I, admittedly, have never had an abortion. I am so very grateful for my legal right to choose to have an abortion, but am equally grateful that I have never had to exercise my choice. Because no matter how I feel any given day or no matter what I say about the politics that surround abortion, I can never fully put myself in the shoes of the woman who is getting that abortion and who did exercise her choice. I have never pretended to know what she feels or understand why she made the decisions that she did. And that’s the thing, I don’t need to. It’s not my job to understand or judge. My job is to support, counsel on options, and provide a safe, legal procedure. Her body, her choice.
I have sat across from so many women exercising their choice. They are teens, they are in their 40s. They are already mothers, they are not ready to be mothers. Their boyfriend is abusive, their boyfriend is supportive of the decision. Their birth control didn’t work, even though they used it perfectly. They didn’t have birth control because they were taught abstinence only. They are anti-choice, except when it comes to their own abortion. Last week, they were protesting the clinic, and today they are your patient. Every woman’s story is different. Ask any Abortioneer, and she/he will tell you the same. No one can describe the typical abortion patient, because there is no typical patient.
It’s funny to me when people say abortion hurts women. Do they mean literally? I mean, from what I have seen, some women do complain of intense cramps. If they mean figuratively, I guess I don’t follow. From what I have seen, abortion helps women. No one in the clinic forces a women to have an abortion, she is there of her own free will and choice because, well, she needs help. If people don’t believe that, then they aren’t listening. And I honestly can’t tell you of a more gratifying field of work. In all my medical experiences, patients with a safe, legal option to terminate an unwanted pregnancy are the most grateful and most thankful patients I have ever encountered.
And I am grateful that if I should need to exercise my choice in the future, someone will be there to offer the same counsel and support I provide. I am grateful of these things for you too, reader, no matter what you believe.