A Mississippi-based abortionist and staunch advocate for women's rights has described himself as a man of faith whose basis for his profession is his Christian "compassion" and says that he believes that what he is doing is honorable.
In an interview with Salon in New York, Dr. Willie Parker explained how he uses his Christian faith as the basis for his abortion profession. The obstetrician-gynecologist, who travels to different states in the South to provide abortion services to women there, said even religious women terminate their pregnancies.
"I had reached a point where I concluded that women needing abortion care was not outside the confines of the compassion that I should have for them as a Christian and a physician," Dr. Parker told Salon. "Good women have abortions every day. Women with religious faith have abortions every day."
"As a person of faith, I understand how you can feel conflicted because you feel judged by your tradition, but that you can also choose to interpret your tradition as respecting and honoring the sacredness of your ability to make a decision," Parker added.
In an Esquire article published in July 2014, Dr. Parker's abortion profession is described as a "ministry." At that time, his was the only remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi and the state was trying to shut it down, leading him to fly to other states just to perform the procedure.
Mississippi implements some of the strictest abortion laws in the U.S. Pregnant women are required to finish a 24-hour waiting period before undergoing the procedure, and the state also requires parental consent and face-to-face counseling with the doctor.
Parker told Esquire that he encounters Christian women who weep because they are torn between adhering to their beliefs and having an abortion. For him, terminating one's pregnancy does not make a Christian woman a hypocrite. He explained that one can never be able to tell how someone decides on a certain "jacked-up" situation unless she is the one going through it.