The day I met my abortion doctor, we were just going in for a consultation. Maternal Fetal Medicine had sent over my medical records, including the prognosis for our daughter.
I didn’t have an exam, we just met with him in his office. It was small, but the walls were filled with plaques for organizations he belonged to, awards he had won and medical diplomas. There were pictures of him in various places: scuba diving, hang-gliding, fly fishing. He was a man of varied interests.
He met with us, discussed my file, listened to our questions, and the got to work with his staff to get my abortion scheduled and make sure it was covered by my insurance.
The day of the procedure I had to check in at the hospital in the labor and delivery wing. Just in front of me was a woman checking in with her family. She was large, glowing, happy to be in labor. Her family was excited. Another nurse wheeled a baby in a bassinet past us.
I stood at the check in counter filling out the paperwork, hands trembling as I tried to fill in the forms. My eyes were filled with tears as that baby bassinet glided by. An arm slipped around my shoulders. The doctor had arrived. “You ok?” he asked? I shook my head, leaning into him. I didn’t think I would ever be ok again.
Once we were settled into the room, he came in to administer the drugs that would calm me down and soften my cervix for the procedure. He was very gentle. His staff was very gentle. I cried throughout the whole thing.
While I was in recovery he made his way back to that room where my husband waited miserably and patiently, my wedding ring tucked in his pocket. The doctor told him I was ok, that the procedure had gone perfectly. He also told him that our daughter was in even worse condition than the ultrasounds had indicated.
My return to the room was delayed by a medication mixup in recovery (and I am ever thankful to the nurse for catching it). The doctor stayed the whole time with my husband, talking about everything under the sun, until I was wheeled back into the room.
At my follow up appointment two weeks later he was the same kind, gentle, caring human being he had been before. He checked me out, answered my questions, wished us luck. A year or so later when I sent him a thank you card with pictures of my newborn daughter in it, he responded again.
Abortion doctors are not monsters. They are human beings with thoughts, feelings, families, interests outside of work, and huge hearts for the women they treat and the services they provide. Mine is also an OBGYN who delivers babies and cares for women’s reproductive health.
I found this article today about another such provider (not mine). I hope you will read, since this man, as well as my doctor, put their lives on the line every day for what they believe in. It shouldn’t be that way.