Saturday, March 20, 2010

An inkling of abortion worker remorse?

I can't divulge much, just to say that I had a client today who had a tentative plan, then a crisis happened and I helped said client to quickly carry out the tentative plan to avoid what the client perceived as a looming catastrophe. It turns out that upon getting the client calm and gathering more information -- after helping the client ward off the perceived catastrophe -- the precipitating event wasn't as bad as it had seemed. But getting the client calm, helping the client ward off the problem (which likely won't really have an impact for many months yet, rather than immediately as the client believed), seemed paramount at the time.

It's reversible, mind you. The client can decide that it wasn't as good an idea as first believed, and take action to put things back the way they were. But the very fact that in order to calm the client I helped the person implement a plan that wasn't fully researched and explored, I feel awful. There can be some troublesome (though not catastrophic) repercussions if it turns out that the move wasn't the right one. Had the client not been so terribly distraught, the same decision probably would have been made, but with greater deliberation and better information to back the decision, and after a couple of weeks of really assessing the situation to make a more informed choice.

I want to go back and have a re-do, to find a way to calm the client without taking what was a fairly drastic step. To show the client how to regain emotional equilibrium and make choices calmly, not in the middle of a crisis.

I wonder if abortion workers ever go home and wonder if they've helped somebody make a mistake. But in the case of abortion, an irreversible and devastating mistake. What goes through their minds? I think of the lady abortionist (I forget her name) who wrote a piece about her work, and she mentioned what she considered a devastating mistake -- when she'd performed an abortion on a rape victim, only to, upon examining the dead fetus, realize that it was too old to have been conceived during the rape. It had been conceived prior to the rape, with the patient's husband, but the patient hadn't yet realized she was pregnant. (I don't know if she even told the patient or not.) Plenty of abortion choices turn out to be devastating to the patient afterward, and abortionists shrug the patients' distress off as a theatrical variation of buyer's remorse. Why should one abortion done based on bad information stick out from any other abortions done based on bad information (ithe patient didn't know the fetus had a beating heart and wouldn't have aborted had she known, the baby didn't really have the suspected birth defect, the layoff wasn't long term after all, etc.)?

I don't know. Just awake in the middle of the night trying to make sense of it.


Foxfier said...

I'm afraid you've put your finger on why, exactly, abortion is such an explosive issue.

If folks who have supported voluntary abortions are wrong, they have promoted killing babies. A shorthand on par with "Nazi" for "totally evil."

Rationally, there's mitigating circumstances-- if someone really, really didn't believe that abortion killed anyone, I don't think they're morally as liable, but that's beside the point.

To admit that abortion kills a baby, a little human person, would be a huge blow to someone's self-image. Just imagine what a fundamental shift.... It's like a Priest becoming an atheist, or something. (Or Dawkins becoming a monk.)

I can wrap my mind around that change. To question, if I were the one doing it...?

Dear Lord.

Lola said...

I know a nurse who was five months pregnant at the time she was going for an ultrasound.

I asked her what information she was hoping to find or learn.

"Well, if it's downs syndrome, I'll terminate."

I sat there shocked.

"Your so far along. You know sometimes the tests come up wrong. Well, I know a couple of people who got a bad report and it turns out all was fine." I blabbered.

"I don't see it as good or bad. Abortion just is." she eventually said when I pressed her on her feelings about 'terminating'.

She already had one perfect normal child. Was a good mother.

I wish I could understand that morality. Or is it Amorality?

I bet a LOT of Abortion workers self medicate. A LOT.

Christina Dunigan said...

Children are viewed as consumer goods.