By Dave Andrusko
I’m guessing that virtually all of you, like me, have never heard of tomorrow the mag. As best I can tell it’ll probably be a one-shot in the cyberspace dark, the kind produced by the self-absorbed, the self-important, and the self-righteously alienated.
This morning a friend forwarded “The Waiting is the Hardest Part: A red-state transplant gets a glimpse of the dystopian future of abortion rights.” The author is anonymous and the article appears here.
What makes this any different than all the other rants bemoaning that the road to aborting your kid is paved with hurtles, large and small?
It’s certainly not in taking responsibility for her pregnancy. Another lament about “failure,” even though her baby was the result of her own conscious decision-making.
And it’s certainly not in hooking up with an older man who has zero interest in being anything other than a boyfriend, let alone a father.
And, of course, it’s not an unwillingness to blame those unsophisticated hicks in Alaska for her own shame, although never in a blue moon would she ever use the word “shame” which so obviously describes how she feels.
What is different is that Planned Parenthood—usually the object of limitless hosannas—doesn’t come off so well. Her appointment kept being cancelled and in the end “I no longer trusted Planned Parenthood to get me through this.”
Then there is this from when she fell ill because of a urinary tract infection and went to a local clinic. She only trusted one of the doctors to be non-judgmental (which is hugely important to her). She writes
“I explained my symptoms and asked which tests the lab would run on my sample. When I told her knew I was pregnant, and that I planned to get an abortion, she went from friendly to serious and promised that she wouldn’t include anything about a pregnancy in her notes.
“After the results came back, the doctor put me down for antibiotics: Instead of a short course of Cipro, she prescribed seven days of a milder drug that wouldn’t damage the embryo inside of me. She understood I was sure about the abortion, but this was in case I changed my mind.”
Since nothing else is said about that doctor, we can only say that it appears she chose not to be a mindless clog in the killing machinery.
While she was waiting to hear from Planned Parenthood, she moves in with her boyfriend “to avoid questions from my housemates about why I was always so exhausted and suddenly found the smell of food so nauseating.” She adds, “But turning into a recluse didn’t shield me from feeling as if the world thought I was a bad person.”
So the “dystopian future” is both not being able to quickly get an abortion and living with one’s conscience.
She eventually finds an obstetrician in Anchorage who will abort her baby, who by that point, is nine weeks old. You could write a book about what you read in the next three paragraphs:
“When I met my doctor, she did her best to put me at ease. Dr. Woods was happy to talk about how the ‘war on women’ was affecting her practice. By the time she put me in stirrups, I felt righteously indignant. That feeling disappeared pretty fast, right around the time of the transvaginal ultrasound. I didn’t enjoy being probed with a giant wand, or hearing the 9-week-old fetus’ heartbeat. I had already gone through plenty of soul-searching, and this wasn’t going to change my mind.
“I expected to be sedated for the actual abortion, but Dr. Woods only used local anesthesia. While the whole procedure took about 15 minutes, the pain left me blanched and hyperventilating. When it was done, she gave me a copy of the ultrasound photo: a little curlicue blob against black. She wasn’t required to do this. I didn’t know what to make of it.
“’It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is,’ she said. Sweat-drenched, I sipped apple juice and lay in the exam room for a bit—but not for too long. Another patient who had traveled miles and miles to be here was waiting for her turn.”
Just to be clear, she’d previously acknowledged that although not required to, abortionists already used transvaginal ultrasounds “in part to make sure they’re not going over the first-trimester limit.” (Besides calculating how old the baby is, these transvaginal ultrasounds also give the abortionist a much clearer picture of the baby and eliminates the chance of missing an ectopic pregnancy.)
What else? Pain. Lots of pain. And when it’s a chemical abortion (RU-486), the pain can be almost unbelievable.
And what about the abortionists gave her a copy of the ultrasound photo? Odd, to put it mildly. The author doesn’t tell us what she did with that photo.
She ends with this [Monica is her friend whose 29th birthday party begins the account]:
“Seven months after Monica’s birthday—six months after the abortion—I celebrated my own birthday with Nick [the boyfriend], Monica, and her four-year-old girl, Abigail. I spent the meal drawing with Abigail and admiring her pink nail polish. After dessert, she started crying, so Nick lifted her and spun her around. She broke into giggles. The scene was very sweet, and I smiled. We were all doing the things we were supposed to, picking up the burdens we could lift.”
The author has told us over and over and over in this story why she couldn’t carry her baby to term. It is not to say that the options would be easy, but none are new and two—being a single mom or allowing her child to be adopted—would mean her baby would not pay the penalty for her choices.
That was a burden she could have lifted and, dare I say, was supposed to lift.