Girlcotting, or feminising the work

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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17 Responses to “Girlcotting, or feminising the work”

  1. cat =^..^= Says:

    female practioners for female health!!!!!!! no man will ever know as much as he may try what an unwanted pregnancy feels like.

    what other occupation lets you back out because of ethical conflict, a job which is just a health procedure. should i not loan books on the right because i find the destruction they bring to the earth abhorrent. unfortunately i have no choice and it is this lack of censorship that makes libraries great. shouldn’t medical practitioners be the same, divorced from the choices of the patient, but allowing access to their expertise. i still help people find cook books even though i know meat production is destructive to the environment, animals and our well-being. i politicise people through my work most certainly, but not in a way that hinders their choice or their right to access the skills i am employed to offer. i do radical displays, make sure feminists books are bought and design book-lists that are non-mainstream. doctors can protest in articles, in church where ever, but when they enter surgery professionalism should abound, why should that be too much to ask?

  2. Dave C Says:

    This was a bit scary too:

    The code will also ban the amniocentesis procedure to detect Down’s syndrome in unborn children…

    My younger brother and his wife are now expecting and have just gone through an amniocentesis to detect for genetic abnormalities.

    They’re having twins – and some weeks ago the ultrasound detected some fluid build up in one of the twins (? I don’t know the proper medical term). But it was said that this happens with Down’s syndrome.

    My sister-in-law was struggling with the idea of what would happen if my child had Down’s. Thankfully, she had the amnio and all came back good.

    Without an amnio, my sister-in-law would have spent her entire pregnancy as a nervous wreck. I can’t see how that would be good for her unborn children.

  3. Club Troppo » Missing Link Says:

    […] Gun Keyboard reports on some interesting debate around abortion procedures in the UK, where doctors are increasingly opting out of training on ethical grounds. But is it an ethical objection, she asks, or simply that doctors find the procedure boring and […]

  4. weezil Says:

    Club Troppo should note that while Suki Has An Opinion is located on a subdir of this server at, stuff published on SHAO is not written by ‘MachineGunKeyboard.’

    mgk bits are always cooked by me. SHAO bits are always Suki’s doing.

    SHAO also appears at

  5. Colours Says:

    The perceived trend towards doctors being reluctant to perform abortions may be a result of many factors.

    One such example (and I apologise in advance for its unwittingly “anti-Christian”/religious viewpoint to those who see any anti-religous/Christian statements that fit their form or agenda) is the inside information I have received that pro-life groups have been aggressively targeting medicine students at universities, so that when those same students graduate and become interns and/or doctors in whatever capacity (private practice, public hospitals, family planning clinics), they have this residual, if not outright reluctance, to perform pregnancy terminations.

    It’s like “sowing the seeds of doubt”, albeit with a twist and an agenda. I have no doubt that this growing number of doctors, pro-lifers (or not) are a result of subversive and secretive pro-life groups. And I am not a conspiracy theorist nut by any means!!

  6. Suki Says:

    I don’t doubt the right-to-lifers getting mobilised in such a grand way. I am disappointed that medical students aren’t more discerning given that they practice science.

    Have you ever wondered what female medical students might do in this situation?

    Is god or gender the higher order to which they answer?

  7. weezil Says:

    Folks, I’m working on integrating some Quicktags into the SHAO commenting facility using Montie’s fine plugin. I’ve also installed it on mgk.

    However, it’s not quite working the way I want it to on SHAO in terms of the appearance of the buttons. The SHAO buttons appear big, lumpy & grey as opposed to the outline buttons as they are appearing on mgk, but the SHAO buttons are working. Just highlight the text you wish to format and click the appropriate button. Beats having to remember the HTML for the formatting!

    Eventually, I want to get a WYSIWYG compositor for comments on SHAO & mgk, just as appears in the WordPress main post composing window. Clues would be nice. 🙂

  8. Suki Says:

    Big, lumpy and grey works for elephants weezil and it works for me 🙂

    Thank you Admin!

  9. weezil Says:

    Suki, I’m glad you’re OK with them, but since the plugin was installed in the very same way on both of our WP installs, I can’t understand why it’s not displaying identically on each. I’ve posed the query with the plugin author. Hopefully I can find out how to neaten them up a bit. Don’t need all the buttons (could do without the CODE and CLOSE TAGS buttons) and they sure don’t need to be as lumpy.

  10. Dave C Says:

    Try fiddling around with the style sheet – particularly the input style.

    For example, add

    input {width:30px}

    to the style tag at the top of this page.

    That may help. Let me know if you want more info.

  11. Dave C Says:

    Or the buttons can’t find their styles (probably #comment_quicktags).

    Have a look to see whether the style sheet is where they are expecting it.

  12. weezil Says:

    Dave, you presume that I know anything at all about HTML- I don’t. I’m very lucky to have gotten it working as far as I have. However, I did check the CSS files for both blogs and neither have any reference to “#comment_quicktags,” though the thing is working OK on mgk.

  13. Dave C Says:

    I think you know more than you think you do.

    Anyone who can use a subdir to create a second blog inside another blog, and then redirect a domain to it, knows something.

  14. weezil Says:

    shhhhh… I had help. 😉

  15. weezil Says:

    Where I get lost is trying to figure out which chunk of code is doing exactly what. The organisation of WordPress seems to change with every new version. Stuff that appears in the comments field, for example, is often produced in the css file, not in comments.php, making things infinitely harder to find and modify.

  16. Dave C Says:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of code development.

    I actually like the bigger buttons – they add a nice symmetry to the comments box.

    But to make them the littler buttons, add these lines to Suki’s template:

    /*———————- Comment Quicktags —————————*/
    /* Main Span */
    #comment_quicktags {
    text-align: left;
    margin-left: 1%;
    /* Button Style */
    #comment_quicktags input.ed_button {
    background: #F4F4F4;
    border: 1px solid #D6D3CE;
    color: #000000;
    font-family: Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;
    margin: 1px;
    width: auto;
    /* Button Style on focus/click */
    #comment_quicktags input:focus.ed_button {
    background: #FFFFFF;
    border: 1px solid #686868;
    /* Button Lable style */
    #comment_quicktags #ed_strong {
    font-weight: bold;
    /* Button Lable style */
    #comment_quicktags #ed_em {
    font-style: italic;

    Insert them just after:

    Anything above that will get cropped off of the image. *//*

    and before

    If this comment doesn’t come through properly, email me, and I’ll send it through via email.

  17. weezil Says:

    Thanks muchly to DaveC for sending the necessary CSS code to fix the button problem! 🙂

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