Write An essay. ( first paragraph being a summary and the remaining paragraphs YOUR opinion of the article.) MLA FORMAT
Please STATE YOUR OPINION
May of 1990, several hundred physicians gathered in a conference hall at an Atlanta hotel, as uniformed guards stood at the door. Colleagues traded tips about installing bulletproof glass in their offices and spoke about fielding hate mail and death threats. It was the annual gathering of the National Abortion Federation, or N.A.F., a professional association with a beleaguered membership. At the time, fewer than a fifth of the counties in the United States had abortion providers. Since the mid-eighties, clinics across the country had been blockaded, vandalized, and firebombed. Most of the physicians at the conference were well into middle age. The right to safe, legal abortion, which had been established by Roe v. Wade, in 1973, would be rendered meaningless if a new generation of providers didn’t emerge soon.
There was at least one younger face at the conference: Steven Chase Brigham. A handsome, genial man in his mid-thirties, with a square jaw and sandy brown hair, Brigham was a recent graduate of Columbia University’s medical school. Articulate, well dressed, and polite, he seemed unusually relaxed and upbeat for an abortion provider.
“You sort of notice the newbies, and he seemed like a very personable young man,” Dr. Suzanne Poppema, a former director of N.A.F., recalls. “He was just getting started in the abortion-care business, and was really eager to learn and ask questions.” When talking with N.A.F. members, Brigham repeatedly emphasized the importance of treating patients with respect. Dr. Curtis Boyd, one of N.A.F.’s founders, says, “He knew all the right things to say. He’s very charming.”
By the mid-aughts, Brigham was the owner of a large chain of abortion clinics, American Women’s Services. There were more than a dozen branches, in four states: Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, where he was based. The chain had expanded, in part, because he advertised aggressively, promising “caring and supportive” counsellors and “very low fees.” In addition, the number of abortion providers had continued to decline, creating a vacuum that Brigham was able to fill. “Dedicated to Reproductive Freedom and Quality Women’s Healthcare,” the Web site of American Women’s Services proclaimed, above a photograph of a smiling female physician in a white coat.
Brigham, who was born in 1956, grew up in a middle-class family in Toledo, Ohio. A gifted athlete who excelled at wrestling and tennis, he also stood out academically. In 1974, he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he double-majored in physics and applied biology. He then entered an M.D.-Ph.D. program at Columbia. Although he embarked on a Ph.D. in molecular biology, he never completed a dissertation. Upon receiving his M.D., he did a yearlong internship in internal medicine at the Westchester Medical Center, then bounced around jobs: a few spells in emergency rooms, a stint at a smoking-cessation clinic.
One day, while reading the classifieds in the Times, Brigham noticed that a gynecology center in Flushing was soliciting applications for a staff-physician position. Although he was not trained as a gynecologist, he applied, and he was hired. He soon found himself observing, and then performing, various medical procedures there, including first- and second-trimester abortions.
Brigham could see that there was a high demand for abortion, even in places where it was viewed with skepticism or hostility. In 1990, he travelled to a small, conservative town in southeastern Pennsylvania called Wyomissing and signed a lease to rent space on the ground floor of an office building. For someone who had spent the previous decade in New York City, Wyomissing—a few miles west of Reading—was a curious destination. It was also a daring place to open an abortion clinic. Brigham told the building’s owners that he intended to start a family-medicine practice, with abortion integrated into a broader repertoire of care.