Picking Your Healthcare Provider

In the past, I’ve never before thought about whether my healthcare provider was anti-abortion or pro-choice. When I was newly pregnant and looking for a doctor, it’s not something I really considered.

That is, until I was laying back on the bed in my doctor’s office with my shirt up and the ultrasound stick on my belly and was taken completely by surprise by the doctor and nurse going off on a pro-life tangent.

Now to be fair, it started with a joke. I said I wanted to put one of the images on facebook, and the doctor joked that that would be illegal because it would be child porn, and I pointed out that it wasn’t legally a child yet, and that’s when things got funny. Or rather, not so funny.

“Actually, there’s some disagreement about that,” the doctor told me. No there’s not, I said in my mind. The fact that it’s not a “child” according to the law we have today is not something that’s relative.

“It has a heartbeat,” the nurse explained. Is this seriously happening? I asked myself incredulously. What kind of alternate universe did I just step into?

I didn’t respond. I almost wish I had, but I was taken by surprise and I didn’t want to cause a scene. I just didn’t expect to get a mini anti-abortion lecture at my doctor’s office, in the middle of a routine ultrasound.

I don’t go to my doctor to hear his opinion on abortion, or any religious or political issue. All I ask of my doctor is for him to see me through a healthy pregnancy. I really don’t want to know his religious views or what he thinks of the ethics or morality of a legal procedure like abortion. That shouldn’t matter. Similarly, all I want of my pharmacist is to get the drugs I need and all I want of my health insurance provider is to have my doctor bills covered.

After this experience, though, I do kind of wonder. In the future, should I ask up front and make sure I get a doctor who is pro-choice? I’d like to think that a doctor’s political and religious views are irrelevant to his practice as a doctor, but the reality is that in today’s climate they aren’t, and the reality is that I’d simply feel more comfortable with a doctor I know supports my right to choose. Something to bear in mind in the future, I guess.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.