Dear Mr. Trump,

I just heard you on Chris Mathews discussing abortion. “Should the woman be punished for having an abortion?” you were asked.

You waffled and tried to deflect, but Mathews called you out. What does an abortion ban mean, he wanted to know?

You then called abortion “a very serious problem” and suggested that we would have to “go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it.”

And then, “There has to be some form of punishment.”

I am guessing the perforated uterus or sepsis that often goes along with an illegal abortion isn’t punishment enough? What about the infertility from the infection acquired as the dirty instruments pushed bacteria into “the woman’s” body? How about the the pre-procedure rape (after all you can’t really report the rape from your illegal abortion).

And what of doctors like me who care for these women? What punishment will we get if we don’t report them?

I’ve pulled a fetal skull out of an abdomen, treated an abdomen full of stool from a perforated bowel, and fought to save the life of a woman while I was almost up to my ankles in her blood. Abortion isn’t illegal, but it’s expensive and when women can’t afford a well-trained provider and are desperate not to be pregnant they don’t ask many questions. I know exactly what will happen when women can’t get abortions and apparently so do you.

I know you don’t labor under the misconception that banning abortion creates wanted pregnancies, if it did why would there be “illegal places?” But in case you don’t know the specifics when abortion is illegal on average  7 women per 1,000 (between the ages of 15 and 44) are treated for complications from an illegal procedure. In some countries it’s 1% of reproductive aged women with medical visits for complications of illegal abortions every year. Yes, 1% of reproductive aged women. And that’s just those who seek care. Worldwide over 21 million women have unsafe abortions every year and 47,000 die. That is what happens when there are only “illegal places.”

You should be ashamed at your lack of empathy in casually mentioning “illegal places” as if that is some kind of option, like traveling coach. Do you really think that a frightened woman with her legs spread on a table waiting to be penetrated by dirty instruments while she hopes not to be raped or die (or both) is some kind of admirable outcome?

So I ask you again, are those things punishment enough or after she wakes up from the surgery to drain the abscess and save her uterus will “the woman” also need jail time?


Dr. Jen Gunter MD, FRCS(S), FACOG, DABPM




Join the Conversation


Leave a Reply to Dar Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. “Worldwide over 21 million women have unsafe abortions every year and 47,000 die.” This is stunning. And horrifying. As is Trump. I’ve never been so terrified of a presidential candidate.

  2. THANK YOU. Not only for your intelligent, highly-needed perspective from personal experience, but also for standing up to remind people of reality. It’s a source of constant anger and chagrin to me that people continue to debate the issue of abortion in a completely vacuum – without, it seems, considering the real lives involved. Apparently it’s ok for a woman to die rather than have a life-saving abortion. Apparently it’s better for a child to be born without being fully functional, with missing/deformed or under-developed organs/limbs that require extensive surgeries – if it survives at all. And, apparently, these pontificating anti-abortionists are more concerned with cloaking themselves in purportedly moral semantics than providing real, tangible solutions – to say nothing of the fact that I’d sure like to see them pony up the money to care for these children they so adamantly want to force into the world regardless of how or if the mother and child survive. And why are these people not financially supporting their beliefs – promoting sex ed, supporting clinics to make contraception available, adopting children from foster care or those given up for adoption? Put up or shut up, Mr. Trump!

  3. Thank you for getting on this directly and including the video. Those of us old enough to remember the “Septic Wards” would not welcome them again. That is right-not an ilsolated few women. We are talking about an entire ward of seriously ill and possibly dying women whose only crime was seeking affection or being too attractive.

  4. The things that Trump says are so bizarre that I have a hard time believing he’s real and not simply a ruse to shake up the GOP, and get Hillary in the house … just sayin’. It’s my weird (or not so weird) conspiracy theory!

  5. That fact that we are discussing Donald Trump at this level never ceases to astound me. What is wrong with this country?? How can people not see that, while he may be a decent businessman, he is certainly a buffoon and is in no way fit to be president. I guess the people voting for him must be in the 40% of American who believe we were created in our current form by an omnipotent deity. In any case, I am sure no one will be surprised by his attempts at retraction (

  6. Abortions should only be legal when a rape is involved…and proven. If you dont want to get pregnant…dont have sex!!!!

    1. Your view on this is way too simplistic. Birth control fails. I am married, but don’t want children. You’re seriously telling me that I should never have sex, ever? Given the amount of rape victims that never see their rapist receive any amount of punishment for their crime, and the length of time that these cases can take, there’s just no way that your rule is realistic. How about we let women decide what they want to do with their own bodies because it’s no one’s business but hers.

    2. How would a woman ‘prove’ she was raped, in time to have an abortion? Who decides whether what she describes as rape ‘really’ is rape? Does she need to be beaten up to qualify, or are there other criteria?

  7. Keep talking, Doc! Your experience is pertinent to this argument when our elected officials won’t listen to ‘average’ women.

    1. Why does your empathy not reach to non-violent drug offenders? Under the same rationale, drug users buy illegal drugs that could be replaced with pharmaceutical versions that would not harm or maim the user. For instance Adderall is a legal drug that does the same thing as “crank” but doesn’t rot your teeth out or cause innumerable other health issues and doesn’t land you in jail for its possession. Why not legalize Adderall so that people won’t be hurt by their behavior? Same for marijuana. Why imprison people for possession of something that doesn’t hurt anyone but might cause lung cancer? Neither of these drugs, if made legal, would make living beings stop living.

      Making something legal because people are going to do it anyway to their detriment doesn’t sound like that great of an argument. Besides, using drugs doesn’t kill a living viable child in the womb.

      It’s sad that we polarize these issues and take such staunch positions without rational thought. I think many people could sympathize with a RU486 solution (the morning after pill). But when it comes to aborting a child after there is a heartbeat and/or the child is viable outside the womb, I think you would find that the vast majority of people find that type of abortion abominable. I, for one, agree.

      1. Viable outside of the womb is at 24 weeks and having a heartbeat is at 6 weeks. That’s a VAST time difference.

        And a medical procedure is a completely different issue than drug use. I’m actually a huge supporter of the harm reduction model for addictions, and think that legalizing access to certain medications would be of a huge benefit, but I don’t think this is a good comparison at all.

%d bloggers like this: