Abortion center owner: I had no conception that life was sacred

abortions, D&E, preborn, how abortion works, pro-life, abortion, Preborn human at about 16 weeks - estimated time of the attempted abortion of Elisa.

Retired abortion center owner and administrator Merle Hoffman, who remains pro-abortion, wrote the following about 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.”

First, Hoffman acknowledges that, rather than being empowered by the right to choose, many women feel they have no choice when it comes to abortion. While there are documented stories of women choosing abortion for frivolous reasons, many abortion patients feel overwhelmed by their circumstances.  Financial hardship, fear of lost jobs, fear of losing access to education, and lack of support often drive women to abortion facilities. Deep down, some women wish they could have their babies. And in addition, up to 64% of women who have abortions are coerced by others (often their partner).

This is one of the reasons why pregnancy centers, which give women concrete help and support, are so important, and why pro-lifers should support initiatives to help pregnant and parenting students and poor families. It is also a good reason to reach out to abortion-minded and post-abortive women with compassion.

Hoffman then describes struggling with her conscience and then subduing it. She uses the term “potential life” to describe the preborn babies killed in her facility, but readily admits that she has no belief that life is sacred. Perhaps deep down she realized that what happened in her facility dozens of times a day was the taking of actual, not potential, human lives. However, by thinking “critically” she could come to terms with this killing, or at least repress it. By repressing all sympathy for aborted babies and hardening her heart, Hoffman could run the clinic and preside over thousands of abortions in her career.  Any profession that requires one to beat one’s conscience into submission is an immoral one.


Hoffman’s words give insight into the mental state of abortion clinic workers. The silencing and stifling of human feeling and doubts may be a necessary component to abortion work. Perhaps this repression of feeling is one of the reasons many abortionists show contempt for their patients and ignore general medical standards.

Source: 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

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