When an Abortion Means Your Doctor Won't See You Now

Jeanne Sager

doctor's officeImagine getting a call from your doctor's office. They're kicking you out of their practice.

Your insurance is still good, but the doc ... well, he's pissed because you pierced your ears. 

Without consulting him.

Sound bogus?

Well try this one on for size: RH Reality Check took a little tour through middle America and came up with a host of stories of women whose doctors have cut them off because they made a personal decision outside of his or her office.

They had an abortion.

How dare I compare something so serious to something so simple?

Because they are, at the heart, personal decisions. LEGAL personal decisions. And both could somehow have medical implications down the road, or could not.

And both were performed by another practitioner, leaving your doctor no responsibility for the act or its results.

So why would one get people indignant, the other start a war? For the same reason doctors are kicking patients out the door for exercising their freedom of choice.

Here's where it gets particularly tricky: even doctors have freedom of choice, especially in private practice. They can see whomever they wish. That means saying no to your double pierced ears and your empty uterus alike.

But allow one ... and you allow the other.

In taking the Hippocratic oath, a caregiver vows to "first do no harm." Turning away patients in rural America is burdening them with a sometimes impossible task -- finding another caregiver.

Trust me. I live half an hour from my doctor's office. On a good day. When I have to see a specialist, tack another half hour to two on to that. One way. When it isn't snowing.

I'm blessed to have a car to drive there, insurance that will allow me to see a larger range of doctors than the average Medicaid patient, and a job that grants me sick leave.

Now try telling a woman with none of those options she has to find another doctor simply because he's pissed that she didn't keep a baby he wasn't going to provide for.

Who is doing "no harm" here?

Has your doctor ever judged you for your lifestyle choices?


Image via PhotoDu.de/Flickr

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