Abortion doctors were called “lowlifes”, “bums”, “murderers”,

A doctor who received medical training before Roe V Wade:

“I was taught that abortion was not only illegal but immoral, and that no self-respecting doctor who considered herself part of the medical community would perform an abortion… Abortionists were “bums”,”murderers”, real “lowlifes”, and very inept physicians who could not make a living any other way. They were objects of contempt and scorn.”

Rickie Solinger Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States (New York: Hill and Wang, 2001) 49

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Resident talks about abortion stigma

In a Glamour magazine article, an OB/GYN resident says that she sees the abortion stigma in school administrators, faculty, and their peers who give the impression that:

“abortion is a sleazy and offensive procedure… A doctor who does abortions – even if they are only a small part of her practice – is known as an abortionist. This label is supposed to be the kiss of death for any professional hopes she might have.”

Anonymous “Why I Am an Abortionist” Glamour October 1993

Quoted in Mark Crutcher Lime 5: Exploited by Choice (Denton, Texas: Life Dynamics, Inc., 1996) 178

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Abortionist: “I felt like I wore a Scarlet A”

Abortionist Dr. Pratima Gupta wrote:

“When I was first hired I felt like I had a scarlet letter, a big A on my face, the A being for Abortion Provider, not for Adulteress.”

JO ABI “Dr. Gupta is pregnant. She’s also an abortion provider.” Mama Mia March 11, 2017

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No one boasts of being an abortionist

From an article in The Independent about a shortage of abortion providers in England:

“Distaste at performing terminations combined with ethical and religious convictions has led to a big increase in “conscientious objectors” who request exemption from the task, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) says. A key factor is what specialists call “the dinner party test.” Gynecologists who specialize in fertility treatment creating babies for childless couples are almost universally revered – but no one boasts of being an abortionist. As a result, after decades of campaigning, antiabortion organizations may be on the point of achieving their objective by default. Repeated efforts to tighten the law have failed and public opinion remains firmly in support, but the growing number of doctors refusing to do the work means there may soon not be enough prepared to carry out terminations to meet demand.”

Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor “Abortion Crisis as Doctors Refuse to Perform Surgery” The Independent April 16, 2007

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Doctor’s considered abortion a “shameful practice”

Reporter Lauren Evans writes:

Even after abortions became legal, doctors shirked from the job, not wanting to wrap themselves up in what was largely considered a shameful practice.

Evans quotes Shauna Heckert, the Feminist Women’s Health Center abortion clinic’s executive director:

“This was not a situation where all of a sudden abortion became legal and all of a sudden a million doctors went, ‘Oh, I’m going to provide abortions,’

Abortion has always been stigmatized in the medical community.

Lauren Evans “For women, by women: Much has changed and much has stayed the same since the Feminist Women’s Health Center started 30 years agoNews Review  09.15.05.

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Abortionist talks about “stigma” of abortionists

A man who does some abortions explains why he does not want to be known as an “abortionist”:

“I hate doing [abortions], but I do them every once in a while. But the real reason we try to avoid them is that I don’t want to be known in the community as a local abortionist. I want to be known as a doctor who loves mommies and their babies. I don’t care what is said, there is a stigma attached to doing abortions. There are political reasons not to earn the reputation as the local abortionist, I mean to be known as the physician who performed abortions whenever asked.”

Jonathan B Imber Abortion and the Private Practice of Medicine (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986) 68

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Article explains “circuit provider” abortionists

An article in the The Santa Fe Reporter tells of an abortionist named “Clara” who flies to different abortion clinics throughout the country every week to do abortions.

The article says:

“Known as “fly-ins” or “circuit providers,” doctors like Clara travel to work in clinics that can’t find local doctors willing to do the procedure. Though there are no official figures on fly-ins, or on the overall number of physicians who do abortions, Clara estimates that there are about 100 doctors in the US who, like her, are willing to work in places other doctors simply won’t.”

Abortionist Ted Russell explains why a clinic in New Mexico needs a circuit provider:

“There’s a reason they have to fly a physician in to provide abortion services and have not been able to find a doctor who lives there in the last 10 years. They’d find, personally and professionally, it would be impossible to work there, to live there and to be labeled an abortion doctor.”

He once worked in New Mexico before quitting.

The New Mexico clinic director says her former abortionist was opposed by the medical community. There is still great stigma towards abortion among some doctors and health care providers:

“In her years at the clinic, [the clinic manager] has seen many doctors come and go. The last doctor to both live and work in this city, Ted Russell, whose name has been changed so as not to reveal where Clara works, was hounded out of town a decade ago. Though abortion accounted for only 15 percent of his practice, when Russell tried to refer his other patients to hospitals for deliveries or even X-rays, the hospitals refused them. After 18 months of frustration with the local medical community—not to mention ongoing harassment from protesters—he left, and the clinic has used fly-ins since.”

Sharyn Jackson “Undercover” The Santa Fe Reporter October 5, 2011

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Abortionist speaks out about lack of abortion doctors

Judith Arcana, who was active in the organization JANE, which performed illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade, was interviewed. She and the interviewer made reference to the reluctance of doctors to do abortions:

Interviewer: There is a similar trend [in England], where younger doctors are also not opting enthusiastically for abortion work. The reasons may be different though. It perhaps is not because of the level of risk involved, but because abortion work is perceived as boring, unchallenging and also unglamorous, compared say to working in infertility, providing IVF.

Judith: That also is why in the past not many doctors in the US got involved in abortion work, even in the first few years after Roe… Abortion – who wants to do that? … It is not like brain surgery, or anything like the high-tech reproductive medicine that can be done now.

Judith Arcana ““Feminist politics and abortion in the US,”  Psychology and Reproductive Choice

Visited 9/2/2017

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Pro-choicer: Fewer British doctors want to do abortions

Pro-Abortion author Judith Orr says that fewer British doctors want to be trained to do abortions:

“There is worrying evidence that a growing number of younger doctors are refusing to take part in abortions. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated almost 10 years ago that it was aware of a “slow but growing problem of trainees opting out of training in the termination of pregnancy and is therefore concerned about the abortion service of the future.” This may be caused by the stigma that still surrounds abortion, meaning it is not a prestigious specialty. It may also be a result, as abortion care provider Dr. Tracey Masters indicates, of the separation and “exceptionalising” of abortion from other aspects of women’s healthcare. But it may also reflect that abortion is not as appreciated as a vital life-saving health provision….”

Judith Orr Abortion Wars: The Fight for Reproductive Rights (Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2017) 35 – 36

Quote from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists is from: Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (RCOG) (2007)

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“No one boasts of being an abortionist”

An article in The Independent describes how abortionists are not respected as much as other doctors:

Distaste at performing terminations combined with ethical and religious convictions has led to a big increase in “conscientious objectors” who request exemption from the task, the RCOG says. A key factor is what specialists call “the dinner party test”. Gynaecologists who specialise in fertility treatment creating babies for childless couples are almost universally revered – but no one boasts of being an abortionist.

Jeremy Lauranc “ABORTION CRISIS AS DOCTORS REFUSE TO PERFORM SURGERY” The Independent, 16 April 2007

RCOG is the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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