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.

Via: http://unreasonablefaith.com

Views: 15611

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Evil!
Reggie: "Can you cite some current laws or cases that bear this statement out? So far, you have cited a case that was old and already ruled in favor of the woman (yes, sadly after she perished) and a case where the facts of the case were much more complicated than what you revealed."

South Dakota's Measure 11 was narrowly defeated, but only very narrowly as I understand it. But Colorado's Amendment 48 is not a done deal. Also, here is a source on "conscientious objector" laws that are being used across the nation to deny women access to contraception as well as abortion. And here is more on these ovum personhood initiatives. I have mentioned this and cited links before.

Apparently you and Jen are more interested in looking like hot shot know-it-alls with your 64 million dollar vocabularies of "legalese", formal "debate logic" lingo, and navel gazing over your fancy advanced educations and grad school degrees rather than protecting real women's health and lives — or even supporting those of us who don't have the most education or the best educations from the "lesser" social class ranks who are busy fighting for women's lives with our sleeves rolled up, duking it out daily in the trenches of this dirty war.

This is not rocket science, OK. I don't have to be able to pick my words "just so" in order to convey the FACT that women's lives and human rights are under very real attack and that women are being denied access to reliable contraception and abortion.

I don't need a fancy law school education and a 64 million dollar vocabulary to be "credible" when mentioning the incidents of minor girls who were forced to give birth in my state, or a rape victim from Lancaster County, PA who was DENIED the ability to get Plan B.

How many POOR women are going to to be thrown under the bus before the reality of this begins to matter more to you and Jen than playing the "I'm cleverer than thou because I could afford a grad school education and you couldn't therefore you're not worthy" stupid little game of let's nit-pick the fuck out of Jacqueline and Larry Carter Center and totally ignore the ugly, ugly TRUTH of what is going on, and what has been going on, in your own backyard here?

If all that's important to you and Jen is looking like you're smarter/better/cleverer know-it-alls with free grata right to personally insult others who truly DO the fighting for women's human rights and social justice, count me out. I'm sorry I even joined this site — mistakenly thinking there were significant numbers of people here with enough secular humanist values that care about the issue more than someone making an honest mistake or their lack of a fancy high falutin law (or other grad school) education.

I did a hell of a lot more research than either of you ever gave me ANY credit for here and I didn't have the luxury and privilege of getting the level of education you and Jen obviously have enjoyed (which you and she feel is a license to be rude, condescending, arrogant, and personally insulting). All the two of you want to do is piss all over my very important message: WOMEN'S HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIVES ARE BEING TRAMPLED ON. It doesn't matter if eventually one of these specious personhood or conscientious objector laws *finally* gets overturned at some undetermined time in the future, what matters is what has happened and what IS happening NOW.
Attachments:
Apparently you and Jen are more interested in looking like hot shot know-it-alls with your 64 million dollar vocabularies of "legalese", formal "debate logic" lingo, and navel gazing over your fancy advanced educations and grad school degrees rather than protecting real women's health and lives — or even supporting those of us who don't have the most education or the best educations from the "lesser" social class ranks who are busy fighting for women's lives with our sleeves rolled up, duking it out daily in the trenches of this dirty war.

You are an idiot.

This is not rocket science, OK. I don't have to be able to pick my words "just so" in order to convey the FACT that women's lives and human rights are under very real attack and that women are being denied access to reliable contraception and abortion.

You are an idiot and a deceiver.

I don't need a fancy law school education and a 64 million dollar vocabulary to be "credible" when mentioning the incidents of minor girls who were forced to give birth in my state, or a rape victim from Lancaster County, PA who was DENIED the ability to get Plan B

You are an idiot.

How many POOR women are going to to be thrown under the bus before the reality of this begins to matter more to you and Jen than playing the "I'm cleverer than thou because I could afford a grad school education and you couldn't therefore you're not worthy" stupid little game of let's nit-pick the fuck out of Jacqueline and Larry Carter Center and totally ignore the ugly, ugly TRUTH of what is going on, and what has been going on, in your own backyard here?

You are an idiot.


i>If all that's important to you and Jen is looking like you're smarter/better/cleverer know-it-alls with free grata right to personally insult others who truly DO the fighting for women's human rights and social justice, count me out. I'm sorry I even joined this site — mistakenly thinking there were significant numbers of people here with enough secular humanist values that care about the issue more than someone making an honest mistake or their lack of a fancy high falutin law (or other grad school) education.

You are an idiot.


I did a hell of a lot more research than either of you ever gave me ANY credit for here and I didn't have the luxury and privilege of getting the level of education you and Jen obviously have enjoyed (which you and she feel is a license to be rude, condescending, arrogant, and personally insulting). All the two of you want to do is piss all over my very important message: WOMEN'S HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIVES ARE BEING TRAMPLED ON. It doesn't matter if eventually one of these specious personhood or conscientious objector laws *finally* gets overturned at some undetermined time in the future, what matters is what has happened and what IS happening NOW.

You are an idiot.

Sorry, JSH. You are an enemy of reason. You are my enemy. And I think you are an idiot.
Well I think you're an idiot for calling me an idiot and calling me "your enemy" and an "enemy of reason" when you're an enemy of reality! I removed you as my "friend" here, so now we're even.
Jen: "As you can see, these people demanded equality in a more calm fashion then what you call for. They were not emotional (they did not strike back, curse back, laugh or hold conversation at all). They just went in calmly and asked to be served and then waited. They did demand equality but they left their emotions out of it. This is a very different approach than the "stand up and scream for the right of abortion" method that you (JSH) advocate."

I really don't care what you think of my tactic because your uncalled for previous insults and arrogance and repeated picking on me for no justifiable reason ( that you NEVER apologized for) in playing the "look at me, I'm so much smarter and better than you" card have made it clear to me that being an intellectual social class snob is more important than poor women's lives and human rights.

Well, Miss I'm So Smart And Better Than Thou, what have YOU done with YOUR advanced education, YOUR social class privilege and access to resources to help fight for poor, under-educated American women and girls' human and civil rights? Sit here and debate anti-poor woman fools over tea and krumpets?

I damn near made to to the Hague with an Article 7(g) amicus curie brief (that I researched myself how to draft without the benefit of a grad school education), to tack on to an existing case against the Vatican. Only thing that stopped me was that I wasn't a certain British fuck-up pseudo-atheist's ideal petite, pretty, well-dressed Barbie fuck-toy, so he reneged on his promise of getting me AND that brief to the ICC in the Hague. This would have dealt the Stupak Bill the death knell and discouraged more like it waiting in the wings. With all of your resources and your obvious fancy education, plus your youth and looks privilege, why haven't YOU done that? No, instead pissing all over me and knocking my efforts is more important to you, right?

I'm sure that not being one of America's social, economic, and educational "have-nots", you will always be able to get contraceptives and an abortion if you need one. You wanted citations and proof of what's happened and what IS happening and I gave it — based on hours upon hours of painstaking research that NO ONE helped me with and for which I was NOT PAID. So did LCC. All you and Reggie have done is piss all over me and all over LCC.

Come step into my shoes for a month and feel the pinch, and see how far being a polite quiet little doormat goes. I am through being polite. Women who are middle/upper class and who are young, thin, and pretty have the luxury of being able to be quiet, meek and polite. Poor older plain Janes are invisible, unless we scream and drop the dreaded F-bomb. Talk is cheap and I don't dance with classist, sexist, patriarchal misogynist assholes — regardless of how "polite" and "logical" and "socially proper" you think it would be for me to do so.

I'm not interested in playing "counting coup" here. I am interested in defending my human and civil rights as a poor woman and doing the same for other poor women who have NO voice in this country — you know, the rest of the "uneducated" "undeserving" underclass that you probably care less about. Below is some more attached "proof" and "formal citation" of facts that back up my "screaming" rhetoric. Although I probably wasted my time attaching it since pissing all over me is more important to you and your buddy Reggie than reading anything I attach pertaining to the matter at hand.
Attachments:
I appreciate everyone's passion on this subject. However,this is not the first thread that has been turned into a gender rights free for all. I'm all for gender's rights and I understand that it is a touchy subject, but there are other ways. Start a group here on TA to vent or start a network catering to women's or men's rights (ning.com).

I'm not saying it's a taboo subject here on this site ,but if you can't keep it civil don't post.

Remember, the world can see what you post, even non members, and theists who often lurk to find more things that make atheists "evil".

Passionate, fine. Debate, fine. Insult and bicker like teens on myspace, brag, flaunt, etc. etc., not fine.

Getting hostile doesn't prove or accomplish anything.
Jen, I hope you will help me with this problem that cool heads and determined voices can solve by lobbying for reforms.

Imagine how a woman driving into the clinic parking lot must feel when she sees 4-7 fanatics barely leaving a path open for her car? And she sees big old me in my burgundy clinic vest holding a huge sign that reads "DRIVE INTO LOT ............DON''T OPEN WINDOWS ..........DON'T TAKE HANDOUTS"

If she is not freaked out by now, we wave her to an available parking stall. Often just 15 feet from religiously insane screamers: "don't go in there, Jesus has a better way, there are other options"

Sue, Stephanie, Ron, Anna, Alan and I are occasionally joined by College of Charleston students who volunteer during one semester or maybe just a week or two who feel dirty after taking 3 hours of verbal and physical abuse at 1312 Ashley River Road.

Can you really expect a 18 or 20 year old girl to be ready for this kind of instant boot camp trial by fire? Police do not protect anyone. There are standing orders that no arrests shall ever be made unless there is a bloody victim or a fanatic who trespasses continuously not just their routine of a moment to shove their magic papers into the face of a victim.

Most of this crap could be solved if we had a no pedestrian zone on the west side of Fuseler Road. And have parking restored on "our" westside of that same street. The official address is 1312 Ashley River Road, zip 29407 Charleston Women's Medical Center.

It would take less than a half hour to take down the" no parking signs" off 3 poles and put up "no pedestrians this side of street."

It was not a busy morning Saturday as the lot did not fill up and we did not need to form human shields around women who might have been forced to park across the street.

I'm told Reggie insanely refuses to grow up and be an Atheist Feminist Man.

If winning some personal argument is more important than protecting women from religious terrorists, I hope I never understand "why" Reggie would be such a fool.

Again, telephoning Mayor Riley's office and CH2, 4 and 5, the NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates would help pressure this abusive situation to be resolved.

It does not take long to google search City of Charleston, South Carolina

All Atheists are welcome to call me anytime 843-926-1750
When someone personally insults me, or calls me a liar (when I'm not) and says I DELIBERATELY gave erroneous info (when I didn't), and you're not around to speak up, pardon me for doing so in the manner I'm best able. I have provided citations and sources. Larry Carter Center has also given his firsthand experience. And all we got is nit-picked on and personally insulted. Why did you not step in and assert your authority then?

It seems to me you're being biased in targeting me. And it seems to me that those of us who are in the trenches fighting this terrorism against women and doctors are being rudely insulted, belittled, condescended to, and censored.

Any discussion of when life begins in utero implies — with the 3 exceptions for rape, incest, or the woman's health threatened — merely imply that such exceptions are justifiable infanticide and therefore all other abortions ARE infanticide. In short, women don't count. Only fetuses count. And a shroud of guilt hangs over the "lucky" women who are allowed to get an abortion under the exception of rape, incest, or their life. Let's not confuse REAL AUTONOMOUS life with POTENTIAL life in this rush to "rational debate."

Would T|A consider having a debate trying to rationalize slavery or Jim Crow? No.

When someone's body and life is being rationalized and nit-picked over, it doesn't get any more personal than that.

Any picayune argument centered on petty nit-picking over vocabulary (I was picked on by Jen for use of the word "considerable" in my attempt to convey my thoughts to the best of my ability) due to personal bias against me or LCC, and due to elitism in the name of rationalizing away women's human rights with the idea that women are "less deserving" of their right to life, our health, and our liberty than the potential fruit of our wombs; is an argument supporting and promoting the rationalization of abuse, enslavement, and numerous other human rights violations of already-born women and girls. I'm sorry, but my life and my personal freedom matters.

Denying a woman the absolute right to NOT be compelled into forced childbirth is a ticking clock from the moment of conception to the escalating guilt heaped upon women who do not have access to easy instant contraception and early term abortion.

Scott Roeder is being allowed a "necessity defense." He shot a doctor in a church. No fetal personhood was in imminent danger at that moment. To allow a "necessity defense" for a confessed murderer is the same as enabling fetal personhood discussions while ridiculing or silencing Atheist human rights activists who value the lives of already-born women and girls. There was no necessity to kill doctors like Dr. Tiller who did perform late term abortions. He relieved women of dead or dying fetal tissue, and saved women's lives. No one deserves to be murdered in a church and no Atheist deserves to be called an "extremist" for telling the truth about this situation. End of statement.
Ad hominem much? I know you do not care what I think. I know this because you have, on several occasions, ignored many of my comments and changed my many of comments to fit your desires and needs at the given moment of your responses. I do not feel the need to apologize to you for pointing out your omissions because you have yet to apologize for leaving out relevant facts in your posts about "real life cases". Your only response to me was to accuse me of doing the same instead of recognizing your flawed arguments.

Pointing out an omission by saying , "Gee Jacqueline, I think you might have missed this but Regina McKnight was eventually released" versus saying "you're a liar, you're deliberately misinforming everybody." You did the latter rather than the former which is *why* you owe me an apology and not the other way around.

What is really important to me is that when people are spouting off "facts" that those facts are truthful and given in an honest manner. Sure I do not fault people for an occasional slip up on forgetting a fact or accidentally misinterpreting of one thing or another. After all we are all human and all make mistakes. But it is not forgivable when someone repeatedly posts misinformation in order to push their agenda and then when she is caught in the act refuses to acknowledge that she did omit a fact or two, or did not check to make sure that her beliefs as to a particular story were in fact accurate before adding her comments. To me that is dishonest. Just own up to it and move on.

First off, I would like you to specifically quote what "misinformation" you claim I deliberately repeatedly posted before insulting me and calling me a liar in so many words! I did NOT "deliberately repeatedly post misinformation to push my agenda" as you have WRONGLY accused me of. And I really resent your daring to accuse me of that.

I posted and attached the information I was able to find and get in very short order — since I don't have the luxury of having all day and night to spend devoting to people hell bent on ganging up on me and nit-picking every word of my posts in attempts to cloud the issue — and the sources from which said attachments came. If you had a problem with that, you should have challenged the sources cited — NOT deliberately personally insult me for my sharing of what knowledge I have on the matter!


This is the first link, I think, that you have attached to any response to any of my posts. I have read it in its entirety and have noticed a common theme with the women that were chosen in this paper. It seems like instead of focusing on women who did not want to have babies and therefore chose to get an abortion, it focuses on women who have chosen not to have an abortion but carry to term.


Those were the available legal sources on the harm of fetal personhood laws: the point that these laws are used to hurt pregnant women who did not, for whatever reason, get an abortion. That is what I have, and I'm sorry if it's not good enough for you. Instead of repeatedly attacking me, why aren't YOU coming up with anything better if my sources don't suit your sensibilities?

Is getting one-upmanship so important that it takes precedent over the very real human rights issue of women and girls' civil and human rights being one pen stroke, one senator's, one representative's, or one judge's vote away from obliteration?

I see no point in wasting anymore of my time addressing the rest of your post or Reggie's because I have no respect for ANYONE who would raise bizarre, unrealistic hypothetical arguments to rationalize cruelty, abuse, human rights violations, and misogyny against women and girls in the name of "intellectual honesty" when discussions rationalizing slavery or Jim Crow racism would never be allowed on this site for a New York minute! And that is my position on the matter.
I know this because you have, on several occasions, ignored many of my comments and changed my many of comments to fit your desires and needs at the given moment of your responses.

How exactly do I have authority to change YOUR comments? That is within the purvue of admins or the poster.
Jen: "Your only response to me was to accuse me of doing the same instead of recognizing your flawed arguments.

What is really important to me is that when people are spouting off "facts" that those facts are truthful and given in an honest manner..."


Did you NOT read the attachment I included with this post? It wasn't just for Reggie's benefit.

http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/thoughts-from-an-abortion?...
Closing this thread, since it seems that some people cannot play nice.

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