Fighting Abortion Restrictions in a Hostile State: My Experience Testifying at the Texas Legislature
by Katie Hansen MS1 at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin The 2017 legislative session in Texas has been a disheartening one for women and the pro-choice movement. State lawmakers have already proposed 17 bills that would make it more difficult for women to access abortion. On February 15th, I testified at …
Kristin Prewitt is from Milwaukee and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in English Literature. While at UW-Madison, she worked on multiple public health projects examining health care disparities in women’s health with the Center for Women’s Health Research and the UW OB/GYN Department; served as an editor for The Madison Journal of Literary Criticism and The Badger Herald newspaper; established the university’s first national humanities conference on language and literature for undergraduate students; and founded an organization for humanities outreach, supporting the Writers in Prisons Project and Wisconsin Books to Prisoners. It was as an undergrad that she developed a passion for the nexus between the humanities, medicine, and activism.
Currently, she is a medical student at the University of South Florida, working on a dual MD/MPH in Epidemiology degree. In addition to serving on MSFC’s Board of Directors, she works as Executive Director of BRIDGE Clinic, a student-run free clinic serving undocumented and underserved patients. Through BRIDGE, she is involved in numerous research and quality improvement projects working to address barriers to medical care in a low-income, primarily Spanish-speaking population. She also started a research project with Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, examining social support in the abortion procedure room. Due to her experience as a teenage parent, she serves as a consultant for a regional nonprofit, whose mission is to decrease teenage pregnancy through interdisciplinary work. She has also served as president of her local Medical Students for Choice, American Medical Women’s Association, and OB/GYN Interest Group chapters. She led a group of interdisciplinary health students to provide monthly services and biannual health fairs to the local women’s shelter, working to increase community awareness of the effects of intimate partner violence on health in the Tampa area. She also volunteers regularly with the Tampa Bay Street Medicine group, providing basic care to the local homeless population. In 2016, she was inducted into the national Gold Humanism Honor Society for her dedication to humanistic medical care and serving the underserved. Additionally, she has written articles about health care activism.
As a teenage parent before the time of 16 & Pregnant, Juno, and Teen Mom, she experienced the weight of social stigmatization and the pressure of having to navigate an identity continuously defined by stereotypes. Because of this, she is dedicated to utilizing medicine as a means for societal improvement and providing care to those most often neglected by the medical community. She plans to be an abortion provider and is particularly interested in working with at-risk adolescents and LGBTQ+ youth.
In her free time, she tries to go trash-free with her 8-year-old daughter and three cats.