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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Every day is a snap shot. So hauntingly concise. A few minors (at least one alone), a few women over thirty-five. Most are in their twenties. Most have children, jobs, school. Some have boyfriends, husbands, fiancés and some are single. Some bring friends/ some laugh/ some cry/ some rage/ some all of the above.

There are moments when there are so many patients and significant others, lovers, mothers, fathers and friends waiting for surgery and pills that I imagine the doctor is the Wizard, that abortion is a rock star and I do her bidding. I want to scurry to the kitchen to shake some martinis, dole out gingerbread and kisses until people start warming-up to this, red-nosed/rosy-cheeked, not staring, not hungry, not pregnant, not waiting, not heart-breaking. But alas, it's an abortion not your holiday and we don't give those kinds of kisses.

We do, however, talk to you about your abortion like it's not The Plague. We describe an incredibly safe and generally dignified process and reassure you just how quickly you'll recover--physically, how the uterus is a most-fascinating! muscle. We'll talk to you about birth control in realistic terms, as it applies to you and your lifestyle. And we won't use strange scientific language, nor judge you if you decide to negotiate a path free of synthetic options. We may suggest you use spermicide, or in some cases, emergency contraception (can be purchased over-the-counter tomorrow for next time). We will remind you that abstinence is not 100% enjoyable and then we will all laugh about how men could stand to learn a thing or two.

Most importantly, it's okay that you hate the word abortion, that you don't want to know what the surgery entails, that you believe you're killing or have made a mistake. It's okay to wish you weren't here, to pretend you don't know us when you see us at the grocery store. But oh, how we wish we had more to give to you, that abortion was a wellness check-up and that you left with a basket full of everything you needed to know about your body. How we wish you'd tell a few good friends, that you'd celebrate all the months in your life when your menses flow freely, that you'd pat yourself on the back.

Wordle image, entitled Abortion is Love, can be found at


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