Abortion and the Next-Day Pill
Yesterday one of the most contentious issues in FDA's 100-year history was resolved. Not my opinion--New York Times' words.
The FDA approved over-the-counter sales of the morning-after contraceptive pill to women 18 years or older. And to men.
Abortion rights advocates are celebrating and abortion opponents are seething.
And that is too bad. I started out as a physician and if you practice medicine you have to be, to a certain extent, a realist. You may say a prayer before surgery but you don't expect the organs to miraculously heal themselves. At least you wouldn' t bet your own life on it.
Nor would many abortion opponents.
But they do believe that pushing their religious beliefs on others, stopping abortions would somehow make this a better world. The fact that before legalized abortion, the world was filled with back alleys and women dying after metal cloth hanger procedures is something they simply care very little about.
And this is where I am a realist, I think. Abortions will always take place, so we better make them as humane as possible.
I don’t like abortions. I wouldn’t want my wife to have one. I wouldn’t really want to perform them. But I am grateful that some doctors do give women this last resort option.
We need to keep abortion legal. And even more important, we need to make options, such as the next-day pill, readily available to minimize the number of abortions.
Because, after all, abortions are a terrible thing. If you haven’t been part of one you simply don’t understand.
As a medical student I was part of many. And I can assure you that there were not one happy, giddy, woman waiting for her abortion. It is not something a woman does lightly.
And it is not something casual for the doctor.
After he has sucked out the fetus, which goes into a big glass bottle, he has to make sure he really completes the job. So the content is poured through a mesh. At least when I was part of this. And then the doctor has to look for pieces of the baby.
I’ll never forget when I saw a perfect little hand, about ¼ of an inch long. That’s when I realized what abortion is all about.
The small feet in the picture belong to a 10-week fetus.
And that’s the reason I think abortion opponents are so misguided when they try to stop access to the morning-after pill.
Because after all, this pill will lead to fewer abortions.
And we can all agree that this would be a good outcome.