I had passed many times by this door.
My naive mind always wondered why a door in the middle section of a hospital ward would have a “NOT AN EXIT” sign on it.
“It should be obvious this is not an exit… it is right in the middle of a large a building… “ I thought.
It was next to one of the elevators of a large level-1 trauma county hospital and very close to the obstetrics ward. Dozens of happy new mothers would pass by this door every week on the way home with a beautiful newborn baby in their arms.
It was the summer of 2000, and I was a 24-year-old newbie medical student on the surgical clerkship when the issue of abortion finally became as real as it gets. It was time to rotate through the anesthesiology service as part of the surgical experience, and I was spending some time with a 2nd year anesthesia resident. We were on our way to prepare the obstetrics operating rooms for scheduled C-sections that day.
“Hey, I’ll show you a neat short cut to the operating room…” he says.
He headed straight for the mysterious door with the puzzling sign on it, and we entered.
To my amazement it felt like I stepped into another world. I just went from a noisy environment of sick patients, infections, trauma, alcoholism and other plagues associated with county hospitals, into a large pre-operative waiting room filled with a dozen young and healthy looking women dressed in hospital gowns.
The room was filled with a silence as thick as death itself.
“They are waiting to get their abortions done” he whispered to me as we hurried on our way.
My heart sank as I saw the nervous, worried and guilty looks on their faces.
A horrific big picture fell into place for me that morning. A picture that is replicated thousands of times across America in slaughter houses called “family planning clinics.”
A few months later I returned to the “county” for my 2 month OB-Gyn clerkship, and during orientation the coordinator of the slaughter-house showed up. To this day I remember her first and last name, her face, and the air of feminist liberation in her voice.
“We are excited you will spend a week with us in the abortion clinic where you will participate in these procedures which stand for freedom of choice for women” she said.
“God, how am I going to make it through a week of this…? God, help me exercise the faith You put in me… I don’t care if I fail this clerkship, but I know You will not let me participate in shedding innocent blood”
I raised my hand and I said:
“My faith in God precludes me from participating in abortion. I hope this will not interfere with my OB-Gyn clinicals…”
There were 5 med students on that rotation, and to my surprise a female student echoed my sentiment. If I remember correctly she was a Catholic.
Imagine the shock on the abortion coordinator’s face when light (the mention of faith in God) penetrated the darkness in her heart. She was hardened to the point where she could not understand why we did not accept the “greatest” achievement that has ever occurred in the feminist movement, the holy grail of their agenda- a woman’s right to terminate her baby.
“Why are you even here? Why are you wasting your talents and your education? Why can’t you have an open mind and accept what we deem right as a society?”
Thank God for another reasonable clerkship director who honored our request. Not all Christians are quite so fortunate. There are reports in the media of nurses who lost their job because they refused to participate in termination of pregnancy. They underwent legal recourse and lost that too.
By the grace of God I spend one week there without participating in the murder of the unborn. I spoke to many teen girls who were about to undergo abortion. I even tried secretly, yet unsuccessfully, to show them other options.
Ultimately, God taught me a lesson as He turned an anxiety provoking situation into a blessing. In the end I earned an “honors” grade in Ob-Gyn.
It was a lesson that God wanted to teach me. To put my trust in Him, and He would deliver me against evil.
Psalm 84:12 “O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you.”