Former occupation: Abortionist
Place: Glen Ellyn, illinois, USA
I believe we all own and wear several different hats. To name a few of mine I'm a husband, a father, an OB/GYN, and a "cross-over" that's what we call an abortionist who's made the conversion. I want to describe the part of my life when I was wearing the abortion hat.
It happened after medical school as I began my residency in OB/GYN. I can vividly remember that day. I remember watching the resident doctor sitting down and putting the tube in and removing the contents. I saw the bloody material sucked down the plastic tube and it went into a big jar. The first abortion I had ever witnessed; I had no idea what to expect.
It was my job after the abortion had taken place to go see what was inside of that big jar. It was kind of neat, learning another procedure. I wasn't a Christian; I didn't have any views on abortion; I was in a training program; this was a brand-new experience. As I opened the jar and took out the little piece of stockinette the resident doctor said, "Now open it and put it on that blue towel and check it out. We want to make sure that we got it all." I thought; Oh, that will be exciting-hands on experience, looking at tissue. I opened the sock up and I put it on the towel and there were the parts of a little person. I'd taken anatomy; I was a medical student; I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and some ribs and then I saw a little hand and the arms. It was terrible, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me.
I checked it out and there were two arms, two legs, a head, etc., and I turned and said, "I guess you got it all." That was a very hard experience for me to go through emotionally. If I'd been a Christian it would have been simple-I wouldn't have been there. But there I was- with no real convictions. So how did I handle this abortion issue? I did what a lot of us do throughout our lives, we don't do anything. I didn't talk with anybody about it. I didn't talk with my folks about it. I didn't think about it. I did nothing. Do you know what happened next? I got to see another abortion. And you know what? That one hurt too. But I didn't do anything again and I kept seeing abortions. It hurt a little bit less every time I saw one. And finally-I got to sit down and do one.
The first abortion that I did was kind of hard. Again, I got the hot poker treatment. But after a while it got to where that poker didn't hurt a bit.
I'm reminded of a summer when I was fifteen-years old and I decided to start my own lawn care business. My dad had a lawn mower and the trimmers. I bought a sickle and was ready to begin taking care of peoples' yards.
Once the business was up and running, I began having second thoughts about the entire idea. It was my hands-my hands were just covered and aching with blisters. I was using tools that my hands were not used to, all day, everyday. I decided, even though my hands were in bad shape, to stick it out and you know, after a few weeks, I got calluses on my hands! I soon was relieved to find that I could work all day pain-free. That's what happened to my heart as I saw the abortions and then began doing them. My heart got callused. My heart was callused against the fact that I was a murderer.
Back to my residency. The doctors began doing the saline abortions in the evenings, which meant we (the residents) would have to take our weekly turns of being on duty. Our responsibility was to take care of the women who had trouble delivering the babies or the afterbirths.
One night, I remember a lady delivered and I was called to come and see her. She was going to pieces, she was uncontrollable, just screaming and thrashing. When I walked into the room I saw her little saline aborted baby. It had been born and it was kicking and moving for a little while before it finally died of those terrible burns.
I remember another experience as a resident when I had an opportunity to help one of the partners. We were working with this lady that was too far along for a suction D&C; we did not have prostaglandins in those days; nor did we do D&E's very often. Since she was in the second trimester and far enough along (four to five months), we decided she was going to have a hysterotomy. That was kind of exciting to me, to see a Caesarian on a baby that young. I remember as we made the incision in the uterus, to see the baby move underneath the sack of membranes as the Caesarian incision was made before the doctor broke the water. The thought came to me, my God, that's a person!
At that instant he broke the water and I had that terrible pain in my heart. He delivered the baby and I couldn't even touch it. I wasn't much of an assistant; I just stood there and the reality of what was going on finally began to seep in to my callused brain and heart. We simply took that little baby that was making little sounds and was moving and kicking and set it on the table in a cold stainless steel bowl. Every time I would look over, while we were repairing the incision in the uterus, I would see that little person kicking and moving in that bowl. It kicked and moved less and less as time went on. I can remember going over and looking at that baby when we were done with surgery and the baby was still alive. You could see the chest moving as the heart beat and the baby would try and take a little breath.
What do we do when something really hurts us? We either stand up to it or we run. I wasn't equipped to stand up, and so I ran. The way I ran was by putting up barriers. In my mind I decided that life began when a baby could survive outside the uterus. That was a nice barrier wasn't it? That meant that when I did the suction abortions I wasn't killing anything. That meant that the hysterotomy that I helped on was not an abortion because the baby couldn't have survived outside. After all, it sat in the dish and died. So, for me, life began after 28 weeks and I continued doing abortions.
Then I saw more babies being born earlier and earlier with the advances in our neonatal intensive care units. As the technology increased, suddenly they were having luck with babies that were 28 weeks old, and then 27 weeks, and then 26 weeks. So my barriers began to crumble, at first I said, well, abortion then is after 27 weeks. Then I took that back and decided it was after 26 weeks and so on. Then I got to thinking maybe it's 20 weeks. No wait, it's a baby when it's all formed, so I began thinking after 12 weeks! All I was doing was avoiding the truth.
When I became a Christian I realized that life occurs at conception. And once I made that startling discovery, it was very simple for me to stop doing abortions.