As an obstetrician, a mother and a citizen, I’ve been trying to pinpoint my intensely emotional response to the highly contorted and contrived attack on Planned Parenthood, targeting providers. What I’ve realized is this. These anti-women activists have worked tirelessly to dehumanize women and their values. They are now distributing heavily spliced videos to dehumanize and defame women’s health care providers. I take that very personally, and we all should.
Every day all over this country, an obstetrician will inform a patient as gently as she can that her 14-week fetus is no longer alive, provide clinical information and comfort. And then she will leave that exam room, walk a few steps, and will enter another room. Here she will celebrate with another patient carrying twins that her tests were normal. Later she will expertly perform the surgery to complete the 14-week miscarriage, which includes examining the removed tissue and verifying the uterus is completely empty, ensuring a complete recovery and optimal chance for future pregnancy.
We obstetricians do this daily and we do it well, because we are trained to be emotionally present for each and every patient as part of our therapeutic role. This requires compartmentalizing our personal emotions so that we can be clinically objective as we care for each patient’s needs. It’s what our patients expect, and what they deserve.
This essential objectivity is being demonized by heavily edited videos, in an attempt to dehumanize these exceptional Planned Parenthood providers who provide compassionate, comprehensive reproductive health care to the people who need it the most.
I’m outraged, and you should be too.
Siri Fiebiger, MD, MPH, FACOG, is a member of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Board of Directors, Minneapolis.
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