Opinion

Time for another ode to abortion from a medical “professional”

doctor
Dr. Carolyn Payne (via xojane.com)

Dr. Carolyn Payne (via xojane.com)

On the off chance you happened to be thinking, “Y’know what? Society just isn’t grateful enough for abortionists,” you’re in luck. At xoJane, Carolyn Payne announces that she is “an ObGyn Resident Who Entered My Field Specifically to Perform Safe Abortion Services,” and wants the world to know why she “love[s]” and is “proud to” slaughter babies for a living.

On Monday, Cassy Fiano tore apart Payne’s whitewashing of the physical and emotional fallout from the work she’s so proud of, the misogyny inherent to her claims that women just can’t thrive without abortion, and her arrogant insinuation that children’s lives are better off extinguished than given a chance to overcome tough circumstances. But Payne’s column was so jam-packed with sophistry and selfishness that there’s plenty more to dissect…

To us, abortion training was something we advocated for in medical school, and actively sought out in our residency training programs. To us, abortion training was exciting, because it meant we were developing the skills necessary to provide women with safe reproductive healthcare. To many of us, the decision to receive training in abortion wasn’t “agonizing” at all as a recent corresponding piece in Yahoo! Health described. Rather, providing our first MVA was a “feel good procedure,” because we had successfully performed an intervention that changed a woman’s life for the better!

This piece commits a lot of the same fallacies we found in a UK Guardian essay from an anonymous abortionist a couple months ago, to which we called out the problem with making women’s lives better by ending their children’s. We also covered that month how the vast majority of abortions simply don’t fit any description of “healthcare” because they aren’t sought for health-related reasons.

So this time, let’s consider one of the rare situations where legitimate healthcare actually can come at the expense of someone else: conjoined twins. Recognizing that we can’t simply pretend one isn’t there for convenience, Mayo Clinic explains:

An emergency separation may be needed if one of the twins dies, develops a life-threatening condition or threatens the survival of the other twin. More often, however, separation surgery is an elective procedure done two to four months after birth. Recent advances in prenatal imaging, critical care and anesthetic care have improved outcomes in separation surgery.

Many factors weigh heavily in the decision to pursue separation surgery, such as:

– Do the twins share vital organs?
– Are the twins healthy enough to withstand separation surgery?
– What are the odds of successful separation?
– What type of reconstructive surgery might be needed for each twin after successful separation?
– What issues would the twins face if left conjoined?

Payne may not like to admit it, but two patients are just as present in pregnancy—the only difference is that most pregnancies are overwhelmingly likely to end with both of them alive, well, and separate. Why do these considerations suddenly disappear when a mother wants to abort? Under her logic, couldn’t a conjoined twin just as easily demand their sibling’s death?

How can any medical professional be taken seriously when they’re in effect arguing that abortion deserves a special exemption from standard medical ethics?

These residents and medical students are my friends and they’re the future of accessible abortion in this country. Their voices are heard in their hospitals, sometimes quietly, but their passion and dedication is stronger than any other cohort in medicine.

Here we have the ideologue’s classic inability to resist overreach. It’s not enough to argue that abortionists are just as good as real doctors; they’re categorically better! Wow! Is that why most doctors want nothing to do with your field?

I’m a 5’ blonde from Ohio and my last boyfriend was a pastor. In fact my Midwest, Christian upbringing is largely responsible for my belief that providing abortion services is one of the most meaningful ways I feel I can contribute to making the world a more fair and equal place for women.

A Christian upbringing so powerful that it included none of Christianity’s teachings on abortion, apparently.

I was feminine for sure, caring for my hair and nails pristinely by the age of 12, but my ambition and desire for success were never curtailed by my gender. By the age of 16, I was on the pill, “just in case,” and when I did become sexually active my ambition or opportunities for success were never curtailed because of my sex.

What I mean is: I never experienced unplanned pregnancy because I was fortunate enough to have parents who understood the normalcy of teenage sexuality, and provided me education and opportunities to prevent undesired pregnancy and disease. I could have sex, just like a man could, and go on with my life, with minimal fear of life-changing consequences (i.e. unwanted pregnancy).

A Christian upbringing that conveniently omitted chastity, too. I’m sensing a pattern here…

I realize this is a privilege in our society and that is unjust. All women who desire contraception should have it; it’s necessary for women to be able to achieve their goals. Not because women are sluts, but because women are humans, and humans do have sex.

They already can have it; the only “injustice” is not being able to pickpocket their coworkers or fellow taxpayers to pay for it. Personally, I wouldn’t feel too comfortable entrusting my or my daughters’ healthcare to someone whose conception of justice is “gimme!” or for whom personal responsibility doesn’t even factor into the sex equation.

It wasn’t until I went to college, when I began paying attention to national politics that I began to understand that gender inequality was still very much at the forefront of our national debate. I began to see this play out through sexual politics. I watched mostly male legislators say medically inaccurate or horribly offensive things about the female body as they attempted to pass laws making my ability to access healthcare more difficult. I realized that my sex and gender could hugely impact my ability to access the healthcare I needed to make sure I could finish college and go to medical school.

That’s funny, because I’m not aware of many anti-abortion politicians (the most famous of which his state’s primary voters didn’t even like) saying “medically inaccurate or horribly offensive things about the female body.” I am, however, aware of the #1 name in your field, Planned Parenthood, whom your field routinely hails as the gold standard in respect for women, routinely saying medically inaccurate things.

Why indeed, as Nicholas Kristof stated in his recent NYT article, “Our Sexed Crazed Congress,” are Conservative Republicans, indignant about abortion, trying to destroy a government program that helps prevent 345,000 abortions a year?

Maybe because they know better than to assume the New York Times is giving the complete picture? David French pointed out in response to Kristof:

He claims that if the federal government stops buying condoms, unintended pregnancies will increase, in turn leading to more abortions. Yet, as he himself concedes, “Since 1980 inflation-adjusted spending on Title X family planning has fallen by two-thirds.” Teen pregnancy, meanwhile, has been declining for more than two decades […] And the number of abortions is falling as well[.]

Payne continues:

As a political science/women’s studies major it seemed obvious their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood were efforts to remove women from the public sphere. It seemed obvious that the debate over access to reproductive health care was really a debate about reproduction, and sexuality, and traditional gender roles. It is obvious that women need their health, and need control over their reproduction and their bodies in order to compete along the career trajectory with men.

Therefore, taking away women’s access to reproductive health services and birth control seemed like a covert, or rather overt effort to remove the work-force competition, and place women back in the home. It is true that traditional gender roles are very much in flux right now.

Sorry, but what’s truly obvious here is that someone so quick to recite ulterior motives for disagreeing with her but unwilling to so much as mention the objection that abortion is killing—despite having medical training that ensures beyond a shadow of a doubt that she knows better—is a phony.

We do not live in a world where men and women are equal. Economic and political power in the United States are still held in a supermajority by men and until women reach the top of industry, including economic and government industry, the policies in this nation will not equally reflect the needs and interest of women – including our reproductive needs.

Funny, does that include the women who scores of surveys confirm are at least as likely as men to oppose abortion? How do you square this theory with the fact that the pro-life movement is led by women?

I provide abortions, and actively take every opportunity to advance my abortion skills, because without abortion and family planning, women will never live in an equal world, let alone rule the world.

Women already live in a world of equal political rights, social freedom, and economic opportunity, but apparently they need a pass to kill their kids to be even more equal. Yes, it’s disgraceful whenever men abandon their responsibilities to women and children, but there’s something just as disgraceful about deciding that stooping to the level of deadbeat dads (or worse, in this case) is what women should aspire to in response.

I provide abortions because I think it is fair to women who did not have the education, tools, or resources to prevent pregnancy.

Again we see that it’s pro-aborts, not pro-lifers, who doubt that women are smart enough to understand where babies come from or strong enough to exercise basic responsibility for their futures.

I think it is fair because our government does a poor job providing the public health resources necessary to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

Or because she hasn’t bothered to do the research on how state-dispensed contraception has worked out.

I think it is fair to provide women with safe termination when their life is in jeopardy.

And that justifies “termination” when their life isn’t in jeopardy how, exactly?

I think it’s fair for women to be able to pursue their education and careers at the pace and timeline they desire.

… even when their kids have to die in the name of the pursuit.

I think it is fair to families and communities to build when they are ready.

… even if that means executing the parts of their families they built too early.

And most importantly, I think it is fair to children, that they are born into a world where they are wanted, and loved, and cared for, and have the resources they need to thrive.

And before they’re born, their fairness doesn’t count.

In the narratives provided in “Four residents…” [a pro-choice piece that wasn’t enthusiastic enough about abortion for Payne’s tastes -CF] not one offered a nuanced perspective on abortion as it relates to society, or women’s role in society, or poverty, or child abuse, or the myriad other ways in which abortion impacts the world around us. Physicians’ feelings matter, but as professionals we should evaluate those feelings in the larger context of the world around us, and the impact we’re having on the world.

Wait a sec—you go 1,800 words without once mentioning the violent side of your work or trying to justify completely disregarding the child’s welfare, and then have the gall to claim you want nuance? To want to evaluate the larger context surrounding abortion?

When we speak of “doing no harm” in the context of abortion, omission and passivity are not harmless but harmful to the very woman – the patient – you are dismissing.

But it doesn’t mean speaking of the literal harm every abortion consists of. In that case, omission is just fine.

No medical community that holds in high esteem such shallow, selective, biased, narcissistic, and evidence-averse analysis of profound affronts to basic medical ethics is one any of us should entrust our health to. That such a culture has formed around abortion “care” is no coincidence.

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