As a window opens for legal abortion in Arizona, providers ride emotional roller coaster alongside patients, family members and advocates, a new video reveals.
In the video, recorded over the weekend at Arizona Center for Reproductive Health and Women’s Health, a team of physicians and a patient advocate walk through the experience of a woman who received a late-term abortion with an ultrasound after Roe v. Wade in 1973.
“I was in total shock and disbelief,” said Dr. Kelly Givens, a gynecologist who performed the abortion. “It was not the worst case scenario.”
The woman ended up in a long, uncomfortable process where she was forced to re-affirm her decision to have an abortion, she said.
“I was like, ‘I was right,’” said Givens, who is now a practicing OB-GYN in Phoenix.
“The bottom line is this was the first time I had ever seen an ultrasound image of an intact baby. I didn’t understand why I was crying and was overwhelmed. And it was a very emotional experience and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more shame and regret.”
The video, which was not previously posted on YouTube, provides insight into the emotional aftermath — which, according to the group whose attorneys defended the woman, is “exceedingly rare.”
The video was shot by Givens with the help of Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom, a group whose mission is “to protect and preserve the rights of the women of the state of Arizona.” In addition to a group of doctors whom they assisted, Givens and her team were joined by other medical and advocacy professionals.
Givens said the video is meant to help patients “understand what they are going through, the legal rights they have and how they’ve been violated.”
This isn’t the first time the group has used abortion footage it collected to express its own views.
“Our attorneys are going to file a lawsuit against the abortion industry in Arizona in the next couple days,” said Givens.