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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As far as I am concerned, protesters at abortion clinics are terrorists, and should be dealt with accordingly. I don't care if they are peaceful and not too crazy, they allow the crazies to exist.

Dude... any respect for you I've ever had just went down the drain with that post... mostly because of that comment, but also due to reasons that Reggie listed below.

Trying to infringe upon my right to peacefully assemble is made all the more disgusting because you DARE try to do so in my name... in the name of a woman who has had to make the decisions both to peacefully protest something I disagreed with, and to walk into an abortion clinic. Please do not think you speak for me.

You call that terrorism? I think your entire post is the least constitutional thing I've ever heard out of you.
People have a government given right to make their opinion heard. If you aren't blocking an entrance or breaking any law that justifiably prevents harassment and intimidation, you are upholding your constitutional duties. Just because I don't like your idiot opinion doesn't mean I won't fight for your right to voice it.
I know. You Canucks are always picking on us.
I may be mistaken on this, but clinics are typically on private property. Protesters must remain on public land. If they tried to interfere, block entrances, or trespass, the clinic can call the police and have the protester's physically removed from the private property.

I have seen protesters at clinics before. They stood peacefully with their signs, well away from the entrance of the clinics, and happily waved to passing cars. If there are fistfights and mayhem at U.S. clinics, then the media is involved in a massive conspiracy to keep it under wraps. It is one teenager with a video camera and a YouTube account shy of being blown wide open.

Until then, this picture painted is mostly scare tactics and rhetoric, as far as I am concerned.
Ralph: "Now why couldn't you guys have drawn up similar, sensible laws that would stop the harassment that eventually leads true believers to make death threats, bomb clinics and kill abortion providers, staff and escorts? Your "right to peacefully assemble" has been taken to the illogical extreme just like your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms!"

Bingo! You nailed it Ralph.

And the thing is, the same folks that view a woman as a life that can be disposed of in the interests of a fetus are the same folks who scream about their "rights" to "be free" and to "bear arms" and blah blah blah blah blah.

Clinics are *supposed to* have "safe zones", but I know for a fact that there are two clinics that do not, thanks to specious and manipulative zoning laws that are being used to jeopardize women, doctors, escorts, and staff. One such clinic is the one where Larry Carter Center is an escort in Charleston, SC. Another is the one where I had to take a 47 year old pregnant neighbor for whom continuing an unwanted pregnancy would have been fatal owing to age-related pre-existing health conditions including, but not limited to, high blood pressure and a heart condition.

Women and girls needing abortions (or other health services are forced to park across the street (due to the zoning ordinances) at the Charleston, SC clinic deal with protesters elbowing them, threatening and intimidating them, screaming "whore" and "murderer" at them, as they try to cross the street to get to the clinic.

The protesters take pictures of every woman, girl, staff person, doctor, and escort; and then stalk them and harass and threaten them — this goes on for three hours every Saturday, the ONLY day that abortions are performed by the doctors which have to be flown in from out of state to do it.

The Catholic "pro-life" mayor of Charleston has denied repeated requests for the clinic's on-site parking to be restored, thus providing a 'safe zone' for patients and staff. These aggressive protesters are NOT adjudicated: the local law enforcement agencies look the other way and wink.
Cracking me up. I would fight anyone's stupid opinions. I will fight Pat Robertson for his stupid fucking opinions. I fought George Bush because of his stupid fucking opinions. Sorry, don't care to be walked on.

I think she meant she would fight for freedom to voice opinions, not the opinions themselves.

Misty, did you read the first post? The history of before Roe vs Wade? I didn't think that was too bad. Oh well, delete, delete, delete. =)

I liked it. Undelete, undelete, undelete.
True dat!
Fair enough.
Like I said, as long as no one is breaking the law by physical aggression, harassment or intimidation, I'm ok with their right to believe and voice whatever. I might think they are idiots for it, but the minute we start interfering with their right to protest, my own right to do so comes into question.
If we consider those twats terrorists, what the hell would I be considered when I'm out there with my signs and slogans against foreign oil or environmental causes?
Personally, I think that Michael Moore's anti-Westbro protest was the best counter to stupidity I've ever seen. Why don't we all get out there and protest the protesters? It keeps everyone's rights safe while getting our message across.
Likewise, Reggie already covered it, but yes. As far as I'm aware, there are safezones/property lines at abortion clinics.
My local idiots are a block away on the corner from the woman's clinic. I drive by them every day on the way to work. No one is fighting through the throngs of bullies to get their birth control or abortions. I thought they were protesting the used car lot until I was stuck in traffic one day and was able to make the connection. THAT is how far away they are.
As they should be.
Apparently, the Catholic "pro-life" lifetime mayor of Charleston, SC where Larry Carter Center lives does NOT believe in giving patients and staff entering abortion clinics a "safe zone."
HERE ARE SOME FACTS: Convicted federal stalker Timothy John Cox has been allowed to violate a lifetime ban of 100 yards from the clinic where he stalked a nurse who works there.

He honored the ban from 1997 to 2006. He claims that the sale of the clinic voids the lifetime ban, where he must stay 200 yards away with a bullhorn in his hand and 12 other precise tactics he must not commit.

The same judge who signed the order still sits on the Broad Street federal bench has refused to order US Marshalls to take Cox into custody.

The same nurse as well as the same escorts STILL WORK THERE UNDER NEW OWNERS are protected from this perpetrator if only the feds would do their job.

I filed two affidavits along with affiants Edward and Kaz in Jan and April of 2007..... the FBI does not give a shit. The local cops do not give a shit. We show them chapter and verse of parade ordinances and assault codes with no single arrest in 7 years.

The "courtesy summons" process has only once been used against me fallaciously and now is justly being used in an upcoming jury trial against Cox who had 7 co-perpetrators with him in court Friday, including a 9 year old screaming girl who blocks the driveway to the clinic with her 3 year old brother and insane birth mom.....

We have petitioned the Charleston City Council for a no-pedestrian zone next to the clinic and restored parking so that these religious fanatics are restricted across the street. INSTEAD A JUDGE HAS ORDERED ESCORTS TO REMAIN SILENT WHILE THE TERRORISTS ARE FREE TO SCREAM OUT THEIR MURDER LIES, "blood money" "abortion is black genocide" when ever they see African Americans in the parking lot.....

the vicious hate speech, vandalisms and trespassings continue and people seem to be asking me or JSH to tone down our descriptions of the problem? No fucking way. Having a 9 year old and a 3 year old scream at people they do not know "thou shalt not kill" is child abuse.

We have reported these criminal "parents" to Child Protective Services, to no avail.

Any genuine Atheists here on Think Atheists want to invest a few minutes to telephone the Mayor for life Joe Riley and beg him to enact a 8 foot bubble zone around anyone seeking to enter a clinic?

I have heard that Milwaukee has suck a zone.

We need parking restored and a no pedestrian zone on the west side of Fuseler Road, the address for the clinic is 1312 Ashley River Road.

Councilor Tim Mallard may be our best friend on the council but it will take the Mayor's Office to draft the ordinance.

Please help. Please Atheists, give up this hair splitting internecine "debate" over fetal personhood crap and fight for women who deserve a quiet Saturday morning and a unremarkable pap smear, ultrasound, pill inducing home abortion or early term d & c here in Charleston.

Out side influence will work, as this city is very sensitive to tourist image and if we generate negative publicity by demanding the news media stop censoring both women and zealot voices. Acorn's are not trees and stem cells are not children.

Let's all get on the same page and be solid advocates for protecting women, not building up some ego of "discussion" here with religious nuts.
Let's all get on the same page and be solid advocates for protecting women, not building up some ego of "discussion" here with religious nuts.

You do not have my support. I hope you realize why.
I just wanted to the 666th person to comment. That is all.


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