Former Clinic Worker Joan Appleton

Joan Appleton was a head nurse at the Commonwealth Clinic, she states,

“I was very active in the National Organization for Women (NOW). As a registered nurse, I thought that I had a wonderful opportunity as a nurse and as a firm believer in choice to be able to actually practice my political beliefs.

I looked at it as a gift, so I went about working hard at the (abortion) clinic for four years and remained active within NOW.

The doctors that we used were primarily physicians who were starting out in practice and would do abortions until they had enough money to open their own private practice. Or they were physicians who didn’t have such a hot practice and did abortions to pay for their medical malpractice insurance.

I never, ever had a doctor in the five years I was there who did abortions because he believed it was the right of the woman. It was not what was foremost in his mind. I’m not saying that they don’t exist, but you certainly can’t prove it by me or by my clinic.

I have come to the realization that there is a great deal of diversity among abortion clinics in different states. My clinic, in Falls Church Virginia, we were primarily nurses. I was head nurse at the clinic. My entire staff were nurses or lab technicians, and we really didn’t have any type of secular personnel outside of the secretarial work. Upon moving to Minnesota, unfortunately the freestanding clinics that I have found, there are no medical personnel outside of the doctor who is performing the abortion.

The differences in these clinics have to do with state regulations. The state of Virginia is regulated. Medical staff is required. In many, many states, there are no state regulations. So what they end up being, actually, are legalized back alley abortions.

12 week ultrasound

The doctors that we use are, were primarily physicians who were starting out in practice and would do abortions to earn enough money until they had their own private practice going. Or they were physicians who didn’t have such a hot practice and use working at abortion clinics to pay for their medical malpractice insurance, which for especially OB/GYN’s, is extremely high, all across the country.

I was convinced that pro-choice was indeed the best thing for women. I began to work more with organizations like Planned Parenthood, NARAL and NAF on certain projects, and began to learn even more. I was issuing birth control pills after an abortion and this is where I learned the real business, the real work of the abortion industry.

She goes on to describe how clinic workers handed out low dose birth control pills (with a higher failure rate) and neglected to tell women that taking a birth control pill while on antibiotics interferes with the action of the pill and makes it useless. This way, they were able to get more women to come in for abortions, when their birth control failed

I often saw women who were injured emotionally by abortion. However, my supervisor told me, “if she’s having a problem after her abortion, it’s because she was having a problem before her abortion.”…

One of the things that kept bothering me even while I was head nurse in the clinic, was why it was such an emotional trauma for a woman and such a difficult decision for a woman to make, if if it was a natural thing to do. If it was right, why was it so difficult? I had to ask myself that all the time. I asked myself too, I counseled these women so well, they were so sure of their decision, why are they coming back after me now, months and years later, psychological wrecks.

We deny, we in the pro-choice movement and in the abortion industry, deny that there is anything like postabortion syndrome, yet it is real, and they do come back, and I couldn’t deny their presence, and the numbers were increasing, and I kept asking, why?

I started out in the pro-choice movement believing I was helping women, believing that women had the right to choose, they had a right to life, they had the right to go on. I thought when I was counseling women, I was preparing them. I was preparing them, I was helping them through a difficult situation so they could go on with their lives. I told them that they were the most important person on this earth, that nothing was more important than them. And once we see you through this difficult situation, once this is over you can go about your life, you now have the freedom, you can go to college. Guess what folks, it didn’t happen. And I had to stop and say, what’s going on? Why isn’t this happening? Instead you’re going out, you’re getting pregnant again, you’re getting diseases, how am I helping you? And those are the questions that were gnawing, gnawing, and gnawing on me.

If it was right, why are they suffering? What have we done? We created a monster, and that we don’t know what to do with it. We created a monster so that we could now be pawns to the abortion industry, those of us women who really, really still believe in women’s rights. Those of us who still believe in care and are pro-woman, who still believe that we are worth something, we are intelligent, we aren’t doormats, we aren’t something to be used, and we used ourselves. We abused ourselves. And most of us won’t accept it, most of us can’t accept it. Most of the people, those who work in the abortion industry, those who really care and believe, can’t accept the bad part, can’t accept the flaws.

And I too had seen an ultrasound abortion. It was, we did first trimester, this was late first trimester, probably early second trimester, really we could look to 13.7 weeks. Give or take. I can’t remember offhand what the specific problem was, but we wanted to do the abortion by ultrasound, to make sure that we did indeed get the entire, all the baby. The terminology was that we wanted to make sure we had the entire pregnancy. I handled the ultrasound while the doctor performed the procedure, and I directed him while I was watching the screen. I saw the baby pull away. I saw the baby open his mouth. I had seen Silent Scream a number of times, but it didn’t affect me – to me it was just more pro-life propaganda. But I couldn’t deny what I saw on the screen. After that procedure, I was shaking, literally, but managed to pull it together, and continue on with the day.

My way of getting out of NOW was that I was a guest speaker at a Virginia NOW dinner. I got up to the podium and I said, “Folks, I can’t do this anymore. There is something wrong here and I can no longer be a part of the abortion industry or a part of the pro-choice movement and so I can no longer be a part of NOW.”

1st trimester sonogram

Pro-Life Action League: Meet the Abortion Provider

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