Spoiler: The following is not about abortion, at least not directly.
I'm sitting in the specialist's office today, giving a ride to a friend (ah, the old "friend" story, but seriously, it was not for me) and rifling through old magazines while she is in seeing her doctor. I find something called "The Philadelphia Trumpet." The headlines are a little odd. I pick it up and begin perusing. I cannot begin to describe my surprise. Apparently, homosexual marriages in California are bringing the end times, China is a menace, (and there are reasons to be concerned about Germans too!) the earth is 6000 years old, evolution is a theory for crackpots (did you know that evolutionists claim dinosaurs and birds are related? How ridiculous! Anyone can see that dinosaurs are incapable of flight) and Proposition 8 is proof that the liberal, homosexual Supreme Court judges are in flagrant disregard of the Constitution and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
I flip to the back to see who this magazine subscription belongs to, and sure enough, it is my friend's doctor.
What to do? I write a letter, on the front of the magazine. This is what it says:
I am astonished to find this magazine in your waiting room, a magazine of right wing extremists and religious zealots, a magazine that espouses racism, claims evolution is a lie and that homosexuals do not deserve human rights. I expect my doctor to be both scientific and respect the human rights of all people, regardless of their differences. Because of this magazine, I feel both threatened and insecure about this visit."
Inside the magazine, I begin to scribble. On the article about China, I write, "Why is China a menace but America is benevolent?" On the article about Proposition 8, I write in huge block letters, "Lesbians and Gays raise families too." On the article about evolution, I can barely stop writing, and among other things write, "This is an object lesson in the perils of home schooling." On the subscription form, which advertises that this magazine will arrive free to anyone who subscribes, I write, "Who would pay for it?" My scribbling ends with the end of my friend's visit.
This raises the issue, can you trust a doctor that a) believes this, b) subscribes to this and c) hasn't got the sense to keep her extremist views away from her patients? Is her practice of medicine affected by her values?
I say, yes, it is. I advise my friend to seek another opinion. Can you imagine if this were an ob/gyn and you came for advice on an unintended pregnancy? Holy Fire and Brimstone.
Or, should we be happy that she's "out there" with her extreme views so we can choose to navigate away from her and find a medical practitioner who is not anti-science, not anti-homosexual, not anti-Chinese, ant-German etc.? I say, yes, to that too.