Peter Bours has been doing abortions since 1977, making his facility in Eugene, Oregon one of the oldest abortion business in the nation.
But effective last week, Bours is retiring—and his facility is closing.
Like many abortionists, Bours did not originally intend to perform abortions, even though ideologically he had always been strongly “pro-choice”.
In fact, according to a widely circulated 1985 New York Times Magazine story (see cover at left), Bours had initially built a legitimate obstetrics practice in which he sought to “take obstetrical medicine out of cold, institutional hospital delivery rooms and return it to the home.”
Taken by themselves, his intentions in this regard were, of course, admirable.
But he soon decided that women who wanted abortions also deserved the same level of “professional care” he gave to women who wanted to give birth.
The 1985 NYT article revealed that running an abortion facility caused Bours and his staff no small amount of unpleasantness:
[A]n abortion on an advanced fetus, which has taken on more of a recognizable human form, takes a greater emotional toll on a doctor and his staff. Earlier that day, performing the procedure on the woman who wished no fourth child, Dr. Bours finished vacuuming her uterus, funneling the remains of the fetus into a sock of white gauze, suspended in a jar.
After an abortion, the doctor must inspect these remains to make sure that all the fetal parts and the placenta have been removed. Any tissue left inside the uterus can start an infection. Dr. Bours squeezed the contents of the sock into a shallow dish, and poked about with a finger. ”You can see a teeny-tiny hand,” he said.
At the sink and sterilizer, where the surgical instruments are cleaned, a nurse stood and turned on the faucet. ”I’ve been cleaning up after him for four years,” she said. ”We all wish it were formless, but it’s not. It has a form. And it’s painful. There’s a lot of emotional pain.”…
“There’s a 6-year-old boy that I delivered that I say hello to,” Dr. Bours says, ”and after the last newspaper article came out, he wouldn’t look at me. That’s the hardest thing for me, because I’ve always prided myself on my relationship with kids. It hurts me.”
Herein lies the problem for the “pro-choice” movement.
Even among physicians who stridently support the so-called “right” to abortion in theory, very few are willing to actually take the instruments in hand and do it, in large part because of the indisputable emotional toll that goes along with becoming an abortionist.
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Nobody is taking over longtime veteran abortionist Bours’ practice once he retires; instead, he’s closing it outright. In a way, then, we see here a microcosm of the abortion industry as a whole.
A little over a year ago, former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson urged pro-lifers to pray specifically for Peter Bours’ conversion, and surely these prayers have played a significant role in bringing him out of the abortion business.
Now we need to continue to pray — and fast — for him, that he may come to repent of his years of doing abortions.
LifeNews Note: John Jansen writes for the Pro-Life Action League.