Story No. 477: Dr. Kristyn from California

“Juliet” came to me for an abortion procedure for a very desired pregnancy. During her second trimester screening, Juliet had been diagnosed with a fetal anomaly that was not compatible with life. She made the difficult decision to not put her potential child through a delivery process and came for an abortion procedure.

I was ready to take care of her, but faced several barriers to getting her care. It took 18 hours to find the staff needed to take care of her in the operating room—a nurse, an anesthesiologist, and a scrub tech—because so many of our providers refused to take care of her, citing “conscientious objection.” This delayed her care to the next day: she had to stay in the hospital overnight just to wait for her procedure, which was so frustrating due to the increased cost to Juliet for her care!

In the end, we found willing staff to take care of her. I hope patients always have access to reproductive health care and that includes having staff who are willing to take care of all types of patient needs.