Telling us, and telling herself, that abortion ‘is incredibly minor and fast”
By Dave Andrusko
”Girl Talk: I Had An Abortion,” we are told, first appeared Eyelid’s LiveJournal and reprinted on a blog devoted to celebrities, Frisky.com. (And yes, I have only the vaguest idea what either is really about.)
But the anonymously written story is worth some reflection—as always less for what the writer says (especially in the beginning) and more for is there for any reader who cares to read between the lines.
The author has four children; we learn later she has had at least one previous abortion; and (in the penultimate paragraph) she admits, “I kind of hesitated about talking about this because of all the IVF stuff I’ve gone through and not really wanting to hear comments about that.”
Multiple live children, at least two abortions, and she has used in vitro fertilization at some point to get pregnant (which may or may not account for her twin one-year-old children).
Her initial point is to prove how boorish an older woman was who approached her as she was about to enter the abortion clinic. It’s her story, so who knows? What I do know is that the sidewalk counselors I have known in my life would never act that way.
But the reason she is writing is to prove a point: “Surgical abortion is so incredibly minor and fast, it’s amazing,” she writes. “I mean, abortion looms so huge in our society. It’s portrayed as this horrible serious thing. In reality, it takes five minutes.” Later “The reality is so much different from the hype, it’s amazing.”
Pain? “The nurse asked about my pain, zero to 10. I said zero.” Etc.
Let’s look closer. Is she any different? “It’s not like I am any different now. Just getting back to life,” she tells us. Minus one child she and Patrick were too tired to take care of.
And really, “it” wasn’t like those “signs with stillborn bloody children on them” that pro-lifers portray an actual abortion to be. But of course they aren’t signs of stillborn children, they are pictures of babies who have legally aborted late/later in pregnancy.
That’s not what she aborted at seven weeks: “My embryo wasn’t even a fetus yet; it was the size of a lentil.” And therefore because he/she was small, the child is the equivalent of a small vegetable. What would an older baby be the equivalent of?
And, granted, she “had some bad cramping, especially on Saturday,” but “It feels like when you have diarrhea.” The only aftermath of an abortion is like an upset stomach. Really?
And what does it say when the author tells us near the end, “When I went in no one would be able to tell I was pregnant”? Is she telling us that she would prefer to think she’d never been pregnant?
But most of all, what about this thought expressed near the very end? “I may feel sad off and on, but I’ve already got four children and a lot going on. I ain’t got time to bleed. I prefer to let the whole thing slip away into the past instead of dwelling.”
But if she is like a sizable percentage of women, she will “dwell” on what happened because it is very difficult to “let the whole thing (the death of her baby) slip away into the past.”
In her last paragraph, she gives us the justification why she wrote her story—a theme common to the “This is my abortion” stories: “The harder it is to share, the more it ought to be done, otherwise we will eventually not have choices anymore.”
Maybe there is a reason it is hard to share for her and for most women– and it has nothing to do with politics. Maybe it’s because deep down, this mother of four knows what she did was wrong.