Obstetricians and abortion

An obstetrician is a medical doctor who specialises in pregnancy, childbirth and a woman’s reproductive system.

In 2011, a group of researchers conducted a study about abortion provision  among practising obstetricians and gynaecologists in the US.

They published their findings in The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.  

They said “… they conducted a national probability sample mail survey of 1,800 practising obstetrician–gynaecologists. The key variables in the study included whether respondents ever encountered patients seeking abortion in their practice and whether they provided abortion services”.

The result was: “Among practising obstetrician–gynaecologists 97% encountered patients seeking abortions while 14% performed them”. The proportion of US obstetrician–gynaecologists who provided abortion was lower than estimated in previous research. Access to abortion had remained limited by the willingness of physicians to provide abortion services, particularly in rural communities. Young female physicians were the most likely to provide abortions.

In late 2017, researchers of the Guttmacher Institute, in the US published their findings of a 2013 – 2014 study  of US obstetrician-gynaecologists who work in private practice settings in the US and  provided abortions.  Only 7% were doing so. They established that the number of abortion providers in the  US was declining.

The Guttmacher Institute was founded as part of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the US but became independent from Planned Parenthood in 2007.

The researchers reported that most US obstetrician-gynaecologists in private practice also failed  to provide referrals for abortion.

The most common reasons that obstetrician-gynaecologists gave for not offering abortion referrals included provision of indirect referrals (to another information source, rather than directly to a provider), an office policy against abortion referrals, a moral or ethical objection to abortion and a lack of patients seeking abortions.

Among obstetrician-gynaecologists who provided abortions, 42% offered only surgical abortions and a smaller proportion, 25%, offered only medication abortions with the abortions pills mifepristone and misoprostol. 

The researchers had expected that medication abortion would be more common because it was non-invasive and required fewer resources than surgical abortions. However, they thought that it was possible that the US Food and Drug Administration restrictions on stocking and administering medication abortion pills, and certification requirements for providers, discouraged some physicians in private practice from offering this option.

On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, the legislation that made access to an abortion a federal right in the US. The decision dismantled 50 years of legal protection and paved the way for individual states to curtail or outright ban abortion rights. 

Abortion deeply impacts multiple parties: the unborn child, the mother, the father, the siblings, other family members and society– Tony Mifsud

In January 2023, the Guttmacher Institute reported that 24 US states, half the number of states, had banned abortion or were likely to do so. The US had started moving away from abortion.

In Malta, on the other hand,  one particular Maltese obstetrician,  who came to Malta from the US, not only is seen  on the social media crusading for  medical abortions, with the abortions pills mifepristone and misoprostol in her hands, but still appears showing women, Maltese and foreigners alike, how to take these abortion pills. This, in a population of 535,064 people.

Not only, but the Maltese obstetrician had the gall, recently, to admonish the Maltese prime minister for declaring, some time ago,  that he will contest anyone who promoted abortion in Malta. Brazenly, he was told:  “You must surely realise that our country is at a crossroads. It can either go down the path of protecting women or it can cave in to conservatives and continue to criminalise women for taking decisions that are in their best interest.”

This particular obstetrician speaks about “protecting women” when, in fact, she is constantly talking about and promoting abortion, which means women being prodded to deliberately kill their own unborn children for any reason. This, in a country where maternal mortality ratio fell gradually from nine deaths per 100,000 live births in 2001 to three deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020.

The Maltese obstetrician probably came to Malta from the US and brought with her the abortion mentality  prevalent  there at that time.

Apparently, she has not followed what happened and is still happening there about abortion since she left. While the US is now gradually distancing itself from abortion, she is assiduously going in the opposite direction in Malta, advancing abortion for all at any cost. What exactly is her main motive for doing so is not really clear.

What a contrast with the large majority of US obstetricians in a population of 340 million people!

In reality, abortion deeply impacts multiple parties: the unborn child, the mother, the father, the siblings, other family members and society.

For many women, pregnancy is not for deliberately killing unborn children but a great opportunity for the mother’s love to grow along with her unborn child. Many mothers say that life as a mum is so much more than caregiving and nurturing a beautiful little soul.

Tony Mifsud studied politics and social affairs in Oxford.

Source: Times of Malta