Monday, May 21, 2007

The Real Missing Perspective

Feministing has a guest post by Jennifer Conrow. Conrow works at an abortion provider and in the post she discusses how she relates with women who come to her clinic for abortions. The post seems to be in response to undercover video footage from Lila Rose which showed an employee at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in California work to avoid report statutory rape. The post is supposed to provide the missing perspective of the abortion clinic.
My facility is one of only two dedicated abortion providers in my state that provides terminations to 24 weeks and 6 days in a pregnancy (yes, that's 6 months; a fact that can sometimes challenge even the most pro-choice among us and is not lost on the small percentage of women who have terminations at that stage in pregnancy). What differentiates us from the other provider is our dedication to a holistic approach to abortion care. In our world abortion is not just about the physical removal of a pregnancy from the body, but it's about the heart and emotional well being of our patients as well.
I wondered which clinic Conrow worked at so I did a google search and it appears at one point in 2006 she worked as the Director of Community Outreach and Education for the Cherry Hill Women's Center . That clinic is in New Jersey. Guess which other "dedicated" abortion clinic in New Jersey provides abortions to 24 weeks?

Metropolitan Medical Associates. The same "dedicated" abortion provider which was shut down by the state health department for more than 2 weeks for (among other things) having no infection control plan, items that should have been sterilized were stored in a manner which would keep them sterile and because investigators found "forceps encrusted in ‘brownish blood-like residues,' rusty crochet hooks used to remove IUDs, and a quarter-inch of dark red ‘dirt and debris' under an exam table."

If being "dedicat(ed) to a holistic approach" is the only thing that differentiates Conrow's clinic from Metropolitan Medical Associates, then I'm guessing Cherry Hill Women's Center doesn't provide the care Conrow describes. Conrow's job title also doesn't seem to be the job title of someone doing abortion clinic counseling (her job could, of course, have changed).

Cherry Hill's "holistic care" also includes "administering digoxin" to unborn children after 20 weeks because "most humane thing we can do in order to ensure that the fetus does not experience pain during the procedure."

Conrow's use of the term "pregnancy" mirrors that of her employer's web site which says, "The procedure will begin with the physician performing a pelvic exam to determine the size and location of the pregnancy in the uterus." You know a woman's getting good informed consent when the abortion clinic uses the word "pregnancy" to describe the size and location of an unborn child.

Conrow rails against parental consent legislation because some parents want their children to have abortions which makes little sense because parental consent for abortion only involves minors who want abortion (so the parental consent law can't lead to parents forcing their children to have abortions) and because New Jersey doesn't have an enforceable parental consent law (a state court ruled their parental consent law was unconstitutional).

Conrow praises her clinic but doesn't mention one of Cherry Hill Women's Center's abortionists, Dr. Charles Benjamin, was sued for failing to inform a patient of the emotional and physical risks of abortion by a Pennsylvania teen whom he performed a second-trimester abortion on. Benjamin settled the lawsuit out of court.

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