Are nurses forced to assist abortions? - page 4

by lookingintoRN 23,470 Views | 123 Comments

Hello, I'm looking into a career as an RN and I am just curious - Are nurses forced to assist abortions? I've heard recently of several nurses being forced to assist or they lose their job. Is this the case with most hospitals?... Read More


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    I work in L&D and an OBGYN clinic. We do medical TABS and < 12 week D&C's. In my situation I have no choice but to care for them prior and after, but I do not have to asist as long as there is another equally qualified person to replace me. We sign that paperwork at orientation. If you really don't want to come in contact with them OB is not your field
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-...cy-with-longst

    I agree with the posters, if you find it morally wrong to take care of patients who had abortions, get another job and lobby to make abortions illegal. The patient's bedside is not the place for politics.
    KelRN215, Fiona59, Lynx25, and 1 other like this.
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    No need for snarky comments. I will gladly post more information/clarification, but my two best sources are well-respected MDs who are doing international healthcare consulting in Columbia at the moment (returning next week I believe). I do know that this was addressed at the Catholic Medical Association 80th Annual Meeting just last month here in Phoenix.
    Last edit by AZnurse_2B on Nov 30, '11
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    Quote from decembergrad2011
    I don't understand why there is so much hoopla. Abortion is a legal medical procedure. It is a private decision between a woman and her healthcare provider, and potentially her family or friends. Deal with it or avoid the areas of nursing where you could encounter it.
    If you look at it strictly from a legal perspective, this doesn't carry much weight since it is currently illegal for any public authority to force a healthcare provider to assist in an abortion if it violates his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.
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    Quote from lookingintoRN
    Hello,
    I'm looking into a career as an RN and I am just curious - Are nurses forced to assist abortions? I've heard recently of several nurses being forced to assist or they lose their job. Is this the case with most hospitals?

    I've asked on other sites and apparently it's a dumb question, sorry.

    Thanks for your help.
    I'm fairly convinced this post, and many others like it, are trolls planted by anti-abortion types.
    caroladybelle, abbnurse, Fiona59, and 4 others like this.
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    I don't know, I think it could be legit. People want to know what they're getting into- myself, I wouldn't have a problem caring for someone before or after the procedure, but I wouldn't want to assist with one, and yes I DO want to work in OB- which is why I'm being careful- I wouldn't work in an OB clinic because they do AB there and staffing is usually pretty small so I'd probably be expected to assist. I could pick up and work at the 2 hospitals in the area that are Catholic run, and don't do abortions (and they're both pretty big name in my area). The hospital I work at has a free standing gyn clinic that does it- so the L/D department doesn't deal with it.

    So yes, I agree, pick your locale carefully.
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    Quote from AZnurse_2B
    If you look at it strictly from a legal perspective, this doesn't carry much weight since it is currently illegal for any public authority to force a healthcare provider to assist in an abortion if it violates his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions.
    I think this is where the word assist is in debate. The nurses in NJ were given a pass on the procedure, they are refusing to give pre op and post op care...where do you draw the line. Do they have the right to never take care of women who had a procedure they felt morally or religiously opposed to?
    KelRN215, VictoriaGayle, elkpark, and 1 other like this.
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    I've traveled all over the country working as an RN for years, and I have learned from the experience the following situations;
    1) You are forced because it is an emergency in the operating room, and you are on call and there IS NO ONE ELSE.
    2) You are forced because someone who is above you or in charge is not flexible with adjusting the schedule.
    3) The charge nurse jumps in after you have complained and takes the assignment, becomes very annoyed and talks about you to other staff members that you are REFUSING an assignment.
    ***So sorry, but I've seen it happen way to many times, all scenarios, and no one will stick up for you. The fact is, abortions elective, or missed, are all surgical procedures done within an operating room setting. If you can not accept the fact that it is part of your job description, than you are not an asset to any OR, and should look into other departments. With respect to whatever beliefs that you have, it is unfair for other staff to have to pick up the slack.
    Anonymous865, Fiona59, JZ_RN, and 4 others like this.
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    Quote from tamara1313
    I've traveled all over the country working as an RN for years, and I have learned from the experience the following situations;
    1) You are forced because it is an emergency in the operating room, and you are on call and there IS NO ONE ELSE.
    2) You are forced because someone who is above you or in charge is not flexible with adjusting the schedule.
    3) The charge nurse jumps in after you have complained and takes the assignment, becomes very annoyed and talks about you to other staff members that you are REFUSING an assignment.
    ***So sorry, but I've seen it happen way to many times, all scenarios, and no one will stick up for you. The fact is, abortions elective, or missed, are all surgical procedures done within an operating room setting. If you can not accept the fact that it is part of your job description, than you are not an asset to any OR, and should look into other departments. With respect to whatever beliefs that you have, it is unfair for other staff to have to pick up the slack.
    These nurses are not OR nurses, they work pre and post op......great points.
    fromtheseaRN likes this.
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    Some interesting responses. To the OP, as noted, depending on the sub-specialty, a qualified no. obviously, in neurology, its not a huge issue for myself or co-workers.

    I'm not sure that I would say that this is a hot topic because of the political posturing possible, but more that it is a conflict of situational vs. foundational ethics, and having a logical philosophical framework for practice.

    Alcohol abuse is illegal(or at least a majority of the behaviors that attend alcholism); we treat alcoholics. Dealing with the immediate need would not seem to be an issue in either case.

    The situational ethics become problematic, because situations may change radically and quickly. It was not long ago when Down's and other disabled fetuses would readily be aborted. As of less than 20 years ago, it was very common, in certain parts of the world, for female fetuses to be terminated. Legal/illegal would seem to be a less than optimal model for basing ethical practice.

    The extremism on both ends of the spectrum have created the fervor in the debate, and it is very much a matter of "religion" for both pro and con. The Greek root of "religion" meaning to, "return to bondage"...


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