Womens Health

George Tiller's Work Must Continue

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May 31, 2011 is the 2-year anniversary of the assasination of Dr. George Tiller.  Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health recently gave awards to several providers at an event in New York. The following are the comments made by Dr. Tiller's wife, Jeanne Tiller, in her introduction of Dr. Eleanor Drey, the recipient of the 2011 George Tiller, MD, Abortion Provider Award. The reference below is to Jodi Magee, President of PRCH.  Comments by Dr. Drey can be found here.

Thank you Jodi and thank you everyone for being here. It is always a pleasure and bittersweet to reconnect with friends and associates of George.

Again, he would be honored that an award was created in his name.

But what he would say to all of you and especially to Dr. Eleanor Drey is that your work is continuing. There was no Q U I T in G E O R G E. It wasn't in his vocabulary, and there should be no Q U I T in any of us.

I will continue my work on his fund which we have nicknamed The George Fund and you continue to fight for womens reproductive rights. Now I would like to tell you about this year’s recipient, Dr. Eleanor Drey.

Although she finished her family planning fellowship only nine years ago, Dr. Eleanor Drey has made a huge impact on the health of women in California and across the country.

Dr. Drey is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences of the University of California, San Francisco.

She is also the Medical Director of the Women’s Options Center at San Francisco General Hospital, one of only two clinics in Northern and Central California that provide abortion services for women beyond 18 weeks’ gestational age and that accept all types of MediCal—California’s state health funding for low-income women.

At Dr. Drey’s instigation and through her leadership, the clinic raised its gestational age limit to 24 weeks for all cases and increased provision for abortions beyond 24 weeks for indications of the woman’s health or for fetal compromise.

These critical improvements in the clinic’s services show Dr. Drey’s commitment to all patients, no matter how complicated their health or their lives.

Her skill and dedication have inspired the scores of physicians she has trained to do abortions. Residents and fellows from multiple specialties have learned abortion techniques from her.

Dr. Drey’s lecture about abortion to UCSF’s second-year medical students has been nominated for or won the "best lecture of second year" award many times.

Many of these students, residents, and fellows have gone on to become the next generation of leaders in abortion care, research, and policy.

As a pioneering researcher focused on abortion patients’ safety, Dr. Drey has published studies that led to significant changes in the way abortion is provided throughout the country and affected related policy.

For instance, her systematic review of studies on fetal pain—published in JAMA and co-authored by leaders in neuroscience, anesthesia, and neonatology—has impacted policy discussions at the state and national level.

Dr. Drey has repeatedly advocated for her patients in the public sphere. She worked with the San Francisco District Attorney to oppose a Bush administration demand for second-trimester patients’ medical records.

Dr. Drey also testified in the federal case about the ban on so-called “partial birth abortion.”