to their personal safety. It also highlights the essential role that these providers play in providing safe access to reproductive care, including abortions. The introduction of this resolution follows a 2022 report by the National Abortion Federation, which shows a rise in major incidents like stalking and death threats directed at patients, abortion care providers, and volunteers.

“Following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights for people across the country continue to be attacked and the challenges faced by abortion providers, staff, and patients continue to grow,” said Senator Hirono. “I am proud to reintroduce this resolution to honor these essential reproductive health care providers who help patients receive the high-quality care they deserve, even in the face of violence, threats, and intimidation. On Abortion Providers Appreciation Day, we honor the bravery of these health professionals across our country and reaffirm our commitment to protecting access to abortion care for all.”

“I’m proud to again lead this resolution with Senator Hirono honoring the abortion providers and clinic staff who help families receive the safe and quality health care that they need,” said Senator Peters. “Their bravery and dedication deserve our recognition always, but especially right now, as they face threats and attacks from politicians and judges for delivering critical and often lifesaving care. I will never stop fighting to protect these providers and the women and families that they serve.”

“Every day that Republicans attack our reproductive rights is another day that abortion providers are put at risk,” said Representative Pressley. “Abortion care is health care, and we must recognize the providers who persevere to provide that essential, life-saving care. I am proud to reintroduce this resolution to designate March 10th as “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day” to stand in solidarity and honor the work of abortion care providers like Dr. Gunn and so many more threatened by anti-abortion violence. Congressional intent is important, and we must continue to work to protect and restore abortion care access and ensure our patients and providers are not criminalized.”

The resolution was inspired by Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider who was killed outside his clinic in Pensacola, Florida by a white supremacist and anti-abortion extremist in the first known instance of the murder of an abortion provider. To honor his legacy, Abortion Provider Appreciation Day was established on March 10, 1996 as a day to show appreciation for the essential, high-quality care that abortion providers and staff provide to their communities and to celebrate their courage and dedication.

"When our father made the decision to go to work on the morning of March 10, 1993, he may have had some reservations, but he showed up anyway. He showed up for his patients in the face of danger because he passionately believed in the right to abortion and the right to full bodily autonomy. Tragically, he never really grasped that the same people claiming to be 'pro-life' could eventually end his own," said Wendy Gunn and David Gunn, Jr., the children of Dr. David Gunn. "Now, more than ever, reproductive rights are under direct attack. We as a society have a duty to stand up for every single person who continues to show up in the face of danger to ensure our rights stay just that: ours. We stand with everyone who cares for those seeking abortion care - from providers to clinic staff, to people advocating on the front lines to keep reproductive freedoms accessible to all.

Abortion Provider Appreciation Day represents not only our father’s hard work and dedication, but all of the providers whose lives were lost after he was tragically murdered on March 10, 1993, and every single person who continues to fight for our freedoms. We thank our allies in Congress for honoring his work and the work of abortion providers and clinic staff across this country. In the face of an unprecedented crisis, providers show up every day with strength and resilience to help people access the abortion care they need. We, in the memory of our father, honor their courage and dedication to the belief that each of us should be able to make our own decisions about when and how to create a family and shape our futures.”

The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day Resolution demonstrates a commitment to abortion providers and staff by:

  • Recognizing March 10, 2024 as “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day” to celebrate the courage of abortion providers and the high-quality care they provide to patients and families across the country;
  • Lauding communities who proudly support their abortion providers and staff;
  • Affirming the commitment of Congress to ensuring the safety of these health professionals, their ability to continue providing the essential reproductive care their patients need, and the right of patients to access abortion care regardless of where they live, free from violence and threats;
  • Condemning the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States to limit abortion care, which had a devastating impact on abortion providers and the communities they care for, threatening their livelihoods; and
  • Declaring a vision for a future liberated from all abortion restrictions and bans, and affirming the commitment of Congress to working toward this future with providers, patients, advocates, and their communities.

“Every day, abortion providers across the country provide time-sensitive and essential health care to patients — in confidence and without judgment. They do so while navigating escalating political attacks, medical disinformation, and threats on their lives and the lives of their families,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, President and & CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day honors all these doctors, nurses, clinicians, counselors, and health care staffers for their commitment to caring for their communities. These heroes are protecting the lives and health of millions of people and their families, and we are deeply grateful for their expertise and compassion. Planned Parenthood will never stop fighting for abortion providers' ability to offer care without harassment and persecution. On this Abortion Providers Appreciation Day, we thank them, we support them, and we honor them.”

“Today, and every day, it is so important to recognize and celebrate abortion providers and clinic staff, as well as to honor the life and legacy of Dr. David Gunn,” said Katie O’Connor, Director of Federal Abortion Policy at the National Women’s Law Center. “In the midst of an ongoing reproductive health care crisis, abortion providers and clinic staff bravely show up to work, providing vital help to patients while facing harassment, threats, and even violence. Their courage and compassion inspire us all to continue to fight for everyone’s right to control their own bodies, lives, and futures.”

"In honor of Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, I am so grateful for the leadership of Senator Mazie Hirono along with co-leads, Senator Gary Peters and Representative Ayanna Pressley, as they recognize the unwavering commitment abortion providers have to their local communities as well as individuals who reside in communities where they are forced to travel to receive care,” said Dr. Jamila Perritt, President & CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health. “While we continue to navigate the ongoing and devastating effects of abortion bans across the country, it is so important to celebrate the compassion, creativity, and dedication of abortion providers in this moment. Abortion providers center the needs and hopes of people seeking care; they trust their patients to know what is best for them and their families and support and respect their decisions. Abortion providers are worthy of the trust and respect of politicians, too, but tragically are often met with violence, vitriol, and political theater. Today and every day, I celebrate and honor the critical care of abortion providers.”

The Abortion Provider Appreciation Day Resolution is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America; the National Women’s Law Center; Physicians for Reproductive Health; Power to Decide; Guttmacher Institute; National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum; Reproductive Freedom for All; National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice; National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association; National Partnership for Women & Families; In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda; Center for Reproductive Rights; and URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity.

In addition to Senators Hirono and Peters, the resolution is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

In addition to Representative Pressley, the resolution is cosponsored in the House by Representatives Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Deborah K. Ross (D-NC), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Delia C. Ramirez (D-IL), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ).

The full text of the resolution is available here.