Doctors’ angst over abortion

The Washington Post magazine has a telling feature about doctors who do not want to commit abortion, but feel constrained to do so anyway because of their pro-choice ideology. From A Hard Choice: A young medical student tries to decide if she has what it takes to join the diminishing ranks of abortion providers – washingtonpost.com:

The kind of doctor Lesley Wojick aspired to be stood at a lectern at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, issuing tough challenges to the young medical students who had gathered to hear her on a cold Saturday.

You think you are pro-choice, Carole Meyers was saying. But, really, “how pro-choice are you? What does it mean for you? What’s your limit? Will you do an abortion on a woman who is 12 weeks pregnant? Twenty-four weeks pregnant?”

What’s your limit with birth defects? she asked. “Would you do an abortion at 28 weeks if the baby had a club foot? How about hemophilia?”

Meyers, a 51-year-old obstetrician and genetics expert, has performed hundreds of abortions over the course of her career and, until earlier this year, served as the medical director of Planned Parenthood of Maryland. She loves her work — it’s very rewarding, she said, and women always thank her — but she doesn’t shrink from examining abortion’s ethical dilemmas or from setting her own limits. The truth, she told Lesley and the other medical students, is that abortion is not a black-and-white issue, not for patients and not for doctors.

“If you are going to perform abortions, how is your family going to think about it?” she asked. “How will you tell your kids? What are you going to do if your church doesn’t want you to come anymore?”

How are you going to feel about a patient who admits she has picketed the clinic in the past? she continued. “What about the woman who comes in for her third abortion and doesn’t want to hear about birth control? How are you going to feel about that?” . . . .

The doctor’s charged words appealed to Lesley, a 24-year-old second-year medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who had helped organize this regional student-hosted, daylong abortion seminar last year. Lesley respected forthrightness and unconventional thinking. Like Meyers, she had never been afraid to reveal doubts. She wanted to think about complicated questions, to hear about the rewards of being an abortion provider as well as the difficulties.

Tall, thin and smartly dressed, Lesley was five months away from starting her third year of medical school, when she would finally begin caring for patients and touring the medical specialties in search of the right one for her. Obstetrics and gynecology was Lesley’s No. 1 choice, and in theory, it was a perfect fit. It offered her the chance to form relationships with women and teens, to be their counselor and their surgeon, to provide preventive care and family planning. And it coincided with her politics.

She had joined Medical Students for Choice, an abortion education group with chapters on 135 U.S. campuses, as soon as she arrived at Maryland. The nation’s abortion doctors were graying, and unless a new generation took their place, the right to abortion might be rendered meaningless. Lesley imagined herself being part of that new generation. But would her support for abortion translate into action?

“I won’t know until I’m faced with doing it, but I think I would absolutely be able to provide [abortions],” she said. “It’s walk the walk, instead of talk the talk. I want my actions to be consistent with my words.”

The tone of the article is strongly pro-abortion, but it reveals that the truth that abortion is manslaughter is generally known, both by reason and by conscience. Also that what pulls doctors away from their own medical knowledge and the instincts of their own vocation is political ideology.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Manxman

    This woman is the sick, ensnared product of Satanic evangelism. May she be totally revolted by her destruction of human life, and may her conscience (what there is left of it), give her no peace when she finally “walks the walk” down the path to destruction she is on. May God give her the grace to repent.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    You walk around our giant hospitals and so many people seem so “normal,” but underneath it all there is this death stinking up the hearts of so many. It is killing my friends and it is killing trust and the humanness to our relationships. I have to undergo some tests today at our hospital. Lord, have mercy! To me, those places are representing more and more a dangerous morality labyrinth. They are so efficient at hiding away human suffering and death. They seem to more and more become the temples to hideous false-gods lurking in their halls and brightly lit chambers, there in our institutions that once were so Christian. There our nations brightest and best practitioners of science and technology lurk, dishing out life and death. I am afraid of how much more deadly and calculating the next generation might be. Come, Lord Jesus.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I know part of the above comment is my angst over seeing the doctor today. But gee whiz is this post scary to me today!

  • Carl Vehse

    For her 200 genocidal murders-by-abortion Carole Meyers should be one of those facing a U.S.-established Nuremberg-style trial, conviction, and execution of sentence.

    “I won’t know until I’m faced with doing it, but I think I would absolutely be able to provide [abortions]. It’s walk the walk, instead of talk the talk. I want my actions to be consistent with my words.”

    Lesley appears headed to become another butcher of humans and another Nuremberg-style trial defendent.

  • richard

    That is a good point about natural law, though: the doctors are aware of the wrongness of their actions. And some justify abortion by their politics. Further proof of man’s depravity, as if we needed it.

  • Carl Vehse

    At the end of the Washington Compost abortion article, Lesley appears to decide that while she still supports abortion, she won’t be murdering children herself.

    Even as she’d shadowed the abortion doctor, Lesley knew in her heart that this would not be the right place for her to make a difference. It was a big disappointment, she said. “I really thought I’d love it”…. Vacuuming out a uterus and counting the parts of the fetus did not seem like a desirable way to spend her work days. It took a unique person to do that on a daily basis, she said.

    Lesley still believed passionately in abortion rights and was proud of what she’d accomplished at Maryland with her activism. She didn’t want to let people down. Even so, she had to follow her heart. Somebody else — maybe Laura Merkel, the new chapter president of Medical Students for Choice — would become an abortion provider. But it wouldn’t be her.

    Thus Lesley Wojick, a heartless murderer, still supports someone else to murder, as long as the blood is not on here surgical gloves – and this person wants to be called a physician.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Just goes to prove what the Scriptures say (and what I knew when I was getting beat up on the playground as a child)- we are all murderers at heart.

  • Manxman

    Patrick,

    At least you survived, and the American “justice” system doesn’t protect what was done to you as your attackers’ “right.”

    There is no moral equivalence between the consequences of abortion on demand and your playground experiences.

  • Pingback: How did I get in this handbasket? : Pursuing Holiness

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Manxman,

    You missed my point entirely. My point was that the desire to inflict physical harm and to turn the object of our violence into something less than human, and our propensity to hate, brings us all under Jesus’ condemnation of “murder in the heart” My ass beatings on the playground in no way compare to the horror of infanticide. Both things however, are to a greater or lesser degree, symptoms of the same condition, and this was clear to me early on.

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Are you familiar with Dr. John Patrick’s work on the subject of abortion/euthanasia and the physician’s conscience? He spoke at our Love Life conference at Concordia College, Edmonton, on Nov . 15.

    johnpatrick.ca

  • FW

    I see opportinities here! THE nexus between us of faith and those who are not believers is the common denominator of the law written in the heart. The gospel is “foolishness” but the law is something everyone must bow down to when they are honest.

    What Pat Kyle says is exactly what makes missionary work possible. The abortion issue will be won one person and one conscience at a time. Just like it was won in the first 3 christian centuries.

    Courts, and legislatures and worse still (!) public referendums just will lead in the opposite direction.

  • Van

    Patrick,
    I understood exactly what you were saying. In understanding our own irrepressible urge to murder (if you hate your brother…) we begin to be able to forgive and share the Gospel!! Our murdering hearts are washed clean in Christ!

  • FW

    #13 van

    awesome post. you get alot more than Patrick´s post. you made my day! nice to see you here dear friend.


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