This is a guest post by an abortion doctor. Her name has been removed to protect her and her family.

I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you regarding abortion. I’m a doctor who does both 1st and 2nd trimester abortions.

Although most of my practice is general OB/GYN, I’m something of an abortion “specialist” because most folks in my profession don’t want to be involved in abortions. I work for a large group where abortions are sent to those of us who will do them, so I perform literally hundreds of abortions a year.

First of all, I and most of my abortionist colleagues are women. Most of us are Jews, atheists, and other non-Christians. Almost all of us are mothers. I continued to perform abortions late into my own pregnancies, and you could literally see the appreciation in the eyes of my patients, knowing that I accepted and supported their reproductive choice.

I rarely tell anyone but my closest friends and family that I do abortions because I don’t want to risk myself or my family. Those crazies out there scare me.

Who Gets Abortions and Why?

We all know that anti-abortionists aren’t really “pro-life,” they are “pro-forced birth.” They make huge assumptions about who the women are who actually have abortions. They think that all the women who have abortions are just young flaky women who have no concern for the life of the embryo/fetus they are aborting. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Most of the women seeking early abortion are either very young or in the late part of their reproductive life. The youngsters are often coerced into unwanted pregnancies by their partners, or they didn’t think or know that they could get pregnant. Some of the older women think they couldn’t get pregnant because they were “too old.”

The decision to have an abortion is an agonizing decision, that few women choose lightly. They will be criticized for whatever decision they make. What kind of terrible mother could kill her own child? What kind of terrible mother could give her child away to strangers? What kind of terrible mother would keep a child she can’t afford to care for?

Did you know that half of the abortions done in this country are done because of birth control failure?

The “pro-coerced birthers” think that these are immoral women who should be punished for their (sex) sins with an innocent child. Then they complain about “welfare mothers” who need money to support their children. Those “precious babies” become children who they don’t want to feed. Aren’t Christians supposed to provide charity for those who need it? Worse then that, they don’t want to use federal funds to provide effective contraception or abortions for poor women. They just want to keep punishing women. Of course, if it’s one of their own, she just “made a mistake, she’s really a good girl.” Abortions happen in the fundie community too, don’tcha know.

Did you know that 1/3 of women who have abortions had a partner who sabotaged their birth control method? This is true domestic violence.

Women who have abortions come from all walks of life. This is not a phenomenon of only the inner city. Many are educated, and most of them are just plain middle class people.

The 1st trimester and early 2nd trimester abortions are most frequently done as elective abortions for unwanted pregnancies. I don’t like to do elective terminations after 22 weeks because of the viability issue. Late 2nd trimester pregnancies are very different.

Virtually all of the late 2nd trimester abortions I do are for fetal anomalies, fetal deaths, and for maternal health reasons. These poor souls really wanted their babies. They are in deep mourning because of the loss of their children. They come in deep grief, many times feeling guilty because they are “killing” their loved and wanted children. They worry if the baby will feel the abortion, and they don’t want their child to suffer.

Performing Abortions

Many folks wonder what it’s like to perform abortions. First trimester abortions (dilation and curettage, D&C) are very unremarkable. Our patients are awake but sedated. The procedure is performed with a suction curette (hard plastic tube), and in the hands of an experienced abortionist, suctioning out the pregnancy lasts less than a minute. The “products of conception” come out as just a mass of undefined tissue about the size of a golf ball. No thunder and lightning. Most patients have worked themselves up to have it be a long, grueling process, but are shocked at how short the procedure is.

2nd trimester abortions are very different. The later procedure is much more difficult and riskier for the mom, hence the limited number of us who actually do them. They are also unpleasant, because the procedure (dilation and evacuation, D&E) involves pulling out the baby in pieces. That all being said, the procedure (in the hands of an expert) is much safer than inducing the delivery, and has a much lower complication rate that the induction does. Many of these poor parents don’t want to be awake for the birth of the child they are going to lose, and just prefer to lose the child under general anesthesia.

I’ve never done the famous “D&X” (dilation and extraction, “partial birth abortion”) procedure. This was the one that was outlawed because opponents thought it was too horrible of a procedure. The concept was to try to deliver the baby intact, but the brain matter was suctioned out to allow the delivery of the head through the cervix. This procedure was designed so that the parents of the child could hold an intact baby, back of the head covered up, after a surgical abortion. Not because we horrible abortionists love to torture babies and then kill them.

Why Do I Perform Abortions?

I would be the happiest person in the world to never do another abortion again. So why do I do them? Because pregnant women with unwanted pregnancies are willing to risk just about anything, including almost killing themselves, in order to try to end unwanted pregnancies.

I remember reading some statistics comparing abortions in the U.S. and Mexico, before they were legal there. About the same number of abortions were done in each country, just over 1 million abortions a year. In the U.S. about 10 women died as a result of legal abortion. In Mexico, about 10,000 women per year died as a result of illegal abortions. 10,000 women who were mothers, sisters, daughters, wives. Not pre-viable fetuses.

There’s excellent evidence that in countries where women control their reproduction, the families are more prosperous. Funny that, women knowing when it’s a good or a bad time to add a child to their family.

You would never pick out an abortionist in the crowd. We would probably be the last people you would figure. We are the kindest, most compassionate people you would wish to meet. We are, however, very passionate about protecting the lives and reproductive rights of our patients.

Last time I checked, abortion was legal in this country. But I can tell you that the people who oppose abortion have no feelings of any kind for the poor women who have to make the terrible decision to end a pregnancy for whatever reason. They want to end abortion because they love those theoretical innocent children.

Oh, yeah, forgot that we are all born sinners. Maybe they aren’t such great babies after all.


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This was a really powerful and insightful post.

Very eloquently written. I'll be passing this along to my pro-life relatives.
A deeply moving and insightful view into a world that most people hope to never have to visit. Thank you.

That is all.
Incredibly open, honest, deeply thoughtful, and courageous post. Many people don't want to hear things like this...but they need to.
When I was in Thailand, (where abortion is illegal, but 'the pill' and other contraceptives are over the counter and readily available) I read an article in the paper from an anonymous abortion doctor. S/He said that over half of the abortions s/he performs are from Muslim women who have been raped and fear for their physical safety if anyone finds out they are no longer virginal. (Apparently being knocked up is a good indication of such.) After that, the second highest group of women were again Muslim and married, but couldn't keep birth control in the house because their husband forbids it.
So yeah, this shows me that abortion is the only lifeline some women have in deciding their reproductive future. Without it, they are just incubators with legs.
Thank you. This is an extremely powerful post.
When I was 24 I had a surprise pregnancy. I was single and had untreated depression. There was no option for me to get an abortion, because there was no physician who would perform one in the province I lived in.
I had the baby, and gave him up for adoption.. but during the course of my pregnancy I attempted suicide twice.
I lived through hell.
Somehow, I made it through, but I would be lying if I said that I wouldn't have chosen an abortion if it had been available to me.
It makes me very sad to think of how many women have to suffer, because they have no control over their own reproductive rights.
This reminds me of a quote from the book/movie Cider House Rules, where the old doctor says that sometimes he delivers the mother and sometimes delivers the baby. There is pain and loss in either case. Thank you for sharing these insights.
With that said, you have to keep in mind that it goes the other way: women purposely sabotage birth control too, resulting in the male providing for an unwanted child caused by a false pretense provided by the woman. That is just as bad as the other way around.

There are fallacies in the thought processes that defend abortion in that they generally only take into account the perspective and opinion of the woman, yet the male is just as responsible for the child; in both the process behind the abortion, or the process behind the birth. It should be a truly consensual situation in that both the male and the female can choose which they want, with a no-obligations sign-out should one choose to keep the child while the other does not. If we're supporting abortion--which I am all for--we need to make it fair. As it is the male has no conclusive say in the matter, and his rights are unfairly stripped from him.
I agree. The male does not assume any risks beyond the sexual act itself. He doesn't risk his health during gestation or risk complications or death in giving birth.
there is a problem with your suggestion Jen, embryo transplants do not "solve" a man's "rights" to a "child." though this might relieve a woman of forced pregnancy and the risks of child birth, the potential "child" would still be hers.... a surrogate mom, rent a womb or even a petri dish big enough to grow a fetus to viability outside a womb, is still not the bio mom. .... a child once born has rights to her/his parental status.... I am a surrogate father, an artificial insemination donor.....I agreed and signed away any intention of searching for any possible children....though there are "registries" where birth parents are signed up so that kids can come find us..... courts have consistently allowed children to negotiate for the estate of their parents, but not to the extent of extortion.... Bill Cosby had a "love child" try to shake him down for more money and she was rebuffed at bar. Cosby gave large amounts of money to the mom. Your scenario holds such problems unresolved, just the medical parasitism is ended in your plan.
Mick is completely off base with his twist on male sabotage of birth control. No two way street boy. No woman is "tricking" you into two decades of child support. If you do not have a vasectomy, you are responsible for the consequences. You are responsible for your sperm. No exceptions. Any child born to a willing healthy mom is your child if you gave her the sperm. DNA paternity test settles that. Unless you have a twin/triplet brother/s fucking your girlfriend. There are a few situations where you do have the power of choice, when "she" is unconscious and when you have proof of a living will. No wanted fetus is at fault. No embryo or fetus has rights to parasitism of a woman. Life begins with a willing health mom. Life begins with a willing healthy mom. There are sperms there are eggs and there are choices. Fuck theocracy and fuck patriarchal misogynists. Get it right gawdboys, life begins with a willing healthy mom. Don't enslave any woman into unwanted pregnancy or force her to be carrying a dead or dying fetus to term. This doctor is a heroic gynecologist. She did not invite Mick into his idiotic post about women "Unfair to him?" Sterilize your self or squirt extra spermacide into your condoms and ask your partner to spread extra spermacide all over her diaphragm. There are female condoms too. Your sperm are unfair to you Mick until you train them all to climb pubic hair not fallopian tubes


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