The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #74: The Scarlet A

Pratima’s dad was an obstetrician. When they spent father-daughter time together, he was always getting called away to deliver a baby. Pratima swore to herself she’d never be a doctor. And *definitely* not an OB-GYN.

But that’s exactly what she became.


Pratima loved the variety in women’s health. One day she might be helping a woman with birth control; a few years later, she might be removing that same woman’s ovarian cyst; next, maybe she’d assist that woman through a pregnancy. And somewhere along the way, there might be an abortion.

Turns out, 60% of women who have abortions are already moms. But only 14% of OB-GYNs in the United States offer this service.

Pratima is one of the few doctors who both delivers babies and terminates pregnancies—a job combination that gets stigmatized even in the medical community.


Three years ago, Pratima gave birth to a baby of her own. But it wasn’t her first pregnancy; the first one ended in abortion.


Tune in to this episode to hear what it’s like to be an OB-GYN who performs abortions, and a mom who has had one herself.

Of course, we all know that Planned Parenthood offers abortion services. Pratima says that if you want to find an OB-GYN who performs abortions, the best thing to do is ask your primary care physician or insurance provider for a recommendation. Because of the risk involved in this line of work, OB-GYNs don’t often publicly list abortions as a service that they provide.

If you’re looking for more information about abortions, Pratima recommends Guttmacher for research and RH Reality Check for reproductive health policy and journalism that is accessible to a general audience.

Have YOU had an abortion? Or maybe you’ve performed abortions?
Use the comments section below to tell us what gets left out of this important conversation.

Pratima family photos: Molly DeCoudreaux

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