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OB/GYN Organization Wants More Abortion Training and More Abortionist!

Posted by MDViews on January 23, 2009

In the spirit of updating those of you who are not OB/GYN doctors, I’m reporting on the latest American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) Committee Opinion, #424 issued this month, January 2009.

The title is Abortion Access and Training. The abstract from the document follows.

ABSTRACT: Despite a decrease in abortion rates over the past decade, numerous political, social, and provider barriers limit access to abortion services. Barriers include state restrictions and mandates limiting access, lack of public funding for abortion services, and the decrease in abortion providers. Abortion education and training are limited in medical schools and in residency programs. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports education in family planning and abortion for both medical students and residents and abortion training among residents. In addition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports availability of reproductive health services for all women, including strategies to reduce unintended pregnancy and to improve access to safe abortion services.

Some comments about the article. They cite the decrease in abortions (2005 was the lowest per capita rate since 1974) to better family planning, more contraception and better contraceptives which led to fewer unintended pregnancies. Funny, what else happened in 2000 that might have led to a decrease in unintended pregnancy, something that gets no mention? How about abstinence education. The decrease in abortion corresponded to more widespread acceptance of abstinence education which embodies a respect for life.

The article bemoans no federal funding for abortion and  lack of universal insurance coverage for abortion, two development for which I praise God.

State mandated restrictions on abortion, such as waiting periods, mandatory consent forms, parental notification are all given the thumbs down by the authors. Which must means those laws are helping. How wonderful!

Abortionist’s numbers have declined from 2,042 in 1996 to 1,787 in 2005.  How heartwarming! What follows is the paragraph at the end of that section which should give hope to all those pro-life people who walk outside abortuaries, picket abortionists homes and expose abortionists publicly.

Abortion may take place in an atmosphere of controversy, harassment, and sometimes violence (13). [I disagree. Prolife folks are some of the most kind and gentle people in the world. The pro-aborts just wish we were violent. We are not.]The highly charged emotional and political debate stigmatizes the women who undergo abortion and the providers who offer abortion. In addition to creating a barrier for seeking care, this negative atmosphere may be a deterrent to training providers and offering reproductive health services.

In other words, our efforts are worthwhile and working!! Big time! It’s one thing for an abortionist to knock down big bucks for easy work (killing is never hard) in the privacy of some clinic in the inner city where none of his friends can see. It’s ugly and shaming, however, to have several people on his sidewalk where all his neighbors can see carrying signs identifying him as an abortionist! His kids don’t like it. His spouse doesn’t like it. The neighbors don’t like the attention. The news people may show up. Dear, oh dear. The light of day has such a sanitizing effect.

Next, the article discusses the unfortunate occurrence of “opt-in” for abortion and family planning training for medical students. In other words, medical students have to make an effort to take a course that exposes them to abortion. Not many do. In OB/GYN residencies, abortion training is also more of an “opt-in” event than a required event as well. Doctors who object to abortion on moral or religious grounds can opt out. (It was not always so.) In 2004, 51% of programs offered routine abortion training, 39% offered elective training and 10% offered no training at all.

My own experience in residency training was, well, terrible. I was pro-life but had to help in the abortion clinic. It’s a long story which I have told to many pro-life groups through the years. Stories like mine are what led to the abortion service being made elective in residencies. Maybe I’ll post my story one day.

They end the article with a call for all medical student and OB/GYN residents to be educated about family planning and abortion as a routine part of medical school and residency training.

Overall, the Committee Opinion lifted my spirits. They would not write something like that unless they were frustrated with the state of things and worried about the graying of the abortionists in America. Praise God!

5 Responses to “OB/GYN Organization Wants More Abortion Training and More Abortionist!”

  1. abigail said

    SoMG, you say,
    “I’m sorry you resented having to learn about abortion. You have my sympathy because my experience was similar:I resented having to provide obstetric services to right-to-lifers, who, I believe as a matter of conscience, should not reproduce nor be helped to reproduce. I guess we all have to compromise in order to serve the patients.”

    A cold shudder goes through my heart at this statement. There is nothing similar between a doctor who regrets his involvement and experience in the abortion clinic as a student, and your resentment of having to care for pro-life patients and the babies in their wombs.

    They are polar opposite.

    One shows regret for not having done more to preserve and defend life in the presence of abortion. The other shows disdain for life, even “wanted” life. One would protect all life–even the baby of the most ardent liberal abortionist. The other would prefer, “as a matter of conscience” to sterilize all who disagree with him. You may both have resentments, but your resentment is so despicable you should be embarrassed to have uttered it.

  2. MDViews said

    Dear SoMG at noemail@toomuchspam.com,

    Cute e-mail address!

    I want to respond to your e-mail in a way that may challenge you to think. First, I’ll take you comment phrase by phrase, then I have some questions for you.

    My bubble can’t be burst. Of course I know that training is available and abundant. No medical student or resident is denied training if they seek it out, and often, if they don’t seek it out. However it is to me an encouragement to see abortion training is not routine and is not officially forced on students and residents. (Officially, of course. In real life, the pressure is huge.)

    I also agree that you don’t need much training to do abortions safely and effectively. No surprise to me—or to mankind for the last thousands of years. People have known doctors are effective killers since Hippocrates. (See the oath attached to his name at http://classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/hippooath.html) Killing is easy. It always has been.

    We can dispute the reasons for the decline in the numbers of abortions. Fewer people mean fewer abortions, but of interest, our total fertility rate of 2.0 to 2.1 has not changed for the last 12 years and may have gone up some. (http://www.susps.org/overview/birthrates.html) To put this into perspective, the total fertility rate in 1972 was less that 2.1. The induced abortion rate declined in the late 1990′s and then has remained stable since 2000 until 2005 and has now declined again slightly. (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5713a1.htm) I mention that to show that the decline in numbers of abortions occurred in spite of a stable birth rate or TFR. Contraception when I was an OB/GYN resident in 1978 was barrier methods, DepoProvera, birth control pills, IUD’s and sterilization. All those are unchanged from 1978. If there is “better or more effective contraception”, I’d be curious to know what it is. So I would dispute your statement that there is better contraception or contragestion since then. (Yes, the morning-after-pill was routinely used then also, only off label.)

    Your comment about abstinence education ignores the good studies available on that topic. Recently, some ideologues from Johns Hopkins concluded that abstinence education was ineffective. That was before they had to apologize for the faulty data. I’m not sure where they stand now.

    You seem to think that the “culture of life” as exhibited in the Philippines is somehow negative. My question for you would be this. Does population density imply poverty for a nation? (Japan and Denmark might take issue with that.) Does one have to be well-to-do in a material sense to make moral judgments? Are the poor, the weak, the destitute unable to value family, unable to experience joy, unable to feel love?

    A missionary to Sudan told me the question she gets from Sudanese women is, “Why to women in the US hate babies?” The women in Sudan are appalled that women in the US would have such small families and actually abort their babies before they are born. Sudan is a poor, third world country but the women there recognizes the value of children, the value of families.

    I’ve no dispute that abortions are readily available in the US and that the shortage of abortionists benefits the pro-abortion people by generating sympathy and contributions. Whether the shortage is real, well, I have to go with the numbers provided which indicates fewer abortionists. And I know for a fact that those who do abortions are less well accepted in their communities, and accepted, but joked about, by doctors. Being picketed outside your home is not what most abortionists signed up for. They want the money, not the notoriety.

    Regarding my abortion exposure as a resident, it was unfortunate and something I regret. I should have stood my ground and made a bigger fuss, but I didn’t. It was interesting that two years of exposure to the seriousness of the unintended pregnancy and this burning need for abortion did nothing to change my mind. And I was right there, talking to the women, explaining the procedure, reviewing the risks and having them sign the consent.

    I find your statement about resenting to provide obstetric care for pro-life patients lacks the ring of truth. Even my very pro-abortion partners love to care for pro-life patients. Pro-life patients are pleasant, excited, generally compliant, usually married (but not always) and excited to be having a baby. That’s why doctors go into OB. I’ve never heard a statement such as yours ever. Ever. Never have I heard an OB/GYN, a OB/GYN resident, a medical student, a family practitioner doing OB say anything like what you wrote.

    Now, I’ve heard doctors say that the poor, the unwashed or the uneducated should stop having children or not have large families or be required to use birth control or have a tubal—but never because they were pro-life, only because they chose to have a large family. Rejecting birth control is not the same as being pro-life. Many pro-life people have small families. Most use birth control. Some eschew birth control, but recognize the difference between abortion and birth control. There is a group of people who think the birth control pill cause abortion. I am not one of them. Neither is the Christian Medical and Dental Association and the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYN’s, both group to which I belong. It happens that most people with large families are pro-life, but the beef doctors have is against large families, not that they don’t kill their young in the womb. Liberal doctors don’t like that these patients don’t use birth control. (Remember choice and patient autonomy? If a woman wants to carry a pregnancy, you as a physician are to honor that. Even FOCA says that.)

    However, I do think large families are wonderful and truly a gift from God. And I have challenged my partners to find a secular woman with more than two children. (Almost all couple with more than two children are people of faith.)

    Now, some questions for you if you don’t mind. What do you know about pro-life people, or their culture or their faith? You see, I know all about you. I live, breath, eat and function in your world where the media, the current administration, about 87% of OB/GYN’s, almost all university professors and most public school teachers are pro-abortion and most are very liberal politically. I know your arguments inside and out. But in your post, I see the unthinking regurgitation of the liberal party line. You just aren’t very smart.

    Before you click away, do a test for me. You think you know me and my faith. If you have read anything on my blog, you know that I am a Christian and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Based on your post, I suspect you are not. I’m sure you have a caricature of me in your mind, probably one formed by public education, university, medical school, liberal politics and Hollywood. But, in my experience, even liberal agnostic or atheistic students/doctors agree that Jesus was a teacher, that he existed in history. Even that he was a good teacher. You know all about him, no doubt. And you know that the most famous passage from the Bible by Jesus is undoubtedly the Sermon on the Mount.

    My question to you is this: What was the Sermon on the Mount about? Do you know without looking it up? I would guess not. 99% of secular students and graduates have no idea. So, you judge me on some distorted Hollywood/professor/teacher/political pablum you’ve been eating without question or thought since you’ve been in high school, probably. And you have never bothered to look at what I believe and why I believe it.

    I would challenge you to read the New Testament with an open mind. I would challenge you to start with the Gospel of John. (It hurts to be told you aren’t very smart!)

    But, I have to warn you. God has a way of changing people who read his word. Think of it. 2000 years ago in a lonely outpost on the edge of the mighty Roman empire, the empire steeped in the best Greek thought, a fisherman, and tax collector and a man who had a seizure on the way to Damascus started telling the world that a dead carpenter was God. They had no army. They carried no swords. They conquered no cities or countries. In fact, they were commanded to be meek. They were imprisoned, tortured, beheaded, hung on crosses, fed to lions and were not deterred. Within 400 years, nearly the whole world was Christian. The Christian message of God coming to earth in the form of a man has never dimmed. The best thinkers in the world have followed him. You should at least learn about him and what he said, since you seem to hate us pro-lifers so much you want us to stop reproducing.

    Respond back if you like. It sometimes takes me a while to respond because blogging is something I do in my limited spare time.

    MD Views

  3. MDViews said

    If there were truth in advertising, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would be re-labeled the Freedom to Kill Anytime Act. FOCA would remove all state restrictions on abortion including restrictions of benefits (Medicaid would fund abortions. Your tax dollars at work.), facilities (There could be no restrictions confining late term abortions to hospitals for safety.), services (There could be no restrictions on the services or types of abortions done. Also, this may open the door to abortion at Catholic hospitals and could invalidate rights of conscience laws.) or information (no restrictions on consent form or who had to be informed, such as parents.)

    FOCA is the holy grail for the abortion industry and liberals in general. Only a constitutional amendment preventing any restrictions on abortion would top FOCA.

    You can find lots more info on FOCA at this site, http://www.fightfoca.com/. You can read the Senate version of FOCA at this site, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:S.1173:, and the House version at this site, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.1964:. I’ve copied and pasted the important paragraph in FOCA below.

    SEC. 4. INTERFERENCE WITH REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROHIBITED.
    (a) Statement of Policy- It is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.
    (b) Prohibition of Interference- A government may not–
    (1) deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose–
    (A) to bear a child;
    (B) to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability; or
    (C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or
    (2) discriminate against the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraph (1) in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.
    (c) Civil Action- An individual aggrieved by a violation of this section may obtain appropriate relief (including relief against a government) in a civil action.

    Thanks for asking.

    Matt

  4. Larry Anderson said

    Matt,
    What effect will the passage of FOCA have?
    Larry

  5. SoMG said

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but identifying limits to access does not imply that access is a problem. Every medical specialty professional organization issues reports identifying barriers to perfectly serving all possible patients. If 51% of programs are offering routine abortion training and 39% more, elective training, that doesn’t sound like a problem getting training. You don’t need much training to do abortions safely and effectively anyway. The organization Medical Students for Choice includes thousands of med students, residents, and profs.

    The abortion rate has been decreasing more or less steadily for a long time. The main reason is the baby boomers aging out of reckless sexuality in greater numbers than their children have been growing into it. Better contraception/contragestion is another reason. Abstinence-only educataion, suuuuure. The lowering of abortion rates is IN SPITE OF abstinence-only education, not because of it. To see the “culture of life” in action, do an ob/gyn rotation in the Philippines.

    The shortage of abortion docs in USA is a myth. The myth persists because it is useful to both sides–for RTLs it gives apparent reason to celebrate and to scorn abortion as a specialty, and for feminists it motivates donations to activist groups. They say 87% or whatever of counties have no abortion provider, but if they all had one most of them would be idle most of the time. There aren’t nearly enough patients to support them. The decrease in providers is caused by the decrease in demand. When was the last time you heard of a woman in USA having a baby or self-aborting or aborting illegally or even having to wait and get a second-trimester abortion rather than a first-trimester one, because she couldn’t find a doc to do her (ordinary) abortion? I don’t mean complicated or specialty-abortions and I don’t mean the women in the recent NYTimes article who get illegal abortions because they don’t trust doctors or because it’s cheaper or because it’s a cultural practice or because the illegal abortion providers are fellow immigrants from the same country. I mean a North American woman who wants an ordinary legal abortion and cannot get one so does something else instead. Never. If you read about one, you’d think it was fiction. If there were a shortage, there would be at least one story about something like this in the news every year. By definition. The places you have to travel from to get an abortion are also places you have to travel from to get any specialty care.

    I’m sorry you resented having to learn about abortion. You have my sympathy because my experience was similar: I resented having to provide obstetric services to right-to-lifers, who, I believe as a matter of conscience, should not reproduce nor be helped to reproduce. I guess we all have to compromise in order to serve the patients.

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