By Sarah Terzo
An abortion clinic worker describes the stigma of working in the abortion industry. She uses a pen name on her blog, The Abortioneers. She is only one of several writers on that blog. She explains that abortion is still a taboo subject. This stigma against abortion providers is one reason why there is such a shortage of abortionists and the turnover rate for clinic workers is so high.
“We frequently discuss how to talk to friends/acquaintances/family who are not abortioneers about being an abortioneer. Or even, simply, about abortion. Though I’ve been doing this work a long time, I find I go through stages. Sometimes it’s easier to discuss abortion and other times, it just isn’t easy at all. Probably some of it depends on how much is going on at work (if it’s stressful or we’re having a lot of protesters, I tend not to want to discuss work outside work as much. Especially with people who just won’t get it anyway).
“It can feel isolating to have the people who are closest to you not understand your work, your commitment to it, and your passion for it. Only recently have I been able to have conversations with my dad about abortion after years of bitter silence. Sometimes, it’s still frustrating to even talk to my husband; for example, if I have a sh_t day, he is quick to tell me I should just leave the clinic. He reminds me that I already have to put up with protesters and the stigma that comes along with being an abortioneer. He asks why I should stick around if my boss is being…err…unappreciative. It’s hard for me to explain to him that I’m committed to something larger (the “work”) and can put up with a bunch of bu-lsh-t in order to feel like I’m making a difference in someone’s life…and I’m motivated by that…not quite as much by recognition from my employer.
“It’s stigma that really makes it so difficult to talk about our work.”
“Working 9-5: How We Talk (Or Don’t) About Abortion” The Abortioneers Jan 5, 2012.
Below; “The work” that she is committed to.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.