Why I Wanted to Learn to Perform Abortions
With the future of contraception in question, looking back to recent history is instructive.
By Jen Gunter
Oct. 14, 2018
It starts with steel.
A speculum. A needle. A tenaculum to steady the cervix. A set of dilators. These were the instruments I used when I trained to perform abortions in the 1990s.
There was also plastic and suction. The equipment was all so hard and sharp, and yet the procedure itself required a delicate touch. This was before ultrasound was commonly used, so a surgical abortion was often performed blindly. It took experience to recognize and understand the feel of steel and hard plastic on the cervix and the uterus. Not just because you couldn’t see, but also because the tissue changes week by week as the uterus enlarges and the muscle thins.