Investigative

Abortion clinic worker: Staff “didn’t care” about her well-being after her abortion

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Pro-abortion author Wendy Simonds wrote a book called Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic in which she interviewed clinic workers at a busy abortion center.  One of the workers she interviewed was Anne, the clinic’s supervisor. Before Anne worked at the clinic Simonds visited, she had an abortion at a different abortion clinic. It was a bad experience. Anne tells her story:

[The] people [at the clinic] really didn’t care about your emotional setting. They didn’t care what happened a week after that. You know, you read the forms, you have your abortion, you leave. And I mean, there was no personal – there was no one there to listen to me… There was no support before, during, or after the procedure. I thought I was having a possible complication about three days later; there was no one to call. The office was closed. You know, and then me trying to keep it away from certain family members, and then not being able to do that because I thought I was having a medical emergency. I mean, there was no one to tell me, “This is nothing to worry about. This is normal. This is what you need to do.”…

I needed support or where I could possibly talk about it – because you can’t talk about it too many places and be accepted – the place that I went to, there was nothing. You couldn’t talk about it there either.

Without a way to contact the clinic, a woman suffering life-threatening complications could be in serious danger. If she is suffering from heavy bleeding or other symptoms, she may not know to seek help. She may dismiss warning signs of infection or injury, thinking they are normal.  She may not want to go to the ER out of shame or fear of being judged.  If she is afraid to let her regular OB/GYN know she had an abortion, she may not contact him either. If she is hiding the abortion from the people she lives with, she has even more reason not to seek emergency help. Any of these factors could lead a woman to delay getting medical care until the damage to her body is irreversible.

After the abortion, the abortionist is not there to help her. If she suffers a major complication, her only recourse is to go to the emergency room and try to explain her condition as best she could. Instead of the doctor who performed her abortion, she would see a busy emergency room physician who does not know her situation.  A woman may be scared enough to go to the ER, but still too ashamed to tell the ER doctor about her abortion. This could  lead to delays in care and possible misdiagnosis. It is the height of irresponsibility for a doctor to perform an operation and send the woman on her way with no way to contact him in an emergency.

Not only did the clinic neglect Anne’s physical needs and endanger her health, it neglected her emotional needs as well. She had no one to talk to about her feelings after the abortion.  Anne speaks as though there was no counseling before or after the procedure.

Contrast this with the support and follow-up a crisis pregnancy center would have given her. When a woman goes to a crisis pregnancy center, the center will try to address all of her concerns and offer her a safe place to talk. Even after an abortion, crisis pregnancy centers offer support groups for women.  In Anne’s case, the abortion clinic just took her money and sent her on her way.

According to Abby Johnson, the former director of an abortion clinic, 70% of abortion workers have had abortions themselves. It has been suggested that some of these clinic workers are secretly suffering because of their abortions. Every time they sell an abortion to another woman, they justify their own abortion decision all over again. By surrounding themselves with people who constantly affirm their decision, they are able to banish feelings of guilt and loss. Whether or not that is the case with this clinic owner, it is clear that she didn’t have her needs met by the abortion clinic she went to. This is further evidence that the standard of care at some abortion clinics is very low.

Source: Wendy Simonds Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic (New Brunswick, NJ.: Rutgers University Press, 1996) 42

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