- Two pro-life OBGYNs explained why they don’t perform abortions in interviews with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- The doctors viewed elective abortions as incompatible with their jobs as OBGYNs of protecting the life of both mother and child.
- Abortion carries four times the risk of maternal death compared to childbirth, according to data out of Finland.
Obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) who choose not to perform elective abortions do so for a variety of reasons, ranging from concerns about patient health to recognition of pre-born life, two OBGYNs told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Dr. Christina Francis and Dr. Catherine Stark, both OBGYNs, have 14 and 25 years of professional experience respectively, and neither of them perform abortions. They said their experience providing medical care to both mothers and preborn babies strengthened their belief in the humanity of the unborn, even in the earliest stages of development.
“The only thing I don’t provide my patients that someone who performs abortions would is elective abortions, meaning procedures that are intended to end the life of a fetal patient,” Francis told the DCNF. “Other than that I provide comprehensive care that leads to better health outcomes than elective abortions would.”
Stark said being pro-life allowed her to offer a higher standard of care for pregnant women, adding that her patients appreciate that she treats both mother and child with respect and due diligence.
“Once I began studying embryology it was clear that the point at which a new individual life has started is when egg and sperm join together at conception. That’s a new genetic individual,” Stark told the DCNF.
“There’s a problem with deciding that one individual at one stage is full human and deserving of human rights but that at another stage they’re less than human,” she said.
Francis’s pro-life beliefs have never prevented her from providing life-saving care, she explained, including the removal of ectopic pregnancies, in which the embryo has implanted outside the uterus and will never become a viable fetus, as well as emergency early deliveries resulting in fetal death.
These pre-viability early deliveries are similar to induced abortions, but differ in that the child’s death is not the intention of the procedure, Francis explained. She treats the baby as a patient, and rather than dismembering them in-utero as is done in surgical abortions, she delivers them, despite the reality that they will not survive for long outside the womb, she said.
Fetuses can feel pain at as early as 12 weeks’ gestation, according to a 2020 study out of the University of Singapore. Francis makes every effort to reduce the suffering of fetal patients during pre-viability deliveries of pain-capable babies, in contrast to doctors who dismember them during surgical abortions, she explained.
🧵 @ACOG‘s website defines induced abortion as “an intervention to end a pregnancy so that it does not result in a live birth”, meaning its explicit intent is to kill the preborn child. https://t.co/XpiPtBbJ9e pic.twitter.com/pTw52YsLOc
— AAPLOG (@aaplog) July 21, 2022
“I’m not alone in this. Even many OB physicians who would consider themselves pro-choice don’t actually perform abortions,” Francis said. “We know from surveys that have been done by pro-abortion researchers that anywhere from 76% to 93% of OBGYNs do not perform abortions.”
The risk of death from induced abortions is about four times higher than the risk of death from childbirth, according to national medical data from Finland, which has universal health and data linkage. This data is not available for the American healthcare system, according to the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The physicians also object to performing abortions because they view unborn children as patients and as people.
“The science is exceedingly clear,” Francis said. “As you do ultrasounds on women very early in their pregnancy, the humanity of their preborn child is exceedingly clear.”
Stark said she provided healthcare to two patients, mother and child, and she couldn’t understand how a doctor could fight to save the life of one preborn child while intentionally ending the life of another on the sole basis of whether they were wanted.
“I couldn’t do both. I couldn’t be a good obstetrician and really work hard at preserving life and enhancing life for my patients and then callously take a life,” Stark said. “I couldn’t see myself being a great advocate for babies if I simultaneously felt they didn’t deserve life.”
Stark emphasized that women didn’t need abortion in order to succeed and live fulfilling lives, and she said she views women’s fertility as a positive thing rather than a disease to be managed.
“Women have this gift of fertility. It’s an awesome thing. I don’t think women’s fertility is a curse and I don’t think it’s a disease,” she said.
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