Dr. David Brewer is a former abortionist who spoke at the “Meet the Abortion Providers” convention in Chicago which was hosted by the Pro-Life Action League. The full text of his speech can be found here at Priests for Life.
Dr. Brewer lived in New York, one of the first states to legalize abortion before Roe versus Wade. Like many practicing OBGYNs, he considered performing abortions once they became legal. At the time, Dr. Brewer described himself as having “no real convictions [on abortion], caught in the middle.”
He describes witnessing his first abortion during training. It was a first trimester suction abortion. (Learn more about this type of abortion here – warning: graphic images):
I can remember that day watching the first abortion with the resident doctor sitting down and putting the tube in and removing the contents, and I saw the bloody material coming down the plastic tube and it went into a big jar. The first one. I’d never seen one before. I didn’t know what to expect. Well, it was my job afterwards to go undo the jar and see what was inside. It was kind of neat, learning about a new experience. I wasn’t a Christian; I didn’t have any views on abortion; I was in a training program; this was a brand-new experience. I was going to get to see a new procedure and learn, and that was exciting.
And it got more exciting as I opened the jar and took the little piece of stockinette and opened that little bag, and the resident doctor said, now put it on that blue towel and check it out. We want to make sure that we got it all. I thought, oh, that will be exciting hands-on experience, looking at tissue. And I opened the sock up and I put it on the towel and there were parts in there of a person. I’d taken anatomy; I was a medical student; I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and an arm and I saw some ribs and a chest, and I saw a little tiny head, and I saw a piece of a leg, and I saw a tiny hand, and I saw an arm. You know, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me. I believe that God gives us all a conscience and I wasn’t a Christian, but I had a conscience and that hurt.
I checked it out and there were two arms and two legs and one head, etc., and I turned and said, I guess you got it all. That was a very hard experience for me to go through, emotionally.
Dr. Brewer was horrified by the abortion he witnessed, but not convinced to oppose abortion. He describes the next abortion he saw.
I got to see another abortion. You know what? That one hurt, too. But I didn’t do anything again and kept seeing abortions, and do you know what? It hurt a little bit less every time I saw one. Do you know what happened next? I got to sit down and do one, because you see one, you do one, and you teach one….
The first one that I did was kind of hard. It was like hurting again like a hot poker. But after a while it got to where it didn’t hurt.
In his speech, Dr. Brewer attempted to illustrate what happened to him by recounting a story from his youth. He spoke about a summer in his teen years when he did yard work around the neighborhood:
My dad had a lawn mower and I got a sickle and I had some trimmers, and went out and took care of people’s yards and had a little lawn and garden service. I did pretty well financially that summer. But, you know, the first couple of weeks, my hands hurt and I got big blisters. I was using tools that my hands were used to, all day, every day. That was like my heart when I saw and did abortions. But then you know, after a few weeks, I got calluses on my hands and pretty soon they didn’t look real good, but, boy, my hands could work all day and no blisters and no pain.
That’s what happened to my heart as I saw the abortions and then began doing them. My heart got callused. My heart was callused against the fact that I was murderer.
As he continued to participate in abortion work, his conscience became more and more callused. He would later go on to assist in late-term abortions. I will talk about his experiences with them in my next article.