In an astounding bit of arrogance and leftist dogmatism, Monica McLemore, a UC San Francisco RN and associate professor, argued at Vice.com that any nurse who is unwilling to provide abortions should stay out of the healthcare profession. In a mandate that would undoubtedly lead to thousands of nurses choosing another career path, McLemore insisted that we “need to be more discerning about who is worthy of serving the public.” Clearly, that group does not include healthcare workers who actually care about the unborn.
From McLemore’s disturbing essay:
I can attest that healthcare workers provide abortion and other reproductive health services because of their moral beliefs, not in spite of them. I have spent the last 28 years of my nursing career providing direct clinical care to people needing and seeking abortions. My work and the work of my colleagues in abortion care is consistent with core nursing values, including human dignity, privacy, justice, autonomy in decision-making, precision and accuracy in caring, sympathy, and honesty.
To be clear, I respect people’s desires not to do things that go against their moral or religious beliefs. I know that professional nursing in the United States was established in religiously affiliated institutions. However, people shouldn’t go into healthcare if they don’t want to provide healthcare.
There’s a larger issue here that isn’t being discussed: Who is worthy to serve the public with comprehensive reproductive services, and what are the standards of care that should be provided?
McLemore was inspired to mount her high horse after the Trump administration officially warned a hospital in Vermont that it violated federal funding requirements when it forced a nurse to participate in an abortion procedure against her will. Shocked (shocked!) that such a thing could be possible in a pre-Handmaid’s Tale version of America, McLemore argued that providing abortions was, indeed, the moral choice in most situations.
“I would have asked this nurse to wrestle with why her discomfort with abortion kept her from empathizing with the person who needed it,” she wrote, haughtily.
Fact is, abortion is not healthcare. Perhaps in some cases, where the mother’s life is at stake, we can be persuaded to see it in a different light. But when it comes to abortions of want and convenience, we can think of few other medical procedures that make such a mockery of the very term “care.” And if would-be nurses are forced to avoid the profession because people like McLemore get their way, the profession will be far worse for it.