As a devout Christian doctor, Willie Parker seems to be an unlikely person to be accepting an award from an abortion rights group. Nevertheless, the 54-year-old physician from Alabama is an outspoken abortion provider who believes he is “doing God’s work,” according to his recent memoir, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice. “I am protecting women’s rights, their human right to decide their futures for themselves, and to live their lives as they see fit,” he writes.
Parker, a born-again Christian, grew up poor in Birmingham, Alabama, and, as the first person in his family to attend college, he became an OB-GYN. He originally refused to perform abortions because of his religious beliefs — until he had a spiritual revelation that made him believe it was his ethical duty as a Christian to provide such care. Now, Parker even goes as far as comparing forcing a woman to have a child to slavery. “I know it’s a powerful analogy to draw, and people are skittish,” he said, “but if you look at what was evil about slavery and what happens to women when they are forced to give birth, it’s apt. When we make fetuses ‘people’ and demand that women be subordinated in servitude to them … women become a means to an end. It’s no different from slavery.”
Last week, Parker accepted the “Person of the Year” award from the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), an organization founded 26 years ago by Joyce Schorr, which provides funds to women who can’t afford abortions. Schorr, a former sales executive for Reynolds says that her organization has so far helped about 40,000 women. “The women we help are very, very poor,” she told The Los Angeles Times. “Everything is a struggle. It’s hard for them to find transportation. The last thing they need is another child to take care of.’’
Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.