The Last Abortion Doctor

Hero:

Nothing pains him more than the disdain of other doctors. Sometimes the young ones ask to come in for an afternoon so they can learn to make a little money while their careers get started — they think it’s as simple as changing a tire. There’s no sense that this is an important operation that has to be done well, that a person’s life depends on it. But let’s face it, abortion is the lowest-status activity in medicine. That’s why they always call their clinics Family Planning Centers or Women’s Wellness Facilities or some crap like that. Not his place. It’s had the same name since 1975. Because I felt that performing abortions was the most important thing I could do in medicine.

The patients can be upsetting too. They’re under terrible stress, of course, but sometimes they come in very angry. One had conjoined twins and would have died giving birth, but she exploded when he told her she couldn’t smoke in the office. And some treat him with contempt and disgust, usually the ones who have been directly involved in antiabortion activities. They hate all abortion except for their special case. One even said they should all be killed.