Why This Pregnant Abortion Provider Is Passionate About Her Work

"I go where I'm needed," Sierra Washington, MD says in the video above, an episode of Planned Parenthood's new YouTube series Stories of Care. No Matter What. Dr. Washington is the medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, where she oversees 18 health centers. Among the many services Planned Parenthood offers, Dr. Washington provides help to women seeking abortions. She's also seven months pregnant, something she says helps her empathize with her patients. "There’s a certain solidarity amongst patients when they see that I'm pregnant," she says. Dr. Washington's story is just one of 12 in Planned Parenthood's new video series, which launched Thursday on the organization's YouTube Channel. The series, made in collaboration with a network of independent filmmakers, aims to be a conduit for patients and providers to tell their own stories about the role that Planned Parenthood plays in their lives. "After a year of unprecedented attacks on our organization — from increased legislative battles, to video smear campaigns, to the devastating shooting in Colorado Springs — we wanted to let our patients and providers tell their own stories," Elizabeth Clark, Planned Parenthood's director of health media, said in a press release. Dr. Washington says that she was also a Planned Parenthood patient during her third year of medical school, when she got an abortion at her local health center. "I remember feeling like a ton of bricks had been dropped down on my shoulders," she recalls, "and wondering like, How am I going to get through this last year of medical school and go on to be a mother?" Going through this has made her more compassionate to the experiences of the women she's treating. "I can empathize with the patients a lot more, having been through it myself," she says. Watch the video about Dr. Washington above, and check out Planned Parenthood's channel to see the entire series.

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