Dr. Willie Parker shares his life's work at Bixby book event

To mark the launch of his new book, Life’s Work, Dr. Willie J. Parker spoke at an event co-hosted by the Bixby Center, ANSIRH and UCSF Students for Choice. The book’s subtitle, “A Moral Argument for Choice,” was also a central theme of Dr. Parker’s remarks.

He spoke about the importance of being fluent in what he calls “God talk” in order to help people overcome moral or religious barriers to supporting abortion access. He urged scientists to acknowledge the hard truth that while facts are important, they are often insufficient when it comes to persuasion.

Dr. Parker (center) in conversation with Monica McLemore, RN, MPH, PhD and Debbie Bamberger, RN, MS, WHNP-BC

Dr. Parker (center) in conversation with Monica McLemore, RN, MPH, PhD (left) and Debbie Bamberger, RN, MS, WHNP-BC (right).

At the same time, Dr. Parker also emphasized the importance of clearly communicating the scientific facts about abortion. He lamented how often opponents of abortion succeed in stirring up “epidemiological mischief,” his term for the manipulation of data to make misleading claims. Those false narratives have real consequences, including policies that inhibit abortion access and media coverage that propagates myths about abortion.

Finally, Dr. Parker called on providers to support one another in ways big and small. He urged OBGYN physicians to support colleagues in family medicine and nursing advocating for the inclusion of abortion care in their scopes of practice. He encouraged each provider in the audience to imbue their life’s work with hope and levity, no matter the opposition they face.

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