February 10, 2004 - Colorado Daily: Brazil Peace Corps Physician Warren Hern is abortion-rights activist

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Brazil: Peace Corps Brazil: The Peace Corps in Brazil: February 10, 2004 - Colorado Daily: Brazil Peace Corps Physician Warren Hern is abortion-rights activist

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-42-145.balt.east.verizon.net - on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - 9:32 pm: Edit Post

Brazil Peace Corps Physician Warren Hern is abortion-rights activist

Brazil Peace Corps Physician Warren Hern is abortion-rights activist

Hern still on front lines
By ERIN WIGGINS Colorado Daily Staff

Dr. Warren Hern's objection to HB04-1070 is just another chapter in the Boulder physician's long history as an abortion-rights activist.

Hern's Boulder office, bulletproof since a 1988 assassination attempt, has been home to one of the oldest abortion clinics in Colorado.

He said he never planned it that way.

A graduate of CU's medical school in 1965, Hern served as Peace Corps physician in Brazil for two years before studying epidemiology at the University of North Carolina in order to become a teacher.

"Then I was asked to start the first non-profit abortion clinic in Colorado," he said of his entry into the field in the early 1970's. "I had no intention of practicing medicine. I thought I would [work at the clinic] for a year or two and go back to school. But here we are, 30 years later."

In his 1994 article, "Life on the Frontlines," Hern described an epiphany that kept him going through the many trials and tribulations of his career choice. After performing his first abortion on a 17-year-old high-school student, he said he discovered his ability to change people's lives.

"I was relieved that this young woman was safe to go on with her life and realize her dreams," he said in the article. "Her tears and the immensity of the moment brought my tears. I had helped her change her life. I had found a new definition of the idea of medicine as an act of compassion and love for one's fellow human beings."

But Hern's realization would vault him onto a difficult and controversial path as one of the most outspoken abortion-rights advocates in the country - and one of the most hated.

Threatening phone calls were a reality from the very beginning in 1973, he said.

He is still met with a lot of hostility today, particularly for his work with late-term abortion.

A 2003 editorial on the National Right to Life Web site, http://www.nrlc.org, described Hern as a "master... of poisoning, dismembering, and otherwise smashing older unborn babies to smithereens."

Two of the more life-threatening events occurred in the past 20 years. In 1988, five shots were fired through the front window of Hern's clinic, and in 1995, the Coalition of Life Activists announced Hern as one of 13 abortion doctors they wished to assassinate. He was placed under 24-hour surveillance by U.S. federal marshals.

Despite the adversity, Hern emphasized that he has never backed down, winning the Carl Schulz Award from the American Health Association for his work in the field in 2002.

He worries that because of the controversy, few younger doctors are entering the field of abortion practice.

"Why would any doctor want to do this?" he asked. "If you want to have a happy, normal life, you shouldn't do this."

Hern, who also dabbles in photography and environmental activism, refused to speculate on whether he would follow the same path if he had it all to do over again.

"That's a moot point," he said, but added: "I [just] felt this was the most important thing I could do with medicine."

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Colorado Daily

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Brazil; Abortion Rights; Family Planning



By shansa (dial2-ras2-157.eot.com - on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - 9:03 pm: Edit Post

i think abortion is crewl and the person who does it is sick minded they shoouldnt give a childs life they should give the baby up for adoption and actually let it live i think it is discusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

By Mike White (lions04.nga.mil - on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 5:38 pm: Edit Post

I'm glad to hear that someone is still brave enough to stand up for women's rights in the face of all the religious right-wing abuse and pressure to endure unwanted pregnancies in this male dominated society.

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.