NRL News

Surprising truths from an “abortion doula”

by | Sep 16, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Alex Ronan

Alex Ronan

We’ve written multiple times about the rise of the “abortion doula,” women who counsel/console/comfort mothers who are aborting their children. Like everything abortion touches, the work of an abortion doula pollutes what a doula traditionally does: assist a woman during childbirth.

When I first read about the abortion doula, it was not exactly advertised that the same woman who watches as the abortionist yanks off the baby’s arms and legs could just moments later be holding another mother’s hand as she safely delivers her baby.

“Full-service” doulas –life/death, what’s the difference?–seemed crass even by the standards of the anti-life crew.

Alex Ronan wrote a graphic, gripping piece for New York magazine this week titled, “My Year as an Abortion Doula.” A quick aside. Some pro-abortion scribes were made nervous by the candid disclosures (“what happened to confidentiality?”), even though the names were changed. Others found it a ”must read.”

If you can make your way through the 3,882 word long essay, you will be the beneficiary of one of the most candid—make the brutal–accounts of what actually takes place in an abortion clinic that you will ever read.

Ronan, it must be made clear from the onset, saw a lot that would turn anyone’s stomach and make anyone ask “how in the world did I ever become a party to this?” But in the end, Ronan is still a true believer. However that did not keep her from disclosing what took place.

What, for example? What the experience of trafficking in hundreds or even thousands of aborted babies does to anesthetize the conscience. About her first abortion Ronan writes

The resident begins to perform the procedure as the attending barks commands. “Pull,” she says, “harder.” The body does not want to let go. The resident will not stop. It strikes me as strangely similar to birth, only the opposite word and a different outcome. Pull. Pull. Pull. What’s called the products of conception bucket is mostly filled with bloody gunk. I make out a doll-size arm, fist curled. It feels like I shouldn’t look, but I can’t turn away.

She stumbles, goes to the bathroom, and splashes water on her face. Welcome to her work at a “large public hospital in Manhattan.”

But by the next to the last paragraph, we are reading about the casual staff indifference to a woman in serious danger as the hours roll by and the second trimester abortion she began much earlier has not been completed. Then the description of what Ronan saw—and her response:

“The fetus comes out easily; they put it in the bucket and shove it near me. It is fully intact, curled on its left side, fists closed, knees bent up. He sleeps just like you, I think. Then, a second thought, an act of distancing: He looks more like an alien than a person.”

How does she deal with something so ghastly? By “An act of distancing” which turns an instantly recognizable “fetus” into something whom she has no responsibility for—“an alien.”

I could not get out of my mind those photos of the stacks of bodies, piled up like cords of wood, the allies found when they liberated the Concentration camps.

What else? While “Honesty is a core principle of being a doula,” the routine lies told women that allow them to make a separate peace—for the moment—with their consciences and their convictions.

But it is not just the women who have to smother everything in them crying out that what they are doing is wrong. Ronan observes

The doulas I talk to about their work say things like, “I’d only say this to another doula because I know you’ll understand.” I think it’s because we’ve all seen the tiny ear whorls, the patients who have second thoughts, and the ones who get abortions for reasons that make you feel uncomfortable. These images are the stuff of pro-life campaigns, the ones that try to make women change their minds.

A recognition that goes absolutely counter to the new (and much preferred) pro-abortion narrative—abortion as simple, easy, painless, and absolutely free of moral overtones. This cannot be welcomed news.

Then there is the pain—the incredible pain—and the screaming and the crying and the shaking. And then there is the sound:

But I can’t take away the sound. Most first-trimester abortions are vacuum aspiration. The machine sounds like a sucking through a straw when you’re at the bottom of the glass. The vacuuming is sometimes painful, but I think patients find the sound harder to bear. LiteFM stations play in the background. Most first-trimester abortions take fewer than four songs. Sitting in bars with my friends on summer nights, I hear the same songs and wonder after the women.

I agree with one of the pro-abortion reviewers: “My Year as an Abortion Doula” absolutely is “must reading,” but for different reasons.

It is a must for anyone who refuses to accept the pro-abortion lie that ends Ronan’s story. She tells a woman—any woman– who has aborted her child, “It’s all finished.” Not so, not remotely so.

The baby’s physical life is finished. But the memory of that horrible decision—of the life that was extinguished–will live with that mother forever.

Categories: Abortion