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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Nothing, I didn't say that. If you want to have sex, fine. Heck, I like sex as much as the next guy. Wear a condom, and if it breaks, own up to the consequences.
With that said, the second chance is to abort before foetal cognition. Life is just as realistic as it is at the sperm stage, with nothing but a few extra chromosomes. A foetus is no more a life-form than is a plant until cognition; contrary to religious beliefs.

I suggest you read the article, put in a little research of your own, and stop making biased assumptions.
Once again, you are saying a pregnancy is a consequence.. thus imposing your morality on someone else.
Factually, a pregnancy is not a consequence, it is a medical risk.
Even as an EMT, DMT or doctor, you cannot ask ME to put my life at risk for someone else. Further, you haven't even proved that a fetus is a 'someone' instead of an unaware clump of cells.
You can always tell when someone doesn't read the post before commenting.
there is only one "pro-life" position, and that is the woman making a choice in her life..... religious fanatics and tampon terrorists are anti-woman and anti-choice PRO SLAVERY CRIMINALS who imply threats against if not carry out violence against doctors, staff, women companions, escorts and health facilities. If what these dangerous criminals say is true, then every menstruating sexually active woman is a murderer. If life begins "at conception" then it is the duty of every woman and her impregnating partner ONLY TO HAVE SEX OR INJECT SPERM INTO HER BODY DURING THE FEW DAYS EACH MONTH SHE IS MOST LIKELY TO SUCCESSFULLY IMPLANT A EMBRYO INTO THE WALL OF HER UTERUS. And if she is one of the unlucky women to have ectopic pregnancies, too bad, she must risk death so that the embryo can live and not be murdered, too bad is she dies of sepis, bleeding or if she has cancer, too bad if the hormonal changes during pregnancy cause tumors to grow faster, the baby comes first and women are always secondary to a clump of stem cells. That is what the rhythm method really means, how to get pregnant, not to have sex during less fertile times each month.
I am seventeen and had an abortion the day before my last birthday. The hardest part was that my boyfriend at the time left me because of it. That he wanted me to give up my education and my future to raise his child is honestly the most outrageous thing that has ever been expected of me. It was an extremely hard decision, despite my having been a vehement pro-choice supporter for several years now. But I still think it was the right one.
A decision like that is extremely personal and I wouldn't judge anyone in whatever manner they handled it, as long as it was done in a safe and responsible manner. If you think it was right then and you still do, then it most likely was. At your age, education is paramount.
an ideal society would not allow parents or cults to harm children with unscientific ideas....Walden Two was a practical utopian book about children and all members of the clan acting as supportive parents, all jobs shared equally except the most highly skilled jobs like surgery or electrician... kids were free to experiment with sex without guilt or obsessions of paternity.....with few restrictions on religion in real society today, gay teens commit suicide rather than be accepted for feeling gay.....when boys are taught to negotiate honestly for love sharings, instead of the double standards of guilt, shame, sluts and studs.... our violent capitalist exploitation society values ownership, not freedom, mind control systems, not science and ethics, classism, not socialism, popes and presidents are allowed to kill and never go to jail.... everytime someone dies because the pope won't let condoms be distributed to prevent pregnancy and disease, a just society would sentence the Nazi pope to be anally raped by a HIV positive perpetrator.... WITHOUT A CONDOM until these insane religious terrorists learn what their "faith" is causing....
Am I the only pro-life atheist? Jesus Christ...

I'm sorry but I honestly can't agree with this. "Aren’t Christians supposed to provide charity for those who need it?" yes, and so should everybody else, regardless of what superficial deity you choose (or deny). That does not mean, AND NEVER CAN MEAN, killing a human. Christians are willing to take care of babies whose parents don't want them, along with many other groups.

Fucking own up, don't kill someone else. What if every time you took a drug (alcohol, ecstasy, marijuana, coke) you were locked up in a room with a random person for a year. You were also given a gun. You could either:

A) kill the random motherfucker with no penalties or prosecution and leave immediately

B) wait out the year both be free to leave

Hopefully that's an obvious choice, and if you choose A because of a lack of prosecution, you're no better than religious people who act good because of fears of the afterlife. IMHO that's a more extreme case than getting fatter for 9 months and having a child.

Oh ya this post was powerful, made me goddamn sick it was so powerful.

"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." Fuck you whoever wrote this sick piece of literature. Fuck you and your basis for the worth of a person.

"It makes me very sad to think of how many women have to suffer, because they have no control over their own reproductive rights." Right. Good call. I forgot about those "reproductive rights". FUCK THAT. The only right you have is the choice to have sex or not. You NEVER have the "right" to kill someone, NO MATTER HOW DEPENDENT ON YOU THEY ARE.

"But Josh!" you pipe up, "What about rape?" I will never support rape for obvious reasons and will try to help prosecute any rapists if possible. It is not out of acceptance of rape that I say the child should still be allowed a chance to live. Sure, it was a terrible crime that should be punished. But who should be punished? The child? Even rape victims should think long and hard before ending a life.

Jesus, I almost threw up half way through. I'm an atheist for Christ's sake, not a monster.
Well, fuck you and your fucking opinions. I think your opinions suck fucking shit. How is that for constructive dialog?

But really, if you want to get your views and opinions across, there is a better way of doing it than through a profanity laced tirade. Abortion is not the black and white issue you would make it seem to be. If medical abortions are such a travesty in your eyes, why aren't you going nuts over the epidemic of abortions that are not induced medically. Seriously, grow up. If you have a different opinion, that is fine. Even if you are passionate about that opinion, fine. But to conduct yourself in such a manner is unacceptable. Clean it up.
I have a hard time with articles like this.
I was raised Catholic but abandoned that faith when I was in my teens. It's so interesting to me that being atheist or liberal means that we suddenly get to choose to kill babies. Call it what you will, a fetus, or whatever. Anything beyond the first month or so is basically a baby to me.

I'm an atheist, through and through, but I just think this kind of article is disgusting... I felt squeamish during her descriptions and just don't really even understand that argument... It's like libertarianism just arose to be the exact opposite of socialism... Pro-choice just arose to be the exact opposite of pro-life.

In situations of rape, I unlike Josh, am willing to concede that that is a just cause for abortion. In that case it truly is up to only the mother. In other situations, regarding irresponsible teens, women in their later reproductive years who didn't think they could still get pregnant... That shit is their problem and they need to deal with the consequences.

The notion that people have "reproductive rights" beyond having sex or not is ridiculous. We weren't born with a switch that says "Keep the baby" on top and "Abort the baby" on the bottom. Science gave us this "right". This is one issue where I straight up disagree.

Do I think abortions should be illegal? No, but I just think they shouldn't be needed. education on contraceptives and access to them will help this problem a lot. It's despicable that we live in a world where people can't own up to their mistakes. Some Muslim women who are raped and want to appear as though they are still virgins... in this case abortion is actually saving their life because if their husbands found out in the future they would likely be subject to abuse. A sad price to pay indeed for rape.

Anyway, whatever. I just had to get my 2 cents out there. This article is disgusting to me, but I won't waste time judging the author. I'll tell you this, though. I'm not a rich man. I'm not making much money. I live in a tiny apartment in a dirty city. But if I knocked up my girlfriend, I'd move in with her family and raise that baby.

People who lack the basic empathy for a baby to the point where they're willing to kill it to prevent some stress in their own lives are the kind of people the concept of hell was invented for. Or more appropriately, the concept of heaven. You need some incentives to do the right thing. I guess we atheists don't quite have the moral high ground after all, do we?

Probably no one does.
I entirely agree. people should be able to make private decisions without government interference. That's why I think all drugs should be legal. But the thing is, abortion isn't a private matter. Like it or not, that baby is someone else.

If science gives us guns we don't have the right to kill people


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