Sunday, October 1, 2023

The invisible abortions in the “Bible Belt” of Newfoundland

After the procedure, Juanita returned to the same couch as before. If he looks more tired, he also looks more peaceful. As all the girls returned to the waiting room, one by one. After the decisions, the discussions, the planning and the miles traveled, they were able to have the abortion in complete confidentiality.

The girls sat there, listened to the jokes and ate the biscuits handed out by the nurses for about thirty minutes, then got dressed and left, without saying much to each other.

When I enter this room, sometimes there are women who are very friendly, but that’s because they are very boredsaid Angie Vokey. There is this weight lifted from them and I feel it, even though I am not a patient (…) We may not meet again, but we live this moment together, it is felt.

Without leaving a trace

By early afternoon, there were no patients left. Undressed by Dr. Monaghan put on his yellow medical coat and started getting ready to go on the road. In 24 hours, the clinic will be built and dismantled, without leaving a trace.

We took pictures (of the room) to put everything in the right place explained nurse Rolanda Ryan.

Nurse Rolanda Ryan.

Explained by Dr. Kelly Monaghan that, in theory, she doesn’t have to leave her family once a month to terminate pregnancies hundreds of miles from home. This operation is a basic skills for any obstetrician he remembered.

However, setting up a clinic in a rural area is very expensive and may not have enough patients. Furthermore, the provision of abortion depends on a group where no one opposes abortion.

In a hospital, that means nurses and also an anesthesiologist. (…) Everyone must be pro-abortion and if one of the group members does not want, the service will not be offered explained by Dr. Monaghan.

Since 2017, when the mobile clinic first visited Grand Falls-Windsor, the number of abortions in the area has apparently increased. Dr. Kelly Monaghan says that’s a good thing.

We are in the “Bible Belt” of the province, so that makes sense. If a service is not offered locally, you have to travel, which means finding childcare, inventing a good excuse to explain your absence from work, e.g.he explained.

In a region where there are people around you who don’t support your decision, I can’t imagine how difficult it is.

Rolanda Ryan Assembles The Clinic.

Rolanda Ryan’s clinic was set up and dismantled in just 24 hours, without leaving a trace. Photo: Radio-Canada / Patrick Butler

Kneeling in front of a suitcase, Rolanda Ryan worked to dismantle the clinic as quickly as possible. He still had two hours of work left before covering the more than 400 km of road that separated him from Saint-Jean.

We are always tired at the end of these tripshe confessed. But we know we made a difference in someone’s life.

The nurse knew him. There is still a way to go before all women on the island can have abortions in a safe environment. But until then, he knew more than anything that he was changing lives.

When he left, the walls that hosted his mobile clinic and that heard the stories of the women who passed by were once again transformed into a simple health clinic. Can’t be seen or recognized.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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