NY Times Magazine: The New Abortion Providers

There’s another side of the story, however ”” a deliberate and concerted counteroffensive that has gone largely unremarked. Over the last decade, abortion-rights advocates have quietly worked to reverse the marginalization encouraged by activists like Randall Terry. Abortion-rights proponents are fighting back on precisely the same turf that Terry demarcated: the place of abortion within mainstream medicine. This abortion-rights campaign, led by physicians themselves, is trying to recast doctors, changing them from a weak link of abortion to a strong one. Its leaders have built residency programs and fellowships at university hospitals, with the hope that, eventually, more and more doctors will use their training to bring abortion into their practices. The bold idea at the heart of this effort is to integrate abortion so that it’s a seamless part of health care for women ”” embraced rather than shunned.

This is the future. Or rather, one possible future. There’s a long way to go from here to there. Between 2000 and 2005, the last year that statistics are available, the number of abortion facilities in the U.S. dropped 2 percent ”” a smaller dip than those in the preceding five-year periods, but a decline nonetheless. “The ’90s were about getting abortion back into residency training and medical schools,” says Jody Steinauer, an OB-GYN professor at the University of California at San Francisco, the hub of the abortion-rights countermovement in medicine. “Now it’s about getting abortion into our practices.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Religion & Culture, Theology

13 comments on “NY Times Magazine: The New Abortion Providers

  1. TridentineVirginian says:

    Huh, this is progress of a sort. They are back to referring to what they do and what they are advocating as abortion, instead of using obfuscatory language like “pro-choice” or “women’s health.” It benefits us whenever the other side let the mask slip a little. I don’t think this will go anywhere – the main threat is, as always, the use of the courts and the state bureaucracy to force compliance on the unwilling.

  2. TACit says:

    Medical Students for Choice now has 10,000 members, it is reported. This is truly obscene, since the doctor’s oath begins ‘First, do no harm.’ It just helps highlight the ditch the nation’s conscience is sliding into. Sorry but I cannot finish reading the article.

  3. Country Doc says:

    And BHO has promised to get the Freedom of Consience Act revoked so participating in abortion will be a legal requirment! Murderers in white coats—-against the Hippocratic tradition and Christianity. At least they should be required to wear black coats. LORD HAVE MERCY.

  4. Dan Crawford says:

    Doctors are now the new instruments of death in our culture: leading the way in euthanasia, abortion, and as administrators of state-sponsored lethal injections. We now live in a society where even the healers have made a Covenant with death. (Read the second chapter of the Book of Wisdom.)

  5. Branford says:

    I have a question a little off-topic (but not really) I hope someone can help me with – I am moving to a new state and will be calling around to get recommendations for new doctors – family practice and ob/gyn in particular. I do not want to go to an ob/gyn who performs abortions. What questions do I need to ask to make sure of that? In other words, if I ask the doctor’s office, “Does Dr. X perform abortions?”, will they say “No” but really mean “yes” because I don’t know the correct terminology to describe an abortion in medical terms? I’m not sure whether doctors who perform abortions try to hide that from their non-pregnant patients – any help would be appreciated.

  6. Clueless says:

    “I do not want to go to an ob/gyn who performs abortions”

    Unfortunately you are a little late. One of the reasons I went into Neurology rather than Ob/Gyne is that while I loved delivering babies, if you have a high risk pregnancy and the mother decides to abort, it is considered criminal “abandonment” if you refuse to participate. Thus, all Ob-Gyne who had strong feelings about abortion, dropped OB to limit their practice to gynecology. Many family practitioners will do (non high risk) pregnancies and some will do abortions, most will send their patient to the abortion clinic instead.

    Most physicians don’t do abortions, and don’t wish to. However it is difficult to graduate from an Ob/Gyne residency and be strongly “pro-life”. It is expected that if you wish to get into a Ob residency you will be a “medical student for choice”. (Ditto for pediatrics and psychiatry). It is one of the things that programs look for. If you are verbally “prolife” it is likely that you will be cut from the program as your opinion will bother your teachers. A close family member was cut from her Pediatrics residency program when she was called “as a pediatric intern” to an abortion (the nurses are required to call when the baby is delivered, but the intern/resident is supposed to stand there and do nothing). The child was still alive and gasping, and she tried to initiate resusitation, (to the horror of the attending) and when told to immediately cease and desist, she proceeded to baptise the child. It was about a week later that she started being “dinged” on every patient and a month later that she was told that she was going to be dropped from the program. (She had almost completed the year with excellent reviews up until that point).

    SO. All of a sudden people feel that evil doctors are instruments of death. That is true. It is one of the reasons that it was a mistake for patients to try to coerce physicians using the government as a tool. All you guys who voted for Obama. You voted for increased physician coercion, not less coercion. Just as I was counselled not to go into Ob/Gyne or pediatrics lest I be forced to prescribe birth control or perform abortions, I have been counselling all the medical students I teach not to go into neurology lest they be forced to participate in euthanasia. When it comes, I will drop back and be an urgent care doc, or a prison doc or something.

    America has been trying to coerce physicians since the late 1980s. The US government coopted the AMA by giving the folks in charge a monopoly on coding worth millions a year. They no longer represent physicians (only 16% of physicians belong to the AMA, and most of them are in academic medicine). The US government coopted academic medicine by giving grant support to the programs that toed the party line on abortion, and “evidence based guidelines” which will in the future be used for euthanasia.

    Because the AMA has been coopted, it is not possible to set up a competing organization fot he 84% of physicians who are NOT in academic medicine. We are not permitted to unionize. We cannot even speak to each other about billing or dealing with medicare without being hit with “anti-trust” fraud. (Several physicians have gone to jail for simply asking their collegue in the doctors lounge what he is doing about the medicare cuts). There is no free speech for physicians and has not been for 20 years.

    America has been coercing physicians for 20 years. Nobody cared before. You all voted for Obama. It is only just now that euthanasia is on the horizon that there is this hypocritical “OMG how can these evil physicians do this?” The short answer is because the evil patients wanted it and voted in evil politicians who passed laws and regulations forcing it.

    Elections have consequences. If you voted for Obama you have no right to complain.

  7. Branford says:

    Clueless – thanks for the info, as depressing as it is. Since I did not vote for Obama, I guess I will continue to complain! What a sad story about your family member in the Pediatrics residency. I hadn’t even thought about pediatrics as a place where abortions would take place. I will perhaps look for a gynecologist (since I’m too old for the ob part) and question carefully any family practice doctor I’m considering.

  8. Clueless says:

    In addition to coercion during medical school and residency (which is when physicians are most vulnerable), attending physicians are coerced by:

    1. The Phycian list (maintained by the AMA) and checked by all employers, hospitals, insurance companies. You can get on the “list” both by doing something objective (like being sued for malpractice) but also for something nebulous like a formal complaint to the hospital that you are “not a team player” or “unprofessional”. If you are “unprofessional” (and that could simply mean that you feel that birth control is wrong and you will not provide it) you get on the list, and there is no way you can get off of it, (though you are allowed to add a note “giving your own side”).

    You can be sued for “unprofessional behavior” if it causes a patient “distress or anxiety”. This does not need to cause physical harm. Simply stating “I feel that homosexual behavior is inappropriate and I will not prescribe viagra to assist you in engaging in it” would be considered “unprofessional” leaving you open to lawsuits as well as reporting to the board and placement on the list.

    You are not allowed to talk to other physicians about billing practices, let alone about striking. THis is considered engaging in anti-trust criminal actions and is punished under the RICCO act.

    If you have privileges at a hospital you are expected to come in and see any patient in the ER whether or not they will/can pay you, whether or not they will likely sue you , whether or not they have previously sued you and/or reported you to various boards etc. and whether or not you are exhausted. Some patients lie in wait for physicians they particularly hate. This is particularly true of folks who feel strongly about their sexual choice. The only way to avoid this is to drop your hospital privileges (for all patients). (I found, in private practice, that 30% of my practice ended up being in the middle of the night mostly for patients who could not pay (though very few were outright nasty, and there simply to make their physicians lives miserable. most were just sick and poor).

    If you accept medicare or medicaid you can be reviewed 7 years later, and if you forgot to add a line saying “social and family history was reviewed and is unchanged from my last note of 2 months ago) this is considered “fraud” and you can be asked to pay back thousands of dollars since (on the basis of reviewing 10 charts if three are “downgraded” because it was felt to be “less complex” because of no line about social history, then it is assumed that 30% of your practice for that year was similar. They don’t need to prove it. (You also get on the list for “fraud”.)

    Folks who make trouble politically (eg suggest that another organizatoin than the AMA might better represent physicians) usually rapidly find themselves audited for “fraud” and on the list for “unprofessional behavior”.

    And America likes it that way. America voted for it. America has never lifted a finger to protect her physicians. America deserves what she is about to get.

  9. Joshua 24:15 says:

    Clueless speaks the truth. Elections DO have often far-reaching consequences, and anyone, but most especially those Christians who voted for Obama yet consider themselves “prolife” are either incredibly naive at best or fully conformed to the world and its culture of death at worst, IMO. Their poster child could be Emily Godfrey, the “Catholic girl from the ‘burbs” in this article who appears to have easily jettisoned her faith in the service of Moloch. What committed Catholic (or other truly committed prolife person of faith) would call a child “unwanted?” Unplanned, yes; inconvenient, yes; a potentially huge challenge, yes. But never unwanted in God’s eyes. Perhaps Emily and her ilk should think for a minute about all the couples who can’t conceive, yet desperately want kids, who would be delighted to adopt these “unwanteds” and give them a loving home, and life.

    As with Clueless, this is one big reason that I am not an OB-GYN, even though my father was one and loved his specialty. As it is, as an anesthesiologist I’ve had to politely yet firmly state that I will not participate in “terminations,” or “preterm inductions,” or whatever the latest euphemism for elective abortions is used by the one or two providers who perform them at my hospital. And, I also practice in a state that recently legalized physician-assisted suicide, so that’s another thing to contend with.

    Obama and the pro-abortion forces will target conscience rights of MDs and RNs next. They cannot tolerate the idea of heathcare providers refusing to provide abortions out of conscience.

  10. TACit says:

    Dare we hope, #8 and 9, that this could make any difference?

    (I most assuredly did not vote for Obama and wouldn’t want to be mistaken for someone who did so.)

  11. Br. Michael says:

    10, just remember: Obama is not doing this alone. He has the solid backing of the Democratic Party. If we had a solid Constitutional republic the excesses of either party would make no difference, because the Constitution would limit what they could do. We are no longer a Constitutional republic. Even good people can be co-opted into doing evil.

  12. Country Doc says:

    Branford, try googling Christian Medical Dental Association. They have a register of doctors who refuse abortions. Their ethical statements on abortion, assisted suicide, etc. are exellent. Also, Dr. John Patrick has a register of Hippocratic doctors, but I don’t know how to find it.
    Cluless is so correct. Christians will be shut out of medicine soon if there is no big turn around. Maybe we will have to go under a new name such as spiritual healer or some vague name and travel without a liscense. I use to do OB and loved it, but liability and abortion pressure convinced me to flee. However, I don’t think most voters don’t care if ethical doctors are gone and the general shortage is intolerable. I really don’t think the administration cares if doctors quit. Think of the money saved!
    There is a good alternative to the AMA. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons-AAPS has been around about sixty years and since Obama’s help is growing rapidly. They believe in non-government and non- socialistic medicine and they have a number of proven and successful tools for it.

  13. Branford says:

    Thanks for the info, Country Doc. I will check out those lists.