Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Care and Keeping of Your Abortioneer

So, if you have stumbled upon or have been directed t0 this blog, you might have the honor of being a friend or loved one of an Abortioneer. Congratulations! Abortioneers are fascinating and dynamic people, and they can also be quite complex, and I hope that the following guide will help you to appreciate and understand your very own Abortioneer. This is, of course, intended to be a general guide, as every Abortioneer and Abortioneer's experience is unique. Now, let's get started.

As a friend/loved one of an Abortioneer, try not to joke like an anti-choicer. In some of my cruder moments, I've been known to say sarcastically, "Well, I'm off to make my living as a baby killer!" My best friend, a non-Abortioneer, is allowed to say things of that nature. However, if I have just met you and we are not BFF, it really isn't necessary to pretend you're a close-minded clown just to prove your pro-choice cred because all it really accomplishes is making me think that you're a close-minded clown trying quite feebly to prove your pro-choice cred, which is questionable, at the moment. For the time being, stick with, "Oh, you work in abortion? I completely support that. Please, tell me more."

Of course, you are more than welcome to ask questions about my job. I would much rather clarify something than have you under the (very wrong) impression that an abortion is performed through the nostril. You also can and should ask more probing questions like, "Wow, an 11-year-old who was raped...what was that like for you? Do you need to process that? I'm happy to listen."

And when it's a job where I provide compassionate and empowering care to a child who was raped and is 23 weeks pregnant, please understand that it's not just a job. I do this work because it's a calling and a passion, and it's not for everyone, and it's not easy, so it's prudent to keep in mind where I'm coming from.

On the flip side, occasionally, it's just a job. 90% of the time, I feel fortunate to do the work I do, but that doesn't make me immune to the usual workplace frustrations. That doesn't mean I'm going to turn in my letter of resignation tomorrow, but recognize that I deal with a lot of the same things that you do in corporate America. (OK, not a lot of the same things. But some.)

So, whether it's just a job or not, please honor my need to self-care, anger, or bragging. It's in the job description of an Abortioneer to deal with people in crisis, no matter how small. Even on the most tranquil day at the clinic, we're still providing customer service, and that gets stressful and/or exhausting. Thus, I might need to come home and watch a marathon of Weeds instead of vacuum the floors, and as long as the floors don't look like the ones on Hoarders, it's OK for me to zone out once in a while. (Others of us cope by vacuuming instead of vegging out. Whatever works.) I also might just need to rant and rave about injustice or frustrations, and you're not obligated to fix anything; just listen. And yes, sometimes, I have to toot my own horn about how awesomely I advocated for that client, and you're welcome to join in praising me.

And I do genuinely like talking about my job. You've probably noticed. But please be aware that there is a time and place top talk about my job and before going off on your own rant about anti-choicers, as much as I appreciate the sentiment, consider that I might not want to talk about such a loaded topic at the drop of a hat. It's a good idea simply to ask if I'd like to hear about your thoughts at the moment. I might rather just talk about what's for dinner.

In a similar vein, while I do value most of your opinions, I don't value your revolutionary thought that "if she didn't want to get pregnant, she should have just used birth control." There is no need to state the obvious, and especially, no need to state the judgmental. And please, don't play devil's advocate. A friend of mine once tried to tell me that the anti-choicers "mean well," and then I stopped most things she ever said.

Of course, even though I'm speaking for the Abortioneers as a whole, I also want to acknowledge and want you to acknowledge that there is not just one type of Abortioneer. Some of us are Christians, some of us are atheists; some of us are hippies, and some of us are socialites; and all of us are Abortioneers. And all of us are fortunate enough to have built lives full of people who adore and support us and our work, so thank you, friend.


  1. It's been really great going through your blog post, very well informed and described. Great to read and know more about such kind of stuff.

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  2. Amazing! So well written and so very, very true (for me). I might need to print this out and send it to everyone who has ever come in contact with me... :)


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