This winter, it will snow. And if the snow and ice are bad enough and if the city is unprepared enough, the clinic will close. I worry about the women who are close to the gestational limit, who would get a call from us letting them know their last chance didn't work out due to precipitation. And I worry about the women who would say, "Well, then, I guess God just wanted me to keep this baby." They say that a lot. If they're short on money or if their ride falls through or if our doctor has to leave because of an emergency elsewhere, it's God's will, and suddenly, this unexpected, unwanted pregnancy is OK.
I'm fascinated by these cases and by the whims that govern them. Just moments before one of us sits down with the woman to have the difficult conversation that there's no more time to wait for the money to be transferred, the woman was fervently insisting that this pregnancy couldn't come at a worse time, under worse circumstances. And then, when we voice the cutoff, God's will (sometimes, fate, for the more abstractly spiritual clients) changes. Is that what the woman really always wanted? Was she so desperate to be passive in her decision that she was willing to wait to run out of options? Is that why she was so very reluctant to borrow money or to pawn things to pay for her abortion? If she does give birth, will she be OK? Will her future children be OK? And if we had managed to waive just enough of the fee or if the doctor was able to stay for just one more patient (her), the most chilling question is, would she blame the clinic? Our worst nightmare is having a client perceive that we, of all people, coerced her into an abortion. We don't, we haven't, we wouldn't. Just like I would never completely doubt the woman's sudden bend toward God's will. If that's in her heart one bit, it's right for her. Women, know what is in your heart