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Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Ms Leen

Where I live there is no aborition couselors, you have the money, you meet the requirements, you get it and you go. Thats it. Aborition counseling and people who are "concerned", ummm not around here. We are poor and there are too many of us I guess for them to take the time with. You can go on any Friday or Saturday with the money in your pocket and just be done. No hassle.

Although if someone made me wait a week I would be highly upset, especially if I am sure that is what I want. It is not like I am getting my tubes tied or something.


Gee... I can't believe that I get to respectfully disagree with Katha Pollit. As an abortion provider, I have to say that almost every day I come across at least one women that I send home because she is unsure of her decision, not ready to cope with her emotional response to the decision or is being pressured by outside sources.

Most of these women will continue to say, "But I want to get this over with today" and I make them go home anyway. Why? Because it would be irresponsible as a provider of good medical care to let someone go through with a procedure that they are not truly prepared to deal with. Abortion providers are not ATM machines-- we're still doctors and counselors that are looking to treat our patients as a whole-- not just their bodies, but their mind and souls also.

Thus far, I've only had one patient return and tell me that she didn't find the extra time to contemplate her decision helpful. In fact, nearly all return to say that the time gave them a chance to talk more openly to the people in their lives who give them support so that they are more clear and at peace with the decision to terminate OR I've had patients call to tell me that the time gave them the opportunity to realize that they DO NOT want to terminate.

It's a fine line to walk, but sometimes the best thing I can do for a women is to day, "I'm not saying you can't have an abortion. I'm saying you can't have one today."

Katha Pollitt

I love your site and find it very educational, but about this, I dunno -- here's a woman who expresses no ambivalence, who is "very clear," who came in the minute she missed a period, and who had practical, sensible reasons for wanting an abortion--ie to get her degree and be job-ready in her home country. In essence,because she protested a 24-hour state-mandated waiting period, you imposed on her a waiting period of a whole week! I don't think it was your place to suggest she talk it over more with her boyfriend and "loved ones," whose idea seemed to be that she abandon her studies and get married. And why is her roommate's opinion part of the story? This patient is 27 years old -- not a teenager. You infantilized her.
It sounds to me like you expect a certain set of conventional emotional reactions (reluctance? sadness? wanting to talk to a counselor?) and are determined to extract them -- by making her go home and live in her pregnant body for a week while her religious roommate yammers at her and her family pressures her. This woman isn't an American -- maybe attitudes about abortion are different in her country. Maybe she hasn't learned that in the US women are expected to feel ambivalent about every decision they make, and ask for lots of advice.
Yes, it is possible that she might regret her abortion. But why is regret so high on your list of concerns, as opposed to giving her the respectful medical care she asks for and is legally entitled to as an adult? It is also possible that her family might push her into marriage and motherhood and she might regret that! Imagine if doctors postponed care in other cases where regret was possible: Hmmm... I'm not going to prescribe birth control for a week, you need to think more about whether you're ready to have sex.. I'm not going to tie your tubes, you only have two kids, you might be sorry later. I'm troubled that you substitute your judgment for that of the woman-- and that your reason is that her judgment struck you as too firm.

Please let us know how this turns out. I feel bad for this woman.

Pat Mongiello

I was just doing some google searching on state abortion laws and found something interesting about the "breast cancer link" warning that some states require. Seems a main origin of the abortion/breast cancer link myth was a series of experiments on rats. It's really irritating that our choices are being restricted based on rat data!


Just thought I'd share. The whole site is very interesting.

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