We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse’s Story


  1. “We are too busy to chew over ethics” (paragraph 21), Tisdale observes. What does she mean by ethics? Does she engage with what you consider ethical issues in this essay? Explain.
  2. Although Tisdale takes a pro-choice position, a pro-lifer could use parts of her essay against her. What parts? What are advantages and disadvantages of including material that could be used in support of the opposition?

Sample paper

We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse’s Story

Sallie Tisdale in her essay We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse’s Story, she states that those who practice abortion are too busy to chew over ethics. In this context, the author uses ethics to refer to the moral principles to determine whether a patient should go on with abortion or not.  Medically, there are those who have a legal right to perform abortions, but there are also those who should not be allowed to abort an embryo. However, according to the nurse in this particular facility, they have no time to evaluate and decide whether the available patients are qualified to undertake abortions as well as evaluating the repercussions and consequences of the intended abortion (Peterson & Brereton, 2008,). From the essay, it is easy to point out that the nurse does not engage ethical issues in her work since abortions should not be performed to every person and it is morally wrong.

Despite stating that abortion is a matter of choice and privacy, there are parts of the essay that can be used against her in the case of complications in the process. For example, she states that she watches the shadows that creep up unnoticed and suddenly darken a patient’s face as she screws up her future. Moreover, she goes on to say that she rarely mentions the pain the patients must endure during the process meaning that she keeps some important details away from the patients (Peterson & Brereton, 2008,). One of the advantages of the inclusion of materials that can be used by the opposition is to give people a chance to choose what they want, but on the other hand, the information can be used against her in the case of mistake or accident that may occur during the process


Peterson, L. H., & Brereton, J. C. (2008). The Norton reader: An anthology of nonfiction. New York: W.W. Norton.