The afternoon of Dr. Barnett Slepian’s memorial service, Melisa Marin and other interns at the National Abortion Federation sat outside, “groping for an image of hope.” The violent death of Dr. Slepian, a Buffalo, New York, abortion provider who was brutally murdered last year, left Marin with a feeling that something needed to be done.
The “image of hope” that came out of the chaos was the “Keep Choice Alive Ride.” On June 8, Marin, with a few companions, began a cross-country bicycle trip to raise awareness about the shortage of abortion providers and to protest anti-abortion violence. Her trip started in San Francisco, and was scheduled to end in New Hampshire 52 days later (averaging 80 miles a day).
One of the greatest obstacles to safe and legal abortions, say the sponsors of Marin’s ride, Medical Students for Choice and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, is the absence of doctors trained to perform abortions. Abortion procedures are generally not included in medical schools’ curricula unless specifically requested by a student. Although she hopes to raise awareness and funds through her ride, Marin commented, “I only hope my ride will honor Dr. Slepian’s memory.”
To get involved, contact MSFC at (510) 540-1195, or NARAL at (202) 973-3000.