Browsing through Sunday’s online edition of the Washington Post, I came across a feature story called “A Hard Choice: A young medical student tries to decide if she has what it takes to join the diminishing ranks of abortion providers.”
I was intrigued. What sort of student has what it takes to perform abortions? To me, that is a bit like asking what sort of person has what it takes to guard starving prisoners in a concentration camp.
I hit print and out popped 14 pages of text. I read. And I learned of the difficult choices a young woman had to make on her road to being a doctor.
In short, the story was about whether she had the right stuff to perform abortions. She was ardently pro-choice and believed it was her calling to help women escape from the sometimes difficult circumstances of motherhood. She believed, as apparently some national leaders do, that a woman should not be punished with a baby.
She even learned what it would be like to perform an abortion by practicing on a papaya fruit, which apparently is about the size and shape of a uterus. That was a piece of information I never knew, but I doubt I will drop it into conversation at holiday gatherings to impress friends with my sweeping knowledge of medicine and botany.
When it came to actually serving her internship in a hospital, she discovered that the papaya wasn’t really such a good simulator of a real abortion. She discovered that unlike a fruit, women undergoing an abortion cry, bleed and writhe in pain.
Our future doctor also discovered that it was rather unpleasant going through the POC after an abortion to make sure no parts were missing. Apparently POC is a natty acronym that abortion providers use to represent “products of conception.” Obviously, POC sounds much more civilized than the more accurate term, dead baby parts.
Well…unlike the Washington Post, I’m not going to subject you to 14 pages of text to get to the punch line. The budding doctor decided not to go into the abortion business. She thought she would love it, but it just wasn’t quite what she expected.
She still supports abortion – she still believes a woman has the right to choose. It is just that for her, providing abortions just wasn’t the warm, cuddly, woman-nurturing activity she thought it would be. In fact, it made her sick.
Frankly, it ought to. That reaction is the result of something the article never mentioned: conscience.
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