Last updated on: 5/9/2017 | Author:

Willie Parker, MD, MPH Biography

Obstetrician, Gynecologist, and Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH)
Pro to the question "Should Abortion Be Legal?"

“I remain a follower of Jesus. And I believe that as an abortion provider I am doing God’s work. I am protecting women’s rights, their human right to decide their future for themselves, and to live their lives as they see fit…

The people who pass the new laws [to restrict access to abortion] concern themselves with fetuses, but these are humans I am caring for—real people, not merely biological organisms with the potential to become such. These individuals have full, messy imperfect lives—and hopes and dreams that will or won’t come true. Aren’t they entitled to the authors of their own stories, find their own victories and happiness, make their own mistakes, without a congress of legislators dictating what they must do?…

Rather than judge them, I give them what they came here for—as expertly, safely, quickly, and painlessly as I can—and I send them home so they can resume the lives they want, and not lives that some authority may want for them.”

Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice, 2017

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Traveling abortion provider, 2009-present
  • Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH), 2007-present
  • Medical Director, Planned Parenthood, Washington, DC, June 2009-July 2011
  • Director, Division of Family Planning and Preventive Services, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, Aug. 2008-May 2009
  • Clinical Lecturer, University of Michigan, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, July 2006-July 2008
  • Fellow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Planning, University of Michigan, July 2006-June 2008
  • Examiner and Expert Witness, Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, June 2003-June 2006
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, 2002-2006
  • Resident, Preventive Medicine, University of California at San Francisco-University of California at Berkeley Joint Program, July 2000-June 2001
  • Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Centers for Disease Control, July 1998-June 2000
  • Staff Physician, Merced Community Medical Center, Merced, CA, July 1994-June 1997
  • Staff Physician, Mercy Hospital, Merced, CA, July 1994-June 1997
  • Resident, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, July 1990-June 1994
  • MS, Heath and Health Care Research, University of Michigan, 2008
  • MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, 1998
  • MD, The University of Iowa College of Medicine, 1990
  • BA, Berea College, 1986
  • Other:
    • Recipient, Dr. David Gunn Lifetime Achievement Award, Abortion Care Network, 2016
    • Recipient, Margaret Sanger Award, Planned Parenthood, 2015
    • Recipient, Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award, American Public Health Association, 2015
    • Recipient, Physicians for Reproductive Health Dr. George Tiller Provider Award, 2013
    • Earned Board Certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1996
    Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Should Abortion Be Legal?