Training to become an abortionist, resident chooses not to do because of “abyss of ambiguity”

By Sarah Terzo
From a resident who was in training to become an abortionist, but decided against performing abortions as a career:

“When I started residency, I was open to the possibility of providing terminations. I was and remain uncertain about when life begins… Increasingly, I have found myself caught up in an endless array of rhetorical questions. Is there not a more profound difference between 10 and 20 weeks than between 20 and 30? If my first task as a physician is to do no harm, how can I justify harming a fetus? I do not pretend to know the answers to these questions, but given what I perceived to be an abyss of ambiguity, I chose not to provide elective terminations…

“Discussions with co-residents have helped me consider the individual woman who has the courage to request an abortion. Since opting out, I have realized that my line of thinking has been feto-centric at best and over-intellectualized at worst. Nonetheless, in the absence of a clear moral understanding of abortion, I can only do no harm.”

From Singer, Janet MSN, CNM; Fiascone, Stephen MD; Huber, Warren J. III MD, PhD; Hunter, Tiffany C. MD; Sperling, Jeffrey MD, MS “Four Residents’ Narratives on Abortion Training: A Residency Climate of Reflection, Support, and Mutual Respect” Obstetrics & Gynecology: July 2015 – Volume 126 – Issue 1 – p 56–60

Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.