xoJane writer: I used to deliver babies, but now I’m an abortionist and nobody likes me! Wah!
My brilliant abortionist career
I love delivering babies. I never wanted to give it up. And yet I’ve found myself in a place where I had to make a choice no obstetrician/gynecologist (ob/gyn) should have to make: provide care for women who deliver babies, or provide care for women who need abortions, just not both.
Unfortunately, I have found this is not always easy to do. I encountered obstacles to learning about abortion in medical school, to getting trained in how to provide abortions in residency, and to integrating abortion care into my ob/gyn practice.
Unfortunately, working at a federally qualified health clinic in the rural Southeast to repay a med school scholarship obligation after residency again restricted the care I could provide. At a clinic receiving federal funds, I was ‘gagged’ and not permitted (or so I was told) to discuss, let alone perform, abortions.
At the same time, I recognize and admit that dealing with the stigma and emotional toll attached to being an abortion provider is not always easy. A mentor once described the emotions of providing abortion care as a means of relieving a woman’s burden of suffering. What I took him to mean is that by providing abortion care I am helping my patient get on the other side of this difficult experience with dignity and support. I am suffering, if you will, to enable her to suffer less.
In addition to being emotionally charged work, abortion is of course highly politicized and stigmatized. My decision in recent years to provide and teach abortion care has cost me professional opportunities. On a personal level, my family and friends have thankfully not yet been targeted. My name and image do feature prominently on an anti-choice website so I have real concerns about this.
It’s hard out there for an abortionist.
Posted by Charlotte Allen