Dr. William Rashbaum, veteran of thousands of abortions, had for years suffered during each removal a fantasy of the fetus resisting, hanging onto the uterus walls with its tiny fingernails, fighting to stay inside.
How, he was asked, had he managed to perform abortions despite this fantasy?
“Learned to live with it. Like people in concentration camps.”
When asked if he really meant that metaphor:
“I think it’s apt – destruction of life. Look! I’m a person, I’m entitled to my feelings. And my feelings are who gave me or anybody the right to terminate a pregnancy? I’m entitled to that feeling, but I also have no right communicating it to the patient who desperately wants that abortion. I don’t get paid for my feelings. I get paid for my skills… I’ll be frank. I began to do abortions in large numbers at the time of my divorce when I needed money. But I also believe in the woman’s right to control their biological destiny. I spent a lot of years learning to deliver babies. Sure, it sometimes hurts to end life instead of bringing it into the world.”
Norma Rosen “Between Guilt and Gratification: Abortion Doctors Reveal Their Feelings,” New York Times Magazine April 17, 1977 p 73, 74, 78Share on Facebook