Girlcotting, or feminising the work

April 21st, 2007

Why might it be that the practice of terminating a pregnancy would be an ethical issue for more and more doctors in Britain? Some doctors have been anti-abortion for their entire career, but in recent times an increase towards anti-abortion doctors is being observed.

Is this because more and more doctors are Christian or pro-life, or is it because they see performing an abortion as menial and unglamorous work?

A recent article reports:

“There has been a big rise in young medics with ‘conscientious objections’ to abortion. The increase has been revealed by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It says there is evidence of a ‘slow, but growing problem’ of young doctors opting out of abortion training on moral grounds.” -Source

“Medically, abortion really isn’t a popular thing to do, it is not a very technical or demanding operation and it’s actually quite disheartening. There’s no handshakes or slaps on the backs afterwards, or the sense that you’ve done something great for someone. The best you can hope for is a sense of relief that it is over.” -Dr. James Gerrard.

This potential shortage of doctors qualified, experienced and willing to perform abortions has prompted abortion advocates to call for a change in the current British law which would allow nurses to carry out early surgical and medical abortions. Trained nurses and paramedics in Vietnam and South Africa perform early abortions extremely successfully and have done so for some time.

I would welcome having the option of having an abortion performed by a suitably trained nurse or paramedic. It makes sense to be cared for by a professional who is often female, always available and genuinely pro-choice.

Moreover, we should resist doctors who pathologise our bodies and our desires, AND abrogate our rights . Boycott these doctors in favour of the ones who will treat your elbow with the same care and attention as your vulva.

As for the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in North London, I would not recommend it as a place for a woman expecting a holistic service.

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Image from here

Towards non-violence…

April 11th, 2007

Violence towards another is surely to be condemned.

Research now shows that a woman’s partner and that person’s behaviour can play a predictive role on whether a woman continues with, or terminates, a pregnancy.

The secondary analysis of data from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Womenís Health, by Dr. Angela Taft and Ms. Lyndsey Watson, of Mother and Child Health Research, La Trobe University, was published on 03/04/07 in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

“The study of 9,683 young Australian women aged 22 to 27 found that those reporting either teenage abortions or abortions later in their 20s, were more than three times as likely to have been abused by a partner as those who didnít terminate.”

I’m hoping that two things happen out of this data analysis.

1. The need to stop violence against women takes on broader community appeal.
2. People who insist on making comments such as abortions are the result of selfish women making lifestyle choices can have their assumptions challenged.

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Image from here