Counselor talks about abortion workers’ trauma doing abortions

Mary Mullany, a British psychologist, describes how emotional problems plagued nurses who work at abortion facilities.  The graphic nature of the abortions they witnessed created discouragement and led to a high turnover rate.

“My work as a Psychiatric Clinical Specialist involves direct counseling with women wishing to have an abortion and consultation with nursing and medical staff performing the procedures. What has been the most distressing to me is the discouragement that the nursing staff experience, resulting in a very high attrition rate. The staff perform first trimester as well as prostaglandin abortions weekly. Clearly prostaglandins are the most controversial and stressful for all involved.

Recently, I started working with nurses’ groups to help them to articulate their thoughts, feelings, and concerns about the abortion process and hopefully channel concerns appropriately. There are numerous occasions where the nurses’ own ambivalent feelings interfere with patient care and heighten conflict among staff.

I recognize that there are no easy answers, that abortion is a very complex emotional and ethical decision for all participants. I continue to be impressed with how long the unresolved pain of abortion resides with so many women.”

Mary Kenny Abortion: The Whole Story (London: Quartet Books, 1986) 272

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About Sarah

Sarah is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.
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