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Wisconsin abortionist wants to retire, but can find no one to take his place

Embryotomy-abortion-Scissors

A recent article in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel  highlights the shortage of abortion providers in the United States. The article is about 71-year-old Dennis Christensen, who wants to retire, but can’t find any other doctor willing to take over his job performing abortions at Affiliated Medical Center.

According to the article:

Abortion physician Dennis Christensen wants to retire. But he can’t, the 71-year-old says, because no one wants to take over his Milwaukee clinic, a condition he set for himself for retirement.

Christensen and his professional partner, Bernard Smith, both of whom have performed abortions for more than four decades, hope they can hand over the reins of the Affiliated Medical Center to younger physicians, but so far no one has come forward.

Christensen, who, according to the Wisconsin state Journal,  may have performed as many as 100,000 abortions in his career, says that pro-life “harassment” is a major reason why doctors don’t want to become abortionists. He also talks about the stigma of performing abortions. Other abortionists have also described this stigma.

For example, abortionist Gary Romalis said in the Vancouver Sun:

Abortion has always been viewed as a kind of subterranean thing. Children don’t go around saying, “my father is an abortionist.”

Dr. Susan Robinson, one of only a few doctors to perform abortions in the third trimester, has said: 

Being an abortion provider is very stigmatized. Other doctors look down on you and think of you as like the lowest of the low.

In September of 2012, Jezebel profiled a retired abortionist named Robert Livingston.  The article says:

Livingston said he thought the stigma of being an abortion doctor is greater now than it was in the 1960s and that public opposition is stronger than he’s ever seen.

Incidentally, the Jezebel article, which calls Livingston “a champion for abortion rights,” makes no mention of the fact that he had his license suspended in 2007 for abusing painkillers. 

Many more quotes on abortion stigma are collected at Clinicquotes. 

Christensen is also under pressure because of a 2013 law signed by Gov. Scott Walker which requires all Wisconsin abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical have sued to block the law, which has not yet taken effect. U.S. District Judge William Conley is expected to rule on the law, which, if found constitutional, would drive Dr. Christensen’s clinic out of business, whether he wants to retire or not, as neither physician working there has been able to obtain admitting privileges.

Both pro-life activity and abortion’s stigma have contributed to a climate where fewer and fewer doctors are choosing to enter the abortion business. The grisly nature of abortion may be another reason why so few doctors wish to get involved.

In the following video, an excerpt from an abortion documentary, you can see Dr. Dennis Christensen sorting through the body parts of a baby he has just aborted.

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