10 quotes from abortion providers on abortion stigma

Many abortionists have spoken or written about the stigma of providing abortions, and how they are looked down on by the rest of the medical community and the public at large. Here is a collection of quotes from abortionists (and one clinic worker) about how they know they are perceived by others. More can be found here on ClinicQuotes.

    1. Dr. Don Sloan has been providing abortions for years, and has done over 20,000. He says the following in an essay defending legal abortion:

The term “abortionist” still carries with it a heavy weight. We’ve made it [abortion] legal, but we haven’t made it respectable – not quite. (1)


  • In his textbook Abortion Practice, which was written to train would-be abortionists, late term abortionist Dr. Warren Hern said  the following:


Abortion has been stigmatized in the medical profession. Until recently the public and large segments of the medical profession considered abortion to be an unethical medical act regardless of its legal status…Communities do not like to be reminded that abortions are occurring within their boundaries…Candor invites both criticism and harassment; very few abortion clinics or physicians providing abortion services include the word abortion in the title identifying the activity.(2)

Many abortion clinics, even today, are identified by euphemisms such “Women’s Clinic,” “Surgery Center” or “Women’s Hospital” rather than “Abortion Clinic.”


  • In the magazine Democrat and Chronicle, abortionist Morris Wortman said:


Abortion has failed to escape its back alley associations… [It is the] dark side of medicine…

Even when abortion became legal, it was still considered dirty. (3)


  • Joe Thompson, retired abortionist, was quoted saying:


In obstetrics and gynecology, the term abortionist is still a dirty word. (4)


  • Dr. Susan Robinson, who performs late-term abortions:


If you do abortions, it is very hard to get the privilege to work in a hospital, because they don’t like abortion providers….Being an abortion provider is very stigmatized. Other doctors look down on you and think of you as like the lowest of the low.’ (5)


  • One doctor comments on the stigma of abortion among medical professionals:


I was thinking of doing a study last year. I wanted to look at different gestational ages and then compare them to outcomes among different types of abortion. But then I started to think, Well, gosh, wait a minute, I don’t want to end up being known as the abortion person, do you know I mean? (6)



After you work at Planned Parenthood, you’re set apart. It’s a stigma. As a single parent it’s lonely… people look at you differently. The medical community does too. Planned Parenthood makes you feel like you’re stuck there because you’ve been involved with abortion…


  • An abortionist quoted in Women & Health said:


Who would want my life? … It’s low prestige, medically isolated… I have no doctor friends and have very little support from the medical community. (7)


  • Abortion doctor Tommy Tucker told the Atlanta Journal Constitution:


We’re perceived as being dirty, underhanded, the lowest echelon of the medical practice. (8)

Dr. Tucker was later punished by the medical board for botching abortions and causing the death of at least one woman. Read the heartbreaking first hand account of the woman’s death from one of the clinic workers who tried in vain to save her after Tucker left the clinic here.


  • From abortionist Bob Phillips:


Well, you know, every now and then you get labeled an “abortionist,” which is a term I don’t really enjoy… “Abortionist” carries a still unpleasant connotation. It carries the connotation of a sleaze. (9)

Perhaps such perceptions of abortionists occur so frequently because the work they do is indeed unpleasant and dirty – as it constantly involves taking the lives of innocent, helpless human beings.


  1. Don Sloan “Abortion Should Not Be Restricted,” Originally Published in “Basic Issues in the Abortion Debate” Political Affairs, July 1999. Reprinted in Mary E Williams. Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints (San Diego, California: Greenhaven Press, 2002)
  2. Warren Hern, M.D. Abortion Practice (J.B. Lippenott Company 1984)  317
  3. Democrat and Chronicle, July 5, 1992. Quoted in Life Dynamics Access: Key to  Pro-Life Victory
  4. South Bend Tribune, December 26, 1992 Quoted in Life Dynamics Access: Key to  Pro-Life Victory
  5. “After Tiller: Meet the only four doctors in the U.S. who still perform third-trimester abortions despite constant threats to their lives” Mail Online Jan 21, 2013
  6. Jack Hitt “Who Will Do Abortions Here?” New York Times Jan 18, 1998
  7. Delese Wear “From Pragmatism the Politics: a Qualitative Study of Abortion Providers” Women & Health, volume 36 (4), 2002
  8. Atlanta Journal Constitution, May 16, 1993Quoted in Life Dynamics Access: Key to  Pro-Life Victory
  9. Carole Joffe. Doctors of Conscience: the Struggle to Provide Abortion before and after Roe Versus Wade (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon press, 1995) 152-153

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