From “Being an abortion doctor has taught me a lot about life,” The Guardian, June 22, 2015.
“I have performed 21 abortions today, ending pregnancies in women ageing from 16 to 44, who have traveled from as far as Northern Ireland to regain control over their own bodies. I have carefully sieved through aspirate to identify the tiny translucent jelly-fish-like gestation sac at five weeks. I have painstakingly removed a foetus part by part at 23 weeks and watched the ultrasound image of the uterus shrink back to size. I have heard 21 stories of 21 difficult decisions, some agonizing, others more straightforward, but not one of them taken lightly. One woman made it as far as the operating table and changed her mind. I wiped away another woman’s silent tears as the anaesthetist counted her down from 10 as he put her under.
“The staff in the clinic show boundless compassion.”
The staff in the clinic show boundless compassion. They strike the perfect balance of being sensitive to the enormity of the situation for each individual while not making too big a deal of it. I suppose this is their everyday, their normal and they are experienced at what they do: there is no lack of demand for abortion work, as that well-known “one in three women in the UK” statistic demonstrates. My training also serves to remind me that there is no one type of woman who experiences unwanted pregnancy.
I’ve seen as many professional women in their 40s as chaotic girls in their teens; and the majority have been using some form of contraception, albeit unsuccessfully. Many of the women are already mums. Some are devoutly religious. Some have been advised to have an abortion of a much-wanted pregnancy for medical reasons or severe foetal abnormalities. One woman I encountered had been trying to conceive for many years and finally got pregnant by IVF, only to be given this devastating recommendation.
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It has not yet become my everyday and my normal. I wonder if it will ever feel like that. As I leave clinic, I actually feel slightly elated from the work – I have learnt skills far beyond my expectations and I feel gratified to have been involved in helping women out in a vulnerable and sometimes desperate time. I glance back at the pro-life contingent and I wonder whether I feel guilty, or whether I should. There is a stir as a wide-eyed woman leaves the entrance of the clinic; she flinches when she sees the crowd and bows as if to hide her face. As I walk away I know these protestors have inadvertently answered my question. As long as unplanned pregnancy exists, we need to help women in this unfortunate situation, not harass them. Abortion can improve life and prevent harm; pro-choice, to me, does not mean anti-life.
I breathe my customary sigh of relief as I close my front door behind me and kick off my shoes. My boyfriend hears the latch and calls from the kitchen to ask me about my day. I mutter something nondescript, skimping on detail, then get straight to the point: “How about a glass of wine?”.
LifeNews.com Note: Sarah Terzo is a pro-life liberal who runs ClinicQuotes.com, a web site devoted to exposing the abortion industry. She is a member of the pro-life groups PLAGAL and Secular Pro-Life.