NRL News

Prochoicer: Witnessing abortion is “intense emotional experience”

by | Sep 18, 2014


By Sarah Terzo

Washington Post's Sarah Kliff

Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff

RH Reality Check had article by Kathleen Reeves written in response to another article where another pro-choicer describes witnessing an abortion. Reeves writes

“I’ve witnessed abortions not as a journalist but as a volunteer at Planned Parenthood. I assist the doctor, scrub technician, and anesthetist with room set-up and other simple tasks during the procedure, and I support the patients before, during, and after the abortion—taking their blood pressure, encouraging them to breathe deeply if they’re upset or in pain, holding their hands. It’s true that it’s an intense emotional experience, especially the first time you witness it. First, it’s overwhelming for someone outside the medical profession, like Sarah Kliff [a Newsweek reporter at the time], and me, to be present for a surgical procedure.”…. I was exhausted, physically and emotionally, after my first day at Planned Parenthood. I think it’s wise that Kliff, after writing about abortion for years, has finally seen the procedure. If she’d like to further explore her emotional reaction to it, I’m sure her local Planned Parenthood would be glad to have her help.”  —  (Kathleen Reeves “Witnessing Abortion,” RH Reality Check August 20, 2009.)

Abortionist Leroy Carhart

Abortionist Leroy Carhart

While early suction abortion may not reveal recognizable body parts, later abortions do. The person witnessing abortion may not see the recognizable parts traveling down the suction tube, but carefully examining the remains as early as 7 weeks post-conception will show arms and legs in the aftermath.

Editor’s note. This appeared at

Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion