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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Just How Pro-Choice Am I / Are You?

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Author Topic: Just How Pro-Choice Am I / Are You?
Gumdrop Girl
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I was reading the article about medical Students for Choice, and it got me thinking. I'm pursuing health professions and trying to get into medical school at the moment. I always considered myself pro-choice. But at the same time, I don't feel comfortable with terminating any pregnancies I might have in the future, and I don't think I could perform the procedure on a patient. Don't get me wrong, if it was up to me, I'd refer my patients to another physician who is able to perform an abortion and make sure the patients have access to the resources they need. Then again, maybe I'm vacillating -- can't find an appropriate position on the debate.

Then again, maybe this is a matter of what "pro-choice" means, whether it is a choice versus the idea that is it also "pro-abortion."

I applied for a job at Planned Parenthood http://www.ppgg.org and here's a snippet of the job description:

quote:
...lab tests. Assists medical practitioner during surgical procedures such as abortion, Norplant insertion or removal...

no, I really would like to work for PP, and I am fully qualified to do this job, but that little bit about assisting abortion procedure, well, I don't know if I can handle that myself. So all of this is making me wonder, where do I *really* stand on this issue? It's easy to be pro-choice if the issue is remote, but if I'm going to work in medicine, it's going to be a lot closer to me than it is now.

Any thoughts? Condemnations? Should I just give on PP altogether?

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"Things are only fragile till they break."


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Beppie
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I think that the operative word here is "choice". So long as you are not doing anything that would deny women access to an abortion if that was their choice, then you're being pro-choice. But what's the good of having the "choice" there if you don't feel that you have the choice to say "no", as well as "yes"?

Of course it'd be far less clear cut if you were practicing in a small town in some distance from any abortion facilities, where women may not be able to afford the trip elsewhere, but it would still be better you than a doctor who condemned women for their choice and refused to give them futher resources.

As for the PP job... perhaps it would be a good way for you to know what you do feel you can do- after all, if you really feel that it's not right for you to be there, you can always quit, right? But at the same time, it might be a good opportunity to get to know up-close what women experience when undergoing an abortion etc, and could help you later on when determining the way that you handle your practice.


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Bobolink
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This is actually something that you might find helpful to discuss with Planned Parenthood. I'm sure that you wouldn't be the first health-care applicant that they have seen who is conflicted in this way.

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 10-20-2002).]


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Heather
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I'd say with all honesty that if you feel any conflict with assisting with abortion procedures -- overall, for all cases, not in terms of certain cases, because that's bound to happen -- that you not take a job in which it is required, much in the same way that were I applying for a job at an orphanage, I don't think it'd be a good idea for me to take it if I didn't feel fully confident I could assist with adoption.

Perhaps that sounds harsh -- and certainly, taking time to think about if this is really the case, and discussing it with the people there is vital. But that really is a great big part of the daily operations of most women's reproductive clinics, and abortion is also something that it's really important you feel as comfortable as possible during the procedure for, especially given how much misinformation about the actual procedure is out there. To feel any non-support from clinic staff would be really awful.

And certainly too, it's also about you: if you don't feel you can fully stand behind something you participate in, it's going to be traumatic for you as well.

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Heather Corinna
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My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 10-20-2002).]


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cupcake
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Hey Gummy,

have you ever read the essay "We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse's Story" by Sallie Tisdale?

See if you can get a copy, otherwise I'll see if I can take a couple of hours and type it up for you. It's really worth reading.

Basically the woman is an abortion nurse, and she discusses the pros and cons of what she's doing. It has some clinical stuff, but not a lot. It's really told in a lot of experiences. Sometimes she has doubts too, and I know I'd like to see it available to providers up here (the story)


As for my pro-choice-ness, I doubt I'd be able to go through with it myself. That choice isn't right for me. But I support the idea of another woman making that choice. I'm pro-choice because I don't want that right taken away from anybody. They can choose not to do it, but the right should still be there.

[This message has been edited by cupcake (edited 10-20-2002).]


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Ashy
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Hey cupcake,
Where would I find this essay? I did a search in my county's library system, and I found some books by Tisdale, but not that particular essay. Where should I look to find it? I'm very interested.

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cupcake
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I actually have it in an English textbook of mine.

It's called "The Norton Reader, a Shorter Tenth Edition", but I may just copy it in. It'll take a little while, but maybe I can find a place for it... I don't have a web page.

"An Anthology of Nonfiction Prose" <- <gag>


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Sunset_Rose
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Interesting topic. I'm pro choice, but that doesnt neccesarily mean im pro abortion. I just think that evry woman should have the right to abort a pregancy for a good reason if she so wishes. Thats my opinion anyway.

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cupcake
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Apparently it appeared in Harper's, in October 1987, according to Google.

And according to my book, Harper's Magazine in October 1990.

But your library should have a copy of the English text.


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Beppie:
I think that the operative word here is "choice".

Bingo. I've never witnessed an abortion, and have only known a small handful of people who have actually had one. But I've never been comfortable with the idea on a personal level.

Of course, that doesn't give me the right to tell someone else not to do what may be right for them, and for that reason I think it's important to have that choice. My personal belief drives me to do all I can not to ever put a woman in a position where she will have to make that choice. I think that strikes a pretty decent balance between my personal issues with abortion and my belief that choice is vitally important.

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BruinDan, "Number Three"

"Battery Stolen; Youth Charged"


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Gumdrop Girl
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I talked to my friend at PP, and she said while it's listed in the job description, they're not required to assist in the actual procedure. In fact, if hired I'd probably be doing nothing but front desk stuff so they can have the more experienced employees tackle more important tasks (EC and pregnancy tests and the like).

And Heather, I can see with reservations for taking on a job like this. If I were the interviewer I'd definitely hold it against me as an applicant. But I could really use the challenge. My friend said she felt the same way as me, but in her time at PP, her opinions about choice, abortion, and reproductive rights have evolved.

Then again, there's the matter of money as well, and temp work is more lucrative ($12/hr at PP versus $16/hr at a biotech). So we'll see where I land.

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"Things are only fragile till they break."


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morganlh85
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I'd talk to them; perhaps if you feel uncomfortable doing the procedure they would let you out of it. If you really want this job you need to negotiate. Nobody expects a person who is pro-choice to actually perform the abortion; pro-choice is about believing that each person can make the decision themselves, not necessarily saying you would have one yourself. I don't think I could ever have an abortion, but I want to have the security to know that if I should ever need one, or a close friend of mine did, that that option was available to them and that the decision was up to the person individually, not the government. That's the essence of the pro-choice stance.
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Gumdrop Girl
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so i didn't get the job. i'm upset, but i'll live. or if he hires again, i'll just be persistant. my friend might quit the job she has at PP. she hates it there and was hoping i'd get hired so i could keep her company.

i'm starting to think there's something wrong with me. i probably interview badly. so i'm gonna sign up for some lessons before i go try again.

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If the shoe fits, it's probably your size.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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