In April 2020, women will be able to walk through the doors of CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, an independent abortion clinic, and have either an abortion or give birth to their child. It’s part of a strategy that will allow the facility to push against the “anti-choice strategy” and diversify its revenue stream.
This is a fool’s errand, in more ways than one.
It all started when the center’s executive considered how to expand the business, “As I began to ask about the clinic’s history and operations and to attend conferences with other abortion providers, I understood that this isolation was primarily the result of anti-choice strategy. The care was so stigmatized that many physicians refused to perform the procedure out of fear of the repercussions, both professional and physical. As a result, most abortion providers tended to work in stand-alone, abortion-only clinics with little to no interaction between them and other healthcare providers, hospitals or community groups.”
In a way, she’s right. Abortionists and clinic workers should feel stigma about their work. After all, it is the legally sanctioned killing of a preborn child. Abby Johnson, president and founder of pro-life organization And Then There Were None, wants to stigmatize work in the abortion industry in order to encourage clinic workers to leave the field entirely.
“Our whole goal has been to stigmatize abortion work,” Johnson said in an interview with The Daily Citizen. “That (an abortion clinic) would not be a place that you would want to work. That every day a clinic worker would feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t want to work here, I want something better.’”
The strategy has worked. One clinic in Lansing, Michigan closed simply because no one wanted to work there any longer.
But the biggest problem with this birth center strategy is the idea that a factory of death could be turned into a birth center.
Abortion, by its nature, violates the most basic tenet of medical ethics, “do no harm.” It’s inconceivable that an abortion clinic could realistically do two things that are diametrically opposed to one another.
Another problem with this strategy is that abortionists, generally, specialize in only that one procedure: abortion. Many don’t have other medical practices outside the abortion business. That’s a problem for any organization that wants to open a birth center.
An abortionist is usually not an OB/GYN, a doctor trained specifically in women’s reproductive health. Warren Hern, a prolific late-term abortionist, is certified in Preventative Medicine and also has a Ph.D. in epidemiology but is not board certified nor has he completed his residency in obstetrics and/or gynecology. That’s ironic considering that he had dedicated his life to abortion, a medical procedure that requires complex knowledge of a woman’s reproductive system.
The process of giving birth remains physically dangerous for women. There are life-threatening conditions like preeclampsia and eclampsia, which can result in the death of the mother and the child. An abortion clinic, with limited options for medical intervention and minimally equipped, is not the ideal place for complex emergencies to take place.
Those providing services for the women at the birth center at CHOICES will be midwives. While there are many well-trained midwives, it would still be beneficial for the abortion clinic to have an OB/GYN on staff for emergencies.
It’s unclear if the birth center will be successful. After all, it’s likely that many women will find it strange and unsettling to give birth next door to a woman having an abortion. On the other hand, that may be a good thing. Seeing the beauty of life and birth may encourage some women to rethink their abortion decision. At the end of the day, CHOICES Memphis may find that a birth center didn’t really increase its bottom line, as more women choose life and pursue other options.
Photo from Warren Architecture