It’s not the career of which they dreamed. Can you imagine your fourth grader raising his hand in class and proclaiming, “I want to be an abortionist when I grow up?” That has never happened.
Yet somehow they end up there. Men and women who themselves started out as unborn children with amazing potential end up destroying life at its most vulnerable stages.
Dr. John Bruchalski, who is now a pro-life activist, describes how his heart became increasingly hardened and calloused to the reality of what he was doing. I saw this first hand in college when I volunteered to pray weekly at a local abortion clinic. The abortionist could always be seen hunched over, non-responsive, barely alert, almost numb from the effects of the many abortions he performed.
Dr. Bruchalski performed abortions at all gestational ages as a routine part of medical residency. The residents were being sucked into a medical school system where abortion is normalized as a part of “women’s health.” He did it because he bought what he now knows were lies: that abortion helped women, that fertility hindered women’s freedom, and that the answer was destruction and suppression. It was an “anytime for any reason” deal as part of offering “full reproductive services.” Even when medical residents have the right to refuse to provide abortions, it would still take great courage to defy sociological pressures.
Dr. Bruchalski describes his life at that time as schizophrenic; in one room, doctors were trying to save a baby at the same gestational age as the one next door – being aborted. The only difference was whether the mother wanted it. After a conversion experience led Dr. Bruchalski to stop performing abortions, his supervisor asked him to keep it quiet – but the majority of his fellow residents ended up joining him and stopped performing abortions themselves. The sociological pressure was – this time – for good.
These days Dr. Bruchalski runs a pro-life OB/GYN clinic that serves everyone, even the uninsured, and travels giving talks to medical students asking them, “If abortion is so amazing, why don’t more doctors do it?”
At one such talk, he challenged a pro-choice medical student who thought abortion was great and wanted to see how it felt to perform one. She came back a year later and said she just couldn’t keep doing it anymore, it had been awful – abortion’s broken promises were exposed.
There is hope for all of these deceived providers. One abortionist said that learning about Dr. Bruchalski gave him hope to return to his original life-filled passion for medicine. He explained he had started his passionate work as an OB/GYN trying to save women suffering from preeclampsia – but somehow ended up on the more lucrative abortion train.
There are many stories like this. One pro-choice advocate even admitted abortion was “complex” enough to form a “resident abortion providers’ support group.” These doctors all once performed abortions before stopping for personal or scientific reasons. One man, for example, struggled with infertility and said to himself, while looking at babies he was killing, “just give me one!”
The good news is that the number of abortion providers is declining, though some pro-choicers lament this fact and are working hard for a day when “doctors will feel proud to proclaim: ‘I am an abortionist.’” It’ll never happen.
Doctors become doctors because they are passionate about helping people. It is when they discover that abortion only results in harm – harm to the babies, women, and even to themselves – that they reconsider.
Chaney Mullins is a Special Projects Writer for Concerned Women for America (CWA). She graduated from the University of Virginia and was a fellow at the John Jay Institute. She currently serves on the board of Healing Center International.