In September, “abortion doula” Alex Ronan wrote a piece for The Cut entitled, My Year As an Abortion Doula. Our readers may be familiar with the idea of birth doulas. Since ancient times, women helpers have been present during a woman’s labor and birth experience. They provide physical and emotional support, and focus their energy on making sure that all the needs of the mother are met during her birthing experience.
But we often find good things obscured in service of the culture of death. Well-educated physicians, for example, become abortionists, betraying their training to preserve Life and their commitment to “do no harm” (also an ancient principle of medicine). Medications, too, are placed at the mercy of death’s agents when drugs like Cytotec – meant to treat stomach ulcers – are used off-label to cause fetal demise.
The same tragedy has ravaged the profession of the doula. The women who have historically helped mothers through the painful but beautiful process of bringing Life into the world now help them to usher the intentional death of their children. Abortion doulas attend to women during their abortions, helping them to breathe through the pain and providing encouragement through the overwhelming emotions of guilt and loss that often accompany the experience.
In her own words, Ronan describes her role as an abortion doula: “My role is to provide women with emotional and physical support, offer comfort or distraction, answer their questions, and, most of all, just be with them during their first or second trimester abortions.”
Ronan’s account is not sugar-coated; she relays details in a vivid starkness that seldom characterizes writing by abortion advocates. The straightforward manner with which Ronan conveys her stories hints at the growing resignation toward the weakness of semantics that abortion advocates are beginning to assume. Abortionists and abortion supporters are beginning to use language that acknowledges their hand in death, but excuses that reality by saying that the deaths are justifiable, or that they were going to come about one way or another.
In the most startling description afforded by Ronan, she recalls her very first experience as an abortion doula.
The resident begins to perform the procedure as the attending barks commands. “Pull,” she says, “harder.” The body does not want to let go. The resident will not stop. It strikes me as strangely similar to birth, only the opposite word and a different outcome. Pull. Pull. Pull. What’s called the products of conception bucket is mostly filled with bloody gunk. I make out a doll-size arm, fist curled. It feels like I shouldn’t look, but I can’t turn away.
Probably to her surprise, the abortion doula’s role that day didn’t involve “just being with” her patient, but rather standing back in horror as a woman’s uterus was perforated; her baby died; she nearly bled to death; and she will never be able to have children again because – so unnatural was the abortion for her body – her uterus had to be removed:
After the abortion, the attending fishes through the bucket to make sure everything is out. The doctors finish but the bleeding doesn’t. They have to cut into Dee’s abdomen to get a clearer picture of what was going on. I watch in awe as they pull back the skin. I’ve never seen a body like this, bright and wide open. Eventually, they have to remove the uterus; there isn’t any other way.
Bizarrely, the doula claims at the end of the long piece that mourning for the dead baby is tempered by “appreciation for what is – a woman’s Life, allowed to proceed as she wants it to.” Perhaps in the 3,417 words that elapsed between her telling of the first woman’s story and the end of the piece, she simply forgot that abortion did exactly the opposite of allow her injured, sterilized patient’s Life “to proceed as she wanted it to.”
Read the abortion doula’s full account here.