Who Are You to Judge – posted October 18, 2021

In 1974 when I began my training at Northwestern University Medical School, a state-of-the-art women’s hospital was scheduled to open on that campus in Chicago. It was designed with an entire floor dedicated to cases of sepsis. You might ask how large numbers of adult females could end up with infections in their circulatory system. It’s quite simple, illegal abortions. As a result of the decision in Roe v. Wade, an entire floor of a major hospital was obsolete before it opened. Does anyone of good will want women to rely upon illegal procedures?

Women are understandably concerned about access to healthcare and reproductive options. (See The New Mexican, Rally for Reproductive Rights, 10/3/2021.) The “Right to Choose,” more graphically termed access to abortion, remains the wedge issue in America. From this physician’s perspective, there is no good alternative. No one likes abortion, not even the woman who has decided to terminate her pregnancy. However, no one can force anyone to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. The result of eliminating safe, legal abortion for many will be a surge of infectious disease, hospitalizations, chronic pain and infertility, and deaths in women of reproductive age.

If the pope can say, “Who am I to judge,” then what decent person wishes to be the first to cast a stone at a desperate fellow citizen? There are a multitude of reasons why pregnancies are terminated by victims of sexual assault & incest, teenage girls, married women with too many kids, single females with abusive partners, and the list goes on. Do we really want hospitals in Chicago, New York, Dallas, Miami and all other major cities to have Sepsis Wards?

Those supporting elimination of abortion do not envision what fate will befall the poor. Some folks who cloak their views as consistent with a “right to life” will make sure their wife or daughter has access to the care denied others. Let’s call this what it is, hypocrisy. My intention is not to insult or anger the many people on the other side of this debate. I wish to inform all about where things could end up.

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