Its funny even now writing this I lack confidence. I am slowly but surely gaining confidence in my faith. My faith is winning, and the judgments of others seem to matter less.
I want to share my experience not to shock you but to share a hard truth. As a new nurse practitioner I decided to work at a women’s health clinic to gain skills and knowledge that would help me in my career. I was excited to help women and empowered. This clinic also offered medication abortion. I justified working there by thinking that I could help prevent women from having an abortion through educating them and offering family planning. The clinic turned out to be a machine. My visits were shortened as we were required to see more and more patients each week. The women’s faces who so desperately needed time became a blur as I ran form room to room, and it never stopped. The next step in clinical training was to learn how to perform ultra sounds. I was sent to a busier clinic where ultrasounds were done frequently. Little did I know what I was in store for. The day was like walking in a fog after witnessing a train wreck. I was to follow a doctor around and do ultrasounds on women who were being seen for surgical abortion. Surgical abortion can be preformed up to 20 weeks gestation. If you have never seen what 20 weeks gestation looks like, well its like looking at a fully formed baby. I witnessed everything. I had to know the pain of this, the heart ache, the sudden loss and the trauma of it all. By the end of the morning the doctor had preformed numerous abortions on drugged up women without barely speaking a word. His apron was red. A young girl was rushed to hospital for possible perforation of her uterus during the procedure. The last patient was a 25 year old who was having her 10th surgical abortion. She asked for an ultra sound picture of the baby. The image haunts me. The next day the clinic was going to same day abortion; where a woman would not be required to make an appointment and return after being educated about procedure, but would simply have an abortion done that very day. At noon the recovery room was full. I cried and shook all the way home at what I had witnessed. I gave my notice the next day.
Many patients believed this clinic was their only resource for a pregnancy test, birth control, and care. Modesto Pregnancy Center exists as an alternative. They have ultrasound technicians, a nurse practitioner and offer pregnancy testing as well as resources for a healthy supported pregnancy. They are there to give women time, rest, and the ability to know that they are loved and have options for their unborn child. The collaborative painting we did during our women’s bible study serves as a symbol of our love and support for all the Modesto Pregnancy Center offers those enduring the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy. I pray for continued community support and the ability to reach many more in need.