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kottke.org posts about Lisa Harris

“My Day as an Abortion Care Provider”

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 24, 2019

In a piece for the NY Times, obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Lisa Harris shares her experience of a typical day at her practice, where she and her staff provide abortions.

My youngest patient of the day is 14 and here with her parents. The oldest patient is 41, here with her husband. As on all days, my patients come from every walk of life. Most have children already; many have arranged their appointment so that they’ll be done in time to pick them up after school. They assure me, again, that they are certain about their decision.

By the end of the day, I’ve seen 17 people, and made sure each received the care and time she needed. After counseling, two others left without having an abortion. One decided to continue her pregnancy and become a parent. Another appeared to need more time to think about it, and I encouraged her to do that. I support all of my patients’ decisions and needs; doing so is core to my work.

This was a typical day, and on the way home some of it plays back in my mind. A mother of three crosses herself and then takes the mifepristone pill she requested. Another requests a copy of the ultrasound picture for her memory box. After the abortion procedure, one asks to see what had been in her uterus and is relieved that the fetus is less than an inch, so much smaller than she had imagined.

See also What Illegal Abortion Was Like in the 1960s and Harrowing Illegal Abortion Stories from Before Roe v. Wade.