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Pro-Life Medicine: How One Profession Could Change Abortion as Healthcare



Photo by George Ruiz; some rights reserved.

I am in the training grounds of the front lines of the abortion holocaust. Abortions happen in our healthcare system every 23 seconds. I am a Physician Assistant student. In less than two years I will have the legal authority to prescribe emergency contraception, refer to abortionists, and, depending on the evolution of our legal system, perform surgical abortions. By the time I become a certified PA, there will be over 100,000 of us, making us the fastest-growing healthcare profession in the U.S. PAs in the United States are practicing in all areas of medicine so what are we learning about life, about preborns, about ethics?

I am here to report that the future is not bright but it is not as bleak as perhaps it once was. PAs, in some online polls, are more pro-life than not. Many refuse to perform or refer abortions under any circumstances; some refuse to prescribe certain birth control medications because of the reality that life begins at conception. First, some good news about our education: we learn how to critique research. We are in a time of explosive research about the detriment abortion has psychologically and physiologically. There is a growing body of research that cannot be ignored by students and practitioners trained to critique research. Secondly: we know that a fetus is a baby. We are trained to be "non-judgmental" all while learning the pharmacological effects that drugs have on "the baby." We know what life is, we see it, and we cannot ignore that these tiny bodies are people. The humanity of the fetus is undeniable in our education. This is all good news but in the midst of these positive changes, there is apathy. This generation of healthcare providers have grown up with the "silent holocaust" of abortion. We have been trained to ignore it; we have been trained culturally that "it's not my business." If it wasn't our business before we were healthcare providers, it shouldn't be our business now that we are. We have learned to "trust the experts" who say, for example, that a copper IUD does not in fact cause a "scientific abortion" because the embryo hasn't implanted. Or, we have learned that "population control" is foundational in the third-world community's healthcare woes. We trust that abortions are completely safe most of the time like most medical procedures. We have learned that the cure for depression is medication. We want to "respect" all our patients, authorities, and state and national laws.

But this battle isn't over. Life hasn't lost and hasn't been forgotten. There are the exceptions to the apathetic majority. There is a generation of very young and very passionate pro-life professionals who are choosing to love all their patients -- including their preborn patients. There is a growing culture of life, a growing movement of pro-life OB/GYN practices, and a shrinking number of new surgeons willing to dismember fetuses. And it is my goal that my profession, just as it has led the way in serving the underserved, becomes the profession that protects life from that moment of conception to that moment of natural death.


Photo by US Army Africa.

Caroline Pilgrim is a physician assistant student at Jefferson College of Health Sciences. She will graduate with the class of 2013.


Disclaimer: The views presented in the Rehumanize Blog do not necessarily represent the views of all members, contributors, or donors. We exist to present a forum for discussion within the Consistent Life Ethic, to promote discourse and present an opportunity for peer review and dialogue.

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