By Kathleen Gilbert

BALTIMORE, November 24, 2008 ( – Though she had practiced the procedure as a student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine by scraping out a piece of fruit with razor-sharp abortion instruments, Lesley Wojcik learned that her training could never have prepared her for a real abortion.

What caught her off-guard, says the second-year med student, was the brutality of a procedure that subjects women to extreme pain.

In a Washington Post article detailing her journey to become an abortionist, Wojcik describes how during her first witnessed abortion, she recoiled in horror as the mother began letting out blood-curdling screams.  The woman, who was “in obvious pain,” had been only partially sedated, and the ordeal was so disturbing that Wojcik says she nearly vomited.

She later discussed with her mother how the brutality of the abortion procedure affected her, noting particularly the stretching of the vagina.

“It’s a lot more invasive than I thought,” she said, recalling her earlier abortion “practice” involving the removal of the insides of a papaya. “A papaya doesn’t bleed and scream.”

Wojcik’s advocacy of the “right” to abortion was what had driven her to attempt specializing in the procedure, as she was concerned about a growing shortage of abortionists.  At first, she had been confident she would have no trouble carrying out the procedures.  “It’s walk the walk, instead of talk the talk. I want my actions to be consistent with my words,” she had said.

After witnessing abortions herself, however, Lesley concluded that it would take a “unique” person to commit abortions on a daily basis.  Despite turning down the abortion trade, Wojcik remains an abortion advocate. 

Georgette Forney of Silent No More, a campaign dedicated to revealing the sufferings of post-abortive women, said that Wojcik described the reality usually silenced by the media.

“We can’t talk about the gruesome procedure, but we can talk about how she has a right to that gruesome procedure,” she said.

Forney, who herself had an abortion at 16, said that abortion is usually very painful, and women are often not sedated.  In either case, she noted, “it’s a traumatic thing to have your legs up in stirrups and have basically a vacuum cleaner inserted between your legs.  There’s no preparation for it, and it feels like you’ve been violated internally, like someone has vacuumed out your soul.”

The Post article also chronicles Wojcik’s encounter with another abortion, where she watched the abortionist count the dismembered parts of an aborted fetus to ensure complete removal.  She said that part didn’t faze her, as to her the limbs appeared “doll-like.”

“It was definitely gruesome,” she said. “You could make out what a fetus could look like, tiny feet, lungs, but it didn’t look like a person.” 

Wojcik also described the “surreal” realization that she had fought to save premature babies who were just as mature as one nearly aborted.

Forney described Wojcik’s reaction as that of someone forced to “to go into her own form of logic.” 

“Everybody likes to talk theory, everybody likes to talk politics and politicians, but abortion doesn’t happen to the politician, it doesn’t happen in the Supreme Court – it happens in a clinic to a woman, and that woman’s voice is the one we need to hear from,” Forney said.