Analysis

Abortionist describes how abortion has become a “commodity”

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Late-term abortionist Dr. Warren Hern, who performs abortions in the second and third trimesters in his clinic in Boulder, Colorado, wrote an editorial some time ago complaining about how abortionists are treated.

First he complained that abortionists are not given the respect they deserve in the clinics:

Increasingly, doctors have been made to feel irrelevant.  Feminist abortion clinics treat doctors like technicians and are especially contemptuous of male physicians.  Entrepreneurs who treat abortion strictly as a retail business also tend to treat doctors as technicians.  Doctors who perform abortions have usually acquiesced in these roles, and their status has plummeted lower than that of physicians who do insurance company examinations….

There is a lot to address here. First, in his comment on how abortion clinics are often run by entrepreneurs, he conceded that many abortion clinic owners see abortion not as a way to help women but as a way to make a profit.

Carol Everett was an example of “entrepreneurs who treat abortion strictly as a retail business.” She got involved in the abortion business with the sole goal of making money and became the owner and director of a chain of abortion clinics.

Everett eventually went on to renounce the abortion industry and become a pro-life speaker. In an interview, she said that her motive, and the motives of others, was to make as much money as possible.

Q.: What is the governing force behind the abortion industry?

A.: Money. Is a very lucrative business. It is the largest unregulated industry in our nation. Most of the clinics are run in chains because it’s so profitable.

Hern also addressed the low status of abortionists. Abortionists are often considered pariahs in the medical community.

For example, in an article in the South Bend Tribune, retired abortionist Joe Thompson revealed: 

In obstetrics and gynecology, the term abortionist is still a dirty word.

Late-term abortionist Dr. Susan Robinson spoke about the low status of abortionists when she said:

If you do abortions, it is very hard to get the privilege to work in a hospital, because they don’t like abortion providers…. Being an abortion provider is very stigmatized. Other doctors look down on you and think of you as like the lowest of the low.

Sometimes those in the abortion business even claim that pro-choicers do not give them the respect they feel they deserve. Clinic owner Diane Derzis said:

There’s still the shame thing, even among people who are pro-choice. We [abortion providers] are still seen as dirty, even among our own people.

Hern addressed this when he wrote:

Pro-choice organizations often ignore, patronize and disparage the contributions of physicians who specialize in abortions, in contrast with their support for well-known physicians in conventional specialties who perform some abortions.

But then Hern returned to the theme of abortion as a business, saying:

Abortion has become a commodity, like soap, and its social value has dropped.  Competition has become intense and fees have been cut, resulting in reduced income for doctors and others who provide the services as well as poorer treatment.

Though Hern complains about making less money than he feels he deserves, full time abortionists still make more money for less work doing abortions than they would in general practice. In one book about an abortion clinic, the author describes how  one abortionist worked 15-20 hours a week performing abortions and made over $300,000  a year from it.(1) He had no other job.

Abortion has become a commodity to sell, and clinics compete with one another to bring in patients. Many women have written about feeling like they were in an abortion assembly line, with clinic workers rushing them through in order to accommodate more patients. Women were rushed in and out of surgery. In a private conversation, one former clinic worker told me that her clinic would routinely overbook, making more appointments than they could realistically handle, due to the no-show rate being so high (women do change their minds about having an abortion after making an appointment). On days when too many women did show up, the clinic had to rush them through one after another just to fit them all in. Quality of care was compromised as the clinic workers became pressed for time. The worker told me that overbooking like this is commonly done in abortion clinics.

To take away, abortion clinics are businesses that are run to make money, abortionists are rejected by many in the medical community, and women are ultimately the ones to suffer from the commercialization of abortion.

  1. Peter Korn Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1996) 59, 66
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