Women's Journal

Reproductive Rights Advocacy with Dr. Shila Patel

Reproductive Rights Advocacy with Dr. Shila Patel
Photo Courtesy: Dr. Shila Patel

Dr. Shila Patel, M.D., a retired Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist, has dedicated her life to helping individuals achieve better mental health. With a rich background in medicine, psychiatry, and a successful private practice, Dr. Patel’s journey is an inspiring tale of perseverance, passion, and advocacy. Now, she is turning her attention to a critical issue that affects millions of women across the United States: reproductive rights.

A Journey of Dedication and Inspiration

Dr. Patel’s path to psychiatry began during her medical training, where she met two child psychiatrists who inspired her to specialize in this field. Initially interested in pediatrics, Dr. Patel found her true calling in child psychiatry. Her extensive training included six years of medical school and five years of psychiatric training, which encompassed a two-year fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Over her 22 years in private practice, she treated patients in both hospital and outpatient settings, helping countless individuals and families.

However, her journey was not without challenges. Male administrators with less training often tried to dictate her practice, leading Dr. Patel to establish her own office. This bold move allowed her to build equity in her business and run a successful practice alongside other therapists, doctors, and staff. This experience taught her the importance of confidence and self-belief, lessons she now imparts through her writing and advocacy.

Unique Perspectives and Career Highlights

Dr. Patel’s career is marked by her unique position as the only female psychiatrist in South Georgia for 15 years, catering to children and women who preferred a female doctor. Her ability to help thousands of patients achieve better mental health and gain insight into their struggles is a testament to her dedication and expertise. During the pandemic, she channeled her experiences into writing three books aimed at helping individuals understand and navigate mental health issues in the context of societal dysfunction.

Dr. Patel’s personal background adds depth to her professional insights. Born in Africa to an Indian family, she witnessed firsthand the harsh realities of female genital mutilation and the second-class status of women in many cultures. Her parents’ progressive mindset allowed her and her sisters to pursue higher education in England, a privilege that shaped her views on gender equality and empowerment.

Advocacy for Reproductive Rights

In her latest endeavor, Dr. Patel addresses the pressing issue of reproductive rights in America. The reversal of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court has reignited debates on women’s autonomy and healthcare. Dr. Patel passionately argues against the conservative push to limit women’s reproductive rights, emphasizing the mental health implications of such restrictions.

Politicians and anti-abortion advocates often focus solely on the unborn child, ignoring the profound impact on young girls, women, and mothers who find themselves in untenable situations. Dr. Patel highlights the trauma and mental health issues that can arise from forced pregnancies, particularly in cases of rape or incest. She questions the lack of support for prenatal care, child-rearing, and mental health services for these women and their children.

Dr. Patel also critiques the hypocrisy of conservative policies that seek to control women’s bodies while neglecting the broader implications for women’s lives and careers. She points out that men are not subjected to similar restrictions, such as mandatory vasectomies or financial responsibilities for unintended pregnancies.

A Call to Action

Dr. Patel’s advocacy extends beyond reproductive rights. She calls for a separation of politics and religion, as outlined in the Division of State and Church. She urges women to stand up for their rights and demand equality, challenging the conservative narrative that seeks to diminish women’s autonomy.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.” Dr. Patel echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that women’s rights are fundamental to their dignity and well-being.

Moving Forward

Looking ahead, Dr. Patel aims to continue her advocacy through podcasts, radio shows, and other media. She seeks to promote mental health awareness and provide insight into the underlying causes of anger, depression, and anxiety in society. Her goal is to be a voice of reason amidst the division and turmoil in America, encouraging individuals to find hope and direction.

Dr. Patel’s books cover a range of topics, from gun violence and the #MeToo movement to parenting and making positive life choices. By driving traffic to her website and promoting her books, she hopes to offer valuable resources for those struggling with mental health issues and seeking solutions.

Dr. Shila Patel’s journey from a medical student inspired by child psychiatrists to a leading advocate for reproductive rights is a testament to her dedication and resilience. Her work highlights the critical intersection of mental health and women’s rights, offering a powerful message of empowerment and hope for the future.

Reproductive Rights Advocacy with Dr. Shila Patel_2

Photo Courtesy: Dr. Shila Patel

For more information and to explore Dr. Patel’s books, visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, check out her mini-movie on YouTube to gain further insight into her work and advocacy.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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