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Staff at abortion clinic was “callous” says clinic worker

by | May 12, 2014


By Sarah Terzo

womanheadinhandPro-abortion feminist Wendy Simonds interviewed a number of abortion clinic workers for her book Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic. The interviews shine a light on some of the grisly practices taking place inside abortion clinics. Because it was written from a pro-choice perspective, complete with a chapter on how to deal with “antis” (i.e. anti-choicers, or pro-lifers) the book is difficult for pro-choice people to refute. There is no way that they can accuse the author of pro-life bias.

One of the quotes that I found interesting was the following [written] by a clinic worker. This clinic worker had eagerly swallowed the neo-feminist propaganda that abortion helps women live happy and productive lives. She came into the abortion industry with a rosy picture of abortion work, fully believing that abortion clinic staff were dedicated to helping and serving women. However, when she started working in an actual clinic, she discovered that the reality of abortion practice was different from the idealized picture she had in her mind. In this passage, she describes why she left her job at the abortion clinic:

“I quit my job at the clinic to write my dissertation but also because I had enough of the clinic. I didn’t consider it to be a feminist place. While the clients got adequate medical care and the counselors were solicitous, I thought the staff, in general was overly directive, paternalistic, and even callous at times.”

The pro-choice view of helpful abortion clinics staffed by compassionate heroes who bravely serve women in spite of anti-choice persecution is seldom challenged in pro-choice circles. And yet, many former clinic workers have revealed that the clinics where they worked were motivated by the desire for profit rather than compassion towards women. In other cases, emotional burnout among clinic workers led to callousness towards the women seeking abortions. Cases of indifference or outright cruelty by abortion clinic staff towards patients have been documented in many sources.

Future articles will discuss other cases of callous clinic workers and clinics who treated their patients with disrespect and sometimes outright cruelty.

Source: Wendy Simonds. Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1996) 7

Editor’s note. Sarah Terzo is a pro-life author and creator of the website and the clinicquotes tumblr at . She is a member of Secular Pro-Life and PLAGAL. This appeared at

Categories: Abortion