NRL News

Clinic administrator: I had no conception that “life was sacred”

by | Oct 28, 2014

By Sarah Terzo

Merle Hoffman

Merle Hoffman

From clinic owner and administrator Merle Hoffman, on counseling women for their abortions:

“Choice” is sometimes not a choice at all. It is an outcome determined by the economic, physical, sociological, and political factors that surround women… At times this reality would move me profoundly as I sat opposite the women I counseled prior to their abortions, acutely aware of the potential lives growing inside them that would soon cease to exist. I began to think critically, to come to terms with what was going on. Each time I did that, I came out of that process more committed than before. I had no conception, either religious or philosophical, that “life was sacred.” [1]

She uses the term “potential life” to describe the unborn babies, but readily admits that she has no belief that life is sacred. Perhaps deep down she realizes that what happens in her clinic dozens of times a day is the taking of actual, not potential, human life. However, by thinking “critically” she can come to terms with this fact, or at least repress it.
[1] Merle Hoffman, Intimate Wars: the Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room (New York: Feminist Press, 2012) 108 – 109.
Editor’s note. This appeared at

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