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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I love the thoughts from the doctor, but what you are suggesting is a problem that has permeated the US. There are so many woman out there who are all to willing to scream, "my body, my choice" but in the same breath say that if a woman decides to have the child then the man should have kept his privates in his pants. We want to discuss women's rights without any consideration to the men. Why is it patriarchal misogyny to even discuss the fact that men should have the right to chose if they want a child? I fully understand that a woman incubates the baby, but a woman wants to hold fast to those rights at the exclusion of her partner then she should be willing to uphold her decision on her own. If a woman can say, "life begins with a willing healthy mom," then why can't men say, "fatherhood begins with a willing healthy father." Women get away with those kinds of statements because we allow it and it really is hard to argue that a woman should be forced to have an abortion or forced to carry a child when it's inside her body. You say a man is responsible for the consequences, but don't add that he is responsible for those consequences at a woman's leisure. She can not have the child and a man is forced to live with those consequences, or she can have the child and force him to pay child support and a man is forced to live with those consequences or she can have the child and not tell the father and he is forced to live with those consequences. Why do women get to decide the fate of the man when he has 50% of the responsibility for sex, yet she makes 100% of the reproductive decisions?
This being the case a man is 100% responsible for what results from sex. As is the woman.

Hey! That's 200 percent! ;-)
Can't be too responsible, I suppose.
I ardently disagree. Mainly because I believe you are assuming all men can afford vasectomies and the cost of reversal. And even if a man could afford a vasectomy I don't believe you are taking into consideration what happens after time and types of vasectomy performed. So assuming a young male wants to take the risk of a vasectomy and actually has $1000 to get it then later down the line he has to come up with as much as $10,000 to reverse it and there's any where from 60% to 90% chance that he'll actually have sperm return to the ejaculate. Those are huge numbers. Especially since insurance won't help with a young man who wants to get the vasectomy and it certainly won't pay to have it reconnected. It's as likely to happen as a woman who takes her pill every single day at the exact same time. It's just very unlikely. Also, you are asking men to under go a surgical (even though mild) procedure. So I don't think your vasectomy argument is very strong.

But it still doesn't address the problem of men not getting the same rights as women to decide to have a child once she gets pregnant.
There are a number of's a few

I doubt a man who has low to medium income and chose a vasectomy as birth control, payid the $10,000 later when he wanted to have a child and it didn't work would agree it was a bargain.
I might also mention that the man who finds it "too expensive" to get 'the cut', might want to look into the cost of child support for the next 18 years!! Even if one includes the vasectomy reversing cost of $10 Gs - "the cut" is a bargain!

Good point, Larry! Also, I would like to add that the tubal ligation procedure for women is far, far more expensive and thus out of reach for the majority of working class and poor women (which comprise the majority of women in the US — regardless of educational level).

Another problem (in addition to the pricetage) faced by women here is that if you are under age 35 and have not had at least two children, no doctor is willing to perfrom permanent tubal ligation surgery. Even for women who are clearly tokophobic who know beyond all doubts that they will NEVER want to go through pregnancy and childbirth.

The current attitude and policy in the American medical constabulary is patronizing and paternalistic (and that's putting it kindly!) is that when a woman who knows she never wants to be pregnant and give birth requests a tubal ligation, she gets patronized and her requests are denied with dismissals of "You're too young to know what you want. If you get married and your husband will want kids and this wouldn't be fair to him...Yes, pregnancy and childbirth is hard, but you'll forget the pain and you'll change your mind later"...blah blah blah blah blah.

Access to subsidized or sliding scale irreversible tubal ligation surgery is not available for women who never want to go through pregnancy and childbirth. And from what I understand, young men who try to get vasectomies (which is far more affordable and less invasive than the tubal ligation for women) are being denied their requests to get vasectomies, too — even if they have already sired babies.
The idea of men getting pregnant is a moot point and can't be argued. It's nonsensical in nature and I feel degrades a serious debate. And I am in no way implying that men should be allowed to use women's bodies by virtue of nature denying them the act of carrying a child. However, your statement implies that since men can't have babies then they should some how be slaves to the whims of women.

As I stated above it is a delicate balance because it does involve a woman's body. But we can not infringe on the rights of the father to protect the rights of the mother. By this I mean not to detract from what a woman is allowed to do with her body, but the reactions of court and society after she's made the decision.
Donna, of course you are somewhat correct, it is hypothetical and thereby moot to suggest men could get pregnant.

.....My point and I think every poster who mentions the "if men could pregnant" mantra, is that far too many males are insensitive to women's lives, rights and physical pain from forced birthing and possible death.

.....furthermore, if males could get pregnant, not just the sacrament of abortion would be enshrined by the Vatican, but songs, poems, prayers and culture and typical daily stories would celebrate a man's freedom to choose so that no penis would ever be forced to push out a fetus.....
.....there is no culture of a woman's freedom to choose widely practiced or recognized anywhere on this planet... two daughters face the nationalization of their ovaries, fallopian tubes, uteri and vaginal flesh as priority owned for state interests of all embryonic "life" (sneer quotes) held primary over the subjugated inferiour rights of women to be free of such involuntary servitude UNCOMPENSATED by any hourly wage or 10 lunar month salary, not to mention 22 years of parental obligation for support
An absolutely riveting and informative post.
Wow. Good stuff.

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.

This is the biggest bone I have to pick with the pro-life position. They are only pro-life from conception until birth. After that, babies and people can get fucked.
Ha, no.

This is the biggest bone I have to pick with the pro-choice position. They don't give a fuck about anyone but themselves and the right to have as much sex as they damn well please without any consequences.
What is wrong with sex? Are you sure you aren't still a Catholic? A priest, perhaps, trying to convince yourself sex is evil and the that the alter boys don't look scrumptious?


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