He calls himself an "abortionist" and says, "I am destroying life."
But he also feels he's giving life: He calls his patients "born again."
"When you end what the woman considers a disastrous pregnancy, she has literally been given her life back," he says.
Giving "life" by taking life. What grand concept! "Born again?" Whatever you need to tell yourself to make it thru the day.
"We try to make sure she doesn't ever feel guilty," he says, "for what she feels she has to do."
"Has to do?" Doesn't sound like "choice," now does it?
A nurse has already given her a local anesthetic, Valium and a drug to dilate her cervix; Harrison prepares to inject Versed, a sedative, in her intravenous line. The drug will wipe out her memory of everything that happens during the 20 minutes she's in the operating room. It's so effective that patients who return for a follow-up exam often don't recognize Harrison.
Reassuring, huh? So much for that doctor/client relationship.
For the few women who arrive ambivalent or beset by guilt, Harrison's nurse has posted statistics on the exam-room mirror: One out of every four pregnant women in the U.S. chooses abortion. A third of all women in this country will have at least one abortion by the time they're 45.
"You think there's room in hell for all those women?" the nurse will ask.
If the woman remains troubled, the nurse tells her to go home and think it over.
Now that's some quality counseling. The nurse has some "helpful" information on embryology for another patient.
The 17-year-old in for a consultation this morning assures the nurse that she does not consider the embryo inside her a baby.
"Not until it's developed," she says. "That would be about three months?"
"It's completely formed about nine weeks," the nurse tells her. "Yours is more like a chicken yolk."
Dr. Harrison has trouble holding to his own incoherent positions.
Harrison draws his own moral line at the end of the second trimester, or 26 weeks since the first day of the woman's last menstrual period. Until that point, he will abort for any reason.
"It's not a baby to me until the mother tells me it's a baby," he says.
But Harrison refuses to end third-trimester pregnancies, even if the fetus is severely disabled. Some premature infants born at that stage, or even a few weeks earlier, can survive. Harrison believes they may be developed enough to feel pain in utero. Just a handful of doctors around the nation will abort a fetus at this stage.
"I just don't think it should be done," says Harrison, who calls the practice infanticide.
So it's not a baby until the mother says it is but killing unborn children past 26 weeks is infanticide? So then you don't really believe that tolerant, open-minded mumbo-jumbo about the unborn "not being babies until their moms say so?"