One month after the supreme court end the protection of right to abortion in United States, the social fracture that caused the ruling is still present in all areas of society. At demonstrations in the streets and the politicians’ statements has been added in the last hours the gesture of protest of a medicine promotion that has risen against speech from one of his teachers anti-abortionists.
It has happened at the University of Michigan, where hundreds of students have abandoned their welcoming act to the professionthe call “white coat ceremony“, as a sign of opposition to the main intervention of the gala starring Dr Kristin Colliera faculty professor who had made openly “pro-life” public comments.
In the pictures spread on social networks the students, dressed in their immaculate white coats, can be seen leaving the room just as Dr. Collier was about to speak. In a few hours, the video has become a viral phenomenon and has received more than 100,000 retweets and 800,000 likes.
The numerous reactions to the tweet show the latent division of opinions in the United States. Some of them have applauded the action: “As a retired doctor, I greet and congratulate each one of you who followed your conscience and stood up and left. Using this platform to express your respect for medical autonomy is a first step to fulfill its commitment”, has defended the user Tia Will (@medwoman1).
Incoming medical students walk out at University of Michigan’s white coat ceremony as the keynote speaker is openly anti-abortion pic.twitter.com/Is7KmVV811
— Scorpio (@PEScorpiio) July 24, 2022
Among the different answers also stand out several tweets in defense of the teacherwhich for the moment has limited itself to asking for respect towards its students after it became known that some of them have been attacked after the act.
Yemisi Adejumo (@YemisiAdejumoMD), former pupil of Collier, has explained that, although she does not share his ideological position, “Collie’s personal beliefs never emerged during the courses” she taught: “I learned a lot from her without religious overtones. She is a great doctor and a great teacher”, she defended.
i know there are various thoughts about what happened at the white coat ceremony, @UMichMedAdmiss but I’ve heard that some of the students who walked out have been harassed and targeted—please stop. everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe in
— Kristin Collier (@KristinCollie20) July 26, 2022
A previous statement anticipated the sit-in
According to the local media, the collective action had been brewing for days. Before the act, over 300 students signed an application to prevent the teacher from giving the ceremony speech. Through a statement open to the public, the students made their position clear.
“This it’s not just a personal disagreement; through our petition we stand in solidarity against groups that are trying to end human rights and restrict medical care,” the students stated in the letter.
In addition, they explained that it was time to position themselves in the face of recent events. “Medicine is inherently political to the extent that the health of current and future patients is dictated and shaped by social and political forces”, pointed out one of the anonymous reflections included in the statement.
“It is simply irrational that Dr. Collier speak at a ceremony in which incoming students promise to defend the autonomy of patients when she herself devalues such a moral principle,” they sentenced at the time.