Analysis

Late-term abortionist complains abortion doctors are ‘made to feel irrelevant’

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

First he complains 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, there is his comment on how abortion clinics are often run by entrepreneurs. He is conceding that many abortion clinic owners see abortion not as a way to serve women, but as a way to turn 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. She 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 addresses 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 says:

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 addresses this when he says:

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 returns to the theme of abortion as a business. He says:

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.

Even though abortionists have, apparently, “reduced income” they still make a great deal of money. And money is a motivating factor for at least some abortionists.   And even though Hern complains about making less money than he feels he deserves, many abortionists still make more money for less work doing abortions than they would in general practice. In one book about an abortion clinic, an abortionist describes working 15-20 hours a week performing abortions and making over $300,000  a year from it. (1)

And with clinics competing with one another to bring in patients, abortion has become a commodity to sell. Many women have written about feeling they were in an abortion assembly line, with clinic workers rushing them through in order to fit more women in.

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 so that they could 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.

  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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