In the late 1990s, I was reading a book called M.D.: Doctors Talk about Themselves by John Pekkanen when I stumbled across the testimony of an unnamed abortionist. This doctor had performed “several thousand” abortions, but decided to stop doing them. He says:
Nobody wants to perform abortions after 10 weeks because by then you see the features of the baby, hands, feet. It’s really barbaric.
An unborn baby’s fingers and toes start to develop at six weeks after conception. In this video of a baby at seven weeks and three days old, you can see perfectly formed hands.
This doctor may be calculating length of pregnancy by counting from a woman’s last menstrual period, as is sometimes done in clinics. A woman usually conceives two weeks after her period, when she ovulates. By this measure, a woman who is 10 weeks pregnant is carrying an eight-week-old unborn baby.
Or it is possible that the violent suction from the machine this doctor was using to perform abortions at his clinic completely obliterated the delicate body of the aborted child at earlier stages.
Whatever the reason for the 10 week remark, the abortionist was clearly troubled by what he was doing. He goes on to say:
Abortions are very draining, exhausting, and heartrending. There are a lot of tears. Some patients turn on you. They say, “Let’s get out of here,” after the abortion, as if you’re some dirty person. It’s vicious. Then you get these teenyboppers in the office who laugh their way through it. It doesn’t mean a thing to them. That bothers me. Then you’ve got the right to lifers calling you on the phone, coming in the office, preaching, threatening to picket your office.
Isn’t abortion just a procedure that removes “pregnancy tissue,” as Planned Parenthood says? If so, why be upset that some women “laugh their way through it?” If it’s simply the removal of unwanted tissue, what’s the problem?
Well, he says:
I do them because I take the attitude that women are going to terminate babies and deserve the same kind of treatment as women who carry babies.
There it is. This abortionist knows that abortion “terminates babies.” He sees the bodies of those babies daily. He has no illusions as to what abortion really is.
So why did he decide to do them? He says:
So I started doing abortions on an altruistic basis. I’ve done a couple thousand, and it turned into a significant financial boon, but I also feel I’ve provided an important service.
He claims to have started performing abortions for “altruistic” reasons, wanting to help women. Whether this is true or whether it is a rationalization, he admits that abortion is very profitable. He then says:
The only way I can do an abortion is to consider only the woman as my patient and block out the baby. I’ve delivered enough babies, seen enough divorces, and seen enough abused kids to do abortions with a clear conscience. This may be some kind of mental gymnastics on my part… I don’t feel I’m violating my trust as a doctor by doing abortions, but I don’t want to do them anymore because you can do them to a certain point, and then you get overloaded. I’m at that point.
Eventually, it seems, a doctor can get burned out just performing abortions. This may be one reason why there is such a shortage of abortionists. The truth is, looking at the body parts of dead children eventually takes an emotional toll on a person.
Source: John Pekkanen M.D.: Doctors Talk about Themselves (New York, New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1988) 93-94