Pro-choice organizations celebrate abortion providers as 'superheroes' on day of 'appreciation'

Abortion providers received a chorus of praise and recognition on Tuesday as pro-choice organizations marked "National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day."

"Happy Abortion Provider Appreciation Day to all those who enable women to control their own destinies! You are all real live superheroes," tweeted Ilyse Hogue, the head of NARAL, one of the nation's foremost abortion advocacy organizations.

Alongside her tweet was a gif showing DC Comics superheroes like Batman and Wonder Woman.

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The Lilith Fund -- which carries the name of an ancient demon who, according to mythology, preyed on children and pregnant women -- similarly tweeted a gif of Wonder Woman.

Abortion providers also got support Tuesday from the city council in St. Paul, Minn., which approved a resolution to officially mark Tuesday as "Abortion Providers Appreciation Day."

The designation is intended "to honor the memory of Dr. David Gunn and the many other abortion providers and clinic staff face who support women's patients' reproductive choices." Gunn was killed in 1993 outside his clinic in Pensacola, Fla., by a man who reportedly shouted, "Don't kill any more babies."

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The National Network of Abortion Funds also defended abortion providers, tweeting that clinics offered "compassionate and essential care to their communities."

The praise for abortion providers came roughly a week after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a legal challenge to Louisiana's law requiring abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Pro-life advocates have defended the bill as a common-sense measure to protect women's health. Opponents argue that the bill is a thinly-veiled attempt to block abortion access, claiming that many doctors might not be able to comply with the law's requirements.

Pro-life activists roundly condemned the attempt to celebrate providers. "Every day, over 2000 innocent children lose their lives to abortion in the U.S.," Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins tweeted.

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The pro-life group Live Action similarly tweeted quotes from abortion providers who claimed the procedure was a form of killing or murder.

Dr. Anthony Levatino, an obstetrician who previously performed abortions, has since turned against the practice and has helped produce videos with animated depictions and detailed descriptions of abortions. One of the procedure's most outspoken opponents was the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a physician and NARAL co-founder who performed and oversaw more than 60,000 abortions. He helped produce The Silent Scream, a 1984 pro-life film that shows ultrasound images of how abortions affected unborn children.

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The appreciation day touched on a sensitive topic as abortion survivors have recently spoken out about the practice. Fox News previously reported that pro-life speaker Gianna Jessen claimed she was "burned alive" in a botched saline abortion. Meanwhile, the group Faces of Choice, which exists to bring awareness to people born alive after failed abortions, has also released an ad with several adults claiming to be abortion survivors.

At the end of February, House Democrats rejected Republicans' attempt to recommit legislation that would have required medical care for infants who survive abortions.