• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

April 13, 2007

The Last Clinic Standing

Beliefs and Bullets


Kate Looby

Photo Credit: Andrew Hetherington

Special Offer

I disagree, my uncle Bart Slepian, was an OB/GYN who also performed abortions in Buffalo, NY. I used to write the rare speech he gave. In his last one, he said, "abortion is undeniably the taking of potential life. It is not pretty. It is not easy. And in a perfect world, it would not be necessary."

It's true he made a lot of money doing abortions. Though a relatively cheap surgery (between $275 and $700), abortions don't generate heavy billing costs because they're not covered by some insurance plans. Also, the procedure often takes less than five minutes; in an eight-hour day, a doctor can perform dozens of them. Still, the majority of my uncle's income came from routine gynecology and obstetrics.

On October 23, 1998, my uncle and his wife returned home from Friday-night synagogue services. They were in their kitchen, chatting with three of their four children (ages 7 to 15), when an anti-abortion activist hiding in the woods behind their house fired a rifle into the domestic scene. The bullet hit Bart in the back, shattered his spine, and tore through his aorta before exiting his body through his left armpit-barely missing his 15-year-old son's head. My aunt began CPR, and one of my cousins ran for paper towels to stanch his father's wounds. But Bart was already dead.

A few years before he was killed, my uncle opened his front door and invited the people singing "Jesus loves the little children" on his stoop inside for breakfast. He said if they would stop harassing him and his family (he particularly didn't like them following his kids to school and asking them not to grow up to be "killers like daddy"), they could set up a table inside the clinic where he worked two days a week and pass out pro-life information. He suggested that the real way to stop abortion-which he was all for; no one was more critical of repeat abortion customers than Bart-was to make birth control free and easy to get.

The minister in charge of the "Jesus Loves" choir didn't want to discuss birth control. "They're not interested in solutions," Looby, the Sioux Falls clinic director, tells me. "They only want to talk about abstinence."

This Is A Developing Story
Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From World News on Women
The 6 Toughest Single Women in Film (PHOTOS)

Don't mess with these strong female leads.

Into Africa

Driven by equal parts passion and ambition, young Americans are taking a career path less traveled to Rwanda, turning life experience into a world of good, almost 20 years after the genocide.

My Mom And I Share The Same Husband

A mother and daughter having sex with the same man may sound hard to believe, but it's a necessity for women in one Bangladeshi tribe. Not that they're thrilled about it.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.