Being Salt and Light at Medical School

Using my experiences whilst a medical student, I hope to share a few ideas as to
how we can be a good witness for Christ and have a positive impact in the world,
with respect to the practice of abortion.

Standing firm without compromising 

Prior to starting my Gynaecology rotation in final year a few medical students from
each year, 2nd to 6th, signed a petition and handed it in to the Professor and Head of
the Gynaecology Dept. In the covering letter we stated that we weren’t prepared
to be involved in managing patients who were admitted to hospital for elective
abortions. This included not wanting to clerk them, something we were asked to
do. The Professor granted our request.

Helping mothers in need
About a dozen students from the Student Y.M.C.A. who wanted to help women and
babies in crisis pregnancies, visited a local Crisis Pregnancy Help Centre to find
ways in which we could help. This included giving financially, giving time to
help make gift packs for the mothers, or simply becoming a friend of the mothers,
some who had come from living on the streets. We realised that it was better to
work alongside with and support existing pregnancy crisis centres rather than try to
face the enormous burden and challenges on our own. I stuck up posters advertising
their services in the various antenatal clinics that I visited during my course.
Some students attended a short introductory course on how to counsel a
woman going through a crisis pregnancy and thinking about abortion.

Using all our opportunities
The occurrence of spontaneous miscarriage is not uncommon. Too often
the healthcare staff involved in such a situation seem to deny that a life has been
lost and treat the person as a blob of tissue. Our approach ought to be different. I
encourage the woman to give her child a name and suggest that having a funeral
service for the lost baby would not be unreasonable. On occasion I may offer to
take a photo of the baby so they can have something to remember their child by.

There is tremendous opportunity to speak up for the unborn. It’s a privilege to be an ambassador for Christ, to serve the King of
the Universe and to love our neighbor in truth. Decide now to make a difference.
Even if you only help to save one baby’s life – you’ve made a big difference to that
mother and child.

Nikolas Haus
(UCT medical school graduate – 2001)

The original manuscript was written in 2002; this 2014 version has undergone
major revision by the same author.