WaPo Health Section Laments Dearth of Young Abortionists

Aging doctors who perform abortions are lamenting the dearth of newly-minted doctors willing to perform them, Washington Post's Sandra G. Boodman informs readers of the September 1 paper.

"The goal... is to make 'abortion' not a dirty word," Boodman quotes med student Megan Evans at the close of her 40-paragraph Health section front-pager. Evans, the president-elect of George Washington University Medical School's Medical Students for Choice, is held out by Boodman as one who hopes "to be in the vanguard of the next generation of doctors providing abortions."

Yet Boodman's article devoted little ink to pro-life medical students or doctors, giving them just two paragraphs, and only then to have abortion clinic operator Susan Hill* dismiss out-of-hand their arguments:

Kristan Hawkins, 24, executive director of Students for Life of America, an Arlington-based group that includes chapters on 20 medical school campuses, said her group's goal is to drive abortion out of medical school and residency training altogether.

"They have a very old population of abortionists and need to recruit new ones," Hawkins said. "I think there's a generational split." Younger doctors, she added, are less supportive of abortion.

Hill agrees that a generation gap exists but said it reflects experience, not opposition to abortion.

Most doctors have never seen the results of botched back-alley abortions that typically wound up in hospital emergency rooms before 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion.

"I'm 62, and physicians younger than me do not remember these women," said North Carolina obstetrician-gynecologist David Grimes, former chief of abortion surveillance for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Grimes recalled taking care of a woman with a red rubber catheter protruding from her cervix and a fever of 106 degrees. "You see something like that as a young doctor, you don't forget it." 

Hill agreed. "Younger doctors," she said, "have never known abortion to be illegal or even threatened." 

Of course, pre-natal and neonatal health care have made leaps and bounds in the 36 years since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide, yet Boodman found no one to argue on the pro-life side of the coin that broadening access to such health care for expectant mom and unborn baby makes better medical and ethical sense than expanding the ranks of abortionists.

*Hill serves as president of the Raleigh, N.C.-based National Women's Health Foundation, which Boodman described as the operator of "abortion clinics in largely rural states, including Georgia, Indiana and Mississippi."

Abortion Washington Post Sandra Boodman

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