A family physician who specializes in abortions created a frenzy on Twitter after he said having returning abortion patients is “a huge compliment” and that seeing them again “makes my day.”
As Faithwire reported, Dr. Joe Nelson, who describes himself as “your friendly neighborhood abortion provider,” stirred up debate on Twitter last week when he wrote, “Every single day, I see patients who I've seen before for abortion services but end up with another undesired pregnancy. When they come back, they are often quite embarrassed to be in that position again and are worried we might be judging them. We don't.
“In fact, as a family physician who does exclusively abortion work now,” he continued, “It makes my day to see a familiar face. Those of us who do this work understand that this can happen to anyone at any time, and we take it as a huge compliment if you trust us with your care again.”
In fact, as a family physician who does exclusively abortion work now, it makes my day to see a familiar face. Those of us who do this work understand that this can happen to anyone at any time, and we take it as a huge compliment if you trust us with your care again.— Joe Nelson, MD 🌈 (@DoctorJoeNelson) February 15, 2020
Nelson’s initial tweets attracted attention from pro-life Twitter users, many of them questioning how or why the doctor would be happy to have repeat patients. One person tweeted, “I remember years ago my dad, Catholic father of 8, said he feared abortion would eventually be used as a form of birth control. He was right.”
While another asked, “Do you provide or refer these women for contraception counseling?”
After receiving an overwhelming amount of criticism, Nelson later followed up on his initial tweets writing, “Hello to the anti-abortion side of twitter. I make no apologies for caring for people in difficult situations with as much compassion as I can. Your collective blaming of women in this situation is exactly the problem I’m referring to.”
To clarify: I would never wish an undesired pregnancy on anyone, and do everything I can to help my patients avoid that situation. But if they do find themselves needing to be seen again for whatever reason, it's my job to take the best care of them that I can, and I do.— Joe Nelson, MD 🌈 (@DoctorJoeNelson) February 15, 2020
One responder shared her own story of abortion and the heartache that followed.
“My abortion deeply and tragically affected me for decades until I sought healing through my faith,” she said. “It breaks my heart to hear anyone…especially an [abortionist]…say that we are ‘making it up’ when we speak of the devastation of abortion.”
Another woman shared the story of how her daughter was once faced with an unexpected pregnancy. She wrote, “Thank God above that she is a Christian and couldn’t fathom the thought of murdering this precious angel,” she said with a photo of her smiling granddaughter.
Earlier in the month, on Valentine’s Day, Dr. Nelson posted a poem using the popular hashtag, #shoutyourabortion. Thousands of Twitter users have used the hashtag to reduce shame around the procedure. It picked up speed in 2016 when National Abortion Rights Action League President Ilyse Hogue declared at the DNC that she was “fortunate” enough to get an abortion at “the wrong time,” as previously reported by Christian Headlines.
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang experienced significant criticism after he encouraged people to stop celebrating abortion and instead celebrate the family.
“It’s a tragedy to me if someone decides that they don’t want to have a child and they’re on the fence and then maybe at some point later; it’s a very difficult personal decision and it’s something that we should be very, very sensitive to,” he said.
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Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.