New York City: Abortion Haven, Training Ground for Abortion Practitioners

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 11, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York City: Abortion Haven, Training Ground for Abortion Practitioners Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 11, 2006

New York, NY ( — New York has become an abortion have for the United States. The city has more abortion businesses than many states combined, 40 percent of pregnancies end in abortion, and abortion advocates run a housing program for women traveling there for abortions. More than that, New York is training tomorrow’s abortion practitioners.

Abortion activists — even pro-abortion medical students — can write checks, attend a rally or vote for candidates who favor abortion. But it takes a certain kind of individual to want to move beyond the activism and seek the most despised job title in the nation, an abortion practitioner.

While pro-life groups try to attack Roe v. Wade in the courtroom, a shortage of abortion practitioners threatens Roe on a more practical level.

Medical Students for Choice, a national group for pro-abortion medical students, recognizes the problem. According to a Village Voice story, the group has expanded to about 10,000 members in the last few years.

While students in other parts of the country join the organization to support abortion, students in New York City are becoming a part of it because they want to do them.

Miriam Sheinbein, a coordinator of Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s chapter, describes herself as the typical pro-abortion medical student activist.

I’ve worked at Planned Parenthood," she told the Village Voice. "I’m a predictable MSFC coordinator."

Sheinbein tells the newsmagazine that one of her best friends "is so not an activist, but she really feels like she needs to provide abortions. She would never have gotten involved if abortion weren’t threatened."

It’s no surprise that New York is becoming a mecca for the nation’s future abortion practitioners. The city is home to several medical schools and some of the nation’s most highly regarded — Cornell, Columbia, NYU, and others.

As a liberal city in a liberal state, New Yorkers elected abortion advocate Michael Bloomberg as their mayor and one of his first acts in office was to restore a city rule requiring medical students to learn abortions in residency programs. Few opt out, perhaps due to fears of being ostracized, but mostly because the pro-abortion medical students want to learn how to do abortions.

Dr. Christopher Estes, a fellow in family planning at Columbia, has become an expert in the art of selling abortions to prospective doctors.

He says the approach is less about making students feel they need to learn about how to perform abortions but more about convincing them that abortion is, or should be, an accepted part of a woman’s health care.

"Whether you’re a family medicine doctor, a pediatrician, or an orthopedic surgeon, you may encounter this one day," he told the Village Voice about what he says. "One in three American women has an abortion in her life. Do the math."

As Sheinbein told the newsmagazine, "There’s a move away from being an ‘abortionist.’ You should be able to go to one place for all your health care needs."

Learning how to perform abortions doesn’t happen in a moral vacuum. Dozens of abortion practitioners have stopped over the years after the toll becomes too big to handle.

Estes told the Village Voice that even pro-abortion residents often refer to those learning how to perform abortions as "baby killers." He says the comments are "tongue-in-cheek" but they foreshadow the kinds of comments the public will make about them someday.