My Abortion Story
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 22, 2010
I’m a Registered Nurse.
I’m a man.
Here’s my abortion story.
While in Nursing School, all students were (and likely are still) required to take clinical rotations through various environments where health-related services were provided. Included among them were offices, hospitals (of course), and other clinical areas.
In that one clinical setting, I was informed by the RN with whom I would be working that one patient would be given an injectable abortifacient – a drug administered specifically because it will cause an abortion. In other words, it will kill the baby growing in its mother’s womb.
Though I oppose abortion, it is good to have knowledge of various abortion procedures because of the potential problems that inevitably result from them. At the time, I didn’t oppose abortion for moral and ethical reasons, though I do now. If I were faced with the same scenario now, I sincerely doubt that I could in good conscience be a witness to it, or in any way participate. And to be clear, at the time, about all I did was exactly that – witness. In no way did I administer or encourage the patient. I merely witnessed. Thus, I write from a witness’s perspective. (I am NOT in a witness protection program.)
My clinical experience was scheduled to be for the duration of the clinic’s operating day, which was normal business hours, ending approximately before 4:30PM. The clinic was across the street from the Emergency Entrance of Huntsville Hospital, and was a clinic that saw numerous patients for physicians whom had hospital privileges at Huntsville Hospital – though it was codependent upon the hospital for its existence. It was a clinic that treated various clients with numerous health concerns, not just women.
I was informed about the client/patient and the circumstances of her pregnancy. To the best of my recollection, she was a married woman, and I specifically recall she was White. While I do not specifically recall the abortifacient, it may have been medroxyprogesterone, which is available in an injectable form, or methotrexate – I don’t specifically recall. And though I don’t specifically recall, the Nurse may have asked me if I would object to witnessing what she was about to do, or accompanying her. I seem to have the sense that she did – though I don’t specifically recall – and I likely indicated that I would observe.
The patient was unaccompanied to her appointment, and sat alone in the small treatment/examination room.
Having been briefed about what to expect, including the client/patient’s clinical background pertinent to her presence in the clinic, I accompanied the RN, and said not a word. She had earlier shared with the mother that I was a Nursing student and asked if she had any objections to my presence, to which she responded that she did not.
As I listened to the Nurse describe for the pregnant woman some of the expected physical consequences and immediate danger signs to be observant for, I saw tears well up in the mother’s eyes, and she wept openly.
As she answered the questions, she dabbed her eyes with the tissue I handed to her.
We – the Nurse and I – left the room briefly, during which time she reconstituted and drew out the abortafacient injection into a suitable syringe. She told me that the preferred sites for injection were the deltoid (upper arm) or gluteus (buttock), and that she was going to give the mother the option of choosing the injection site. She also said that if the mother choose the buttock and felt uncomfortable with me in the room, then it would be appropriate for me to excuse myself briefly, or turn my back, as appropriate. I expressed that I understood, and would respect the patient’s request.
As we – the Nurse and I – arrived in the room, the Nurse had the abortifacient in the syringe, with the needle capped. She then explained that the two preferred sites for the injection were the upper arm or buttock, asked the mother where she wanted to receive the injection. She said she wanted the injection in her buttock, and unbuttoned her blue jeans, lowering them and her panties just enough to uncover her buttock, whereupon the Nurse cleansed the site with an alcohol prep, and injected her.
The mother then pulled up her panties and jeans, the Nurse spoke a few more words, and the Nurse and I left the room. The mother stayed for a few minutes so that the Nurse could observe for any severe untoward effects, and then left.
It seemed that there was an extended moment of odd silence afterward – neither the Nurse, her other colleague(s) or I spoke – and I pondered at what I had just witnessed.
That I recall, I’ve never told anyone else about this experience, save my clinical instructor at UAH.
I’m glad to finally get this out in the open.
LORD, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.