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ABORTION/ In the womb of the mother, there is a child

MADDALENA BERTOLINI, a midwife, discussesher experience of the process of abortion and of stillbirth, the importance of the womb and the beauty of a newborn life.

(Infophoto) (Infophoto)

Dear editor,
At the Jesi Hospital (in the Marche region of Italy), they do not have a gynecologist who practices VIPs (voluntary interruption of pregnancy), because the ten employees are all conscientious objectors; therefore, an “outside” doctor is called in to remedy the scandal, the infringement of the right to an abortion, at least according to the law.

This is not the first time that this has happened, and I do not understand why we should be surprised at the high percentage of doctors who are objectors. Some people have even come to question the right of a doctor to be able to object, to refuse to perform abortions, a bit like what is happening in the U.S. where even Catholic clinics are being required to safeguard this right. In this way, to follow the law, one must go against one’s freedom (of conscience).

In the end, then, why should we have this freedom? Could it not be used as an excuse to get out of a commitment?

I say, do you know how to do an abortion? Have you ever seen a doctor “at work”? I have. I am a midwife. I have been working for years with gynecologists, men and women, and I can say that I know that part of the human race well. Human, I want to underline.

“You're lucky,” people tell me sometimes “you work in the presence of life”. Actually, we all work in the presence of life, but midwives and doctors in the delivery room see the birth of the child, and they are certainly not all alive and healthy.

There comes a mom with a nice big belly and says, I do not feel it move anymore. You feel chills down your back because you know that a mother feels her child, its presence. You know that they are always right, mothers I mean. In the delivery room, you pick up the child, the same birth as any other, the same pains, the incubator off, no pediatrician or pediatric nurse. She pushes and cries. The baby is warm, soft, full of her warmth and covered with her blood.

Sometimes the belly is small, the baby no bigger than a minnow slips out, and rests in the palm of one’s hand, its gender already visible, its face drawn. At three months, the prophetic 12 weeks, everything is already done, the little body is finished, and the father who sees it asks for a coffin.