Pro-Life Action League-sponsored protest of abortionist Cheryl Chastine on April 17 at her family practice office in Oak Park, IL [Photo by Matt Yonke]
We recently came across an article about abortionist Cheryl Chastine that appeared in this past summer’s issue of Ms. Magazine.
When we found out earlier this year from Troy Newman at Operation Rescue that Chastine had recently been hired by South Wind Women’s Center — an abortion facility in Wichita, Kansas — and that she had a family practice in our own backyard, we staged a series of protests outside her office at the Total Wellness Center in Oak Park, Illinois.
The article quotes Pro-Life Action League executive director Eric Scheidler:
“Troy [Newman] and I are friends and colleagues and we frequently communicate about what’s going on on the ground here [in Illinois] and there [in Kansas],” says the younger Scheidler. The Pro-Life Action League has tried to sully Dr. Chastine’s ratings on physician websites and has distributed flyers and mailed letters to other tenants in her office building, to surrounding businesses and to her landlord. “Our goal is to get [Dr. Chastine] to quit flying into Kansas by making sure her reputation is harmed here in Oak Park. We want abortion to be a stain on her career.”
To be sure, Chastine’s reputation has been sullied.
When Total Wellness moved to their new location in July, Chastine did not go with them. Clearly, Total Wellness recognized that employing an abortionist — and, as a result, the reality that our regular protests would continue to be regular — was a liability they could not afford.
In the article, Chastine calls us names we’ve been called too many times to count:
“These people are bullies. They are terrorists, and I will not quit and let them get away with this behavior,” [Chastine] says. “It’s why there is a shortage of providers and a lack of access. If more doctors stood up to the bullying then there wouldn’t be the stigma or the shortage.”
We’re advocating on behalf of small, defenseless human beings and trying to get Chastine to stop killing them, and despite strenuously opposing violence, we’re the “bullies” and “terrorists.” Got it?
Chastine is certainly right about the “stigma” part, though: the prospect of being protested is a great deterrent to doing abortions.
The Well-Deserved Stigma of Involvement with Abortion
A 2010 Guttmacher Institute study found that “60 percent of [ob-gyn residents] surveyed had wanted to offer elective abortions after their residencies. Ultimately, however, just 10 percent were doing so.”
Why the steep drop-off?
The main reasons, according to the study’s author, sociologist Lori Freedman, are “stigma, fear of lost business through controversy, or people protesting.”
Cue South Wind owner Julie Burkhart, who “admits it’s been difficult to recruit physicians,” according to the Ms. article. In fact, our sources in Wichita tell us that Chastine is now the only doctor doing abortions there, and that “business” is slow. And what’s more, since she lost her family practice position at Total Wellness this summer, it appears she’s not working anywhere in the Chicago area.
When you google “cheryl chastine,” you find numerous pages with contact information from Total Wellness’s former and current locations (917 S. Oak Park Avenue and 720 Lake Street, both in Oak Park, IL), but she hasn’t been there for months. Also, of course, you find a slew of results about her work as an abortionist.
Sorry, Doc: You Can’t Get Away with “Quietly” Doing Abortions
Let this serve as a cautionary tale for other doctors thinking they can get away with “quietly” doing abortions. Sooner or later, we’ll find out you’re doing abortions, and you’ll be protested, and the “stigma” of abortion will be attached to you. It will most definitely make your patients uneasy, and you will lose business.
Think about it, Doc: Is it worth it?
Ideally, doctors should refuse to perform abortions because — at the risk of stating the obvious — killing babies is wrong. But if moral reasons aren’t enough, we’ll settle for a doctor refusing to do abortions out of concern for his own self-interest.