Monday, February 1, 2010

A brief assortment of scenes

[ETA: you know, I forgot we had a listy-post last week. So, sorry for listmania, maybe the rhythm just got into my head without my noticing!] 

Things I Only Have To Say At My Abortionland Job

1) An abortion? And you said you just had the unprotected sex last night? Well, you can't get an abortion, but do you know about emergency contraception?

2) I'm sorry, if you had unprotected sex four weeks ago, it's too late for the morning-after pill.

3) No, I don't think you're a bad person.

4) I'm sorry, I can't give you the name of our doctors over the phone, even though I really sympathize with you wanting to look them up on before you make an appointment. They're highly trained and qualified doctors, I promise, but they get harassed and threatened when their names are public.

5) Yes, there are a few protesters, but at our particular location they don't seem to get a lot of attention from traffic, so they don't stay very long -- but keep your windows up or they'll throw things into your car.

6) For two weeks afterwards, make sure you don't put anything in your vagina! No tampons, no penises, no vibrators, no DivaCups, and don't go swimming or take tub baths. Exceptions will be made for the NuvaRing and IUD insertion only. Did I mention no penises? No penises!

7) I really mean it, no penises. Did you know your softened cervix means not only are you more susceptible to infection in the next two weeks, you're also more susceptible to pregnancy.

8) On that note, no, you're obviously not likely to become infertile. I've had clients who didn't realize that they were more fertile afterward and ended up back here a few months later, so, no.

9) No, you're not likely to die either. Both the risk of death and the risk of infertility were high in the days when abortion was illegal and so there was no legit way to train doctors to do it safely -- so I think that's where a lot of people have that idea from. Back then, untrained people using any manner of equipment could definitely injure or infect women's uteruses, but in a legal clinic in the US, the risk of dying is less than 1 in a hundred-thousand.

10) Do you have anal, oral, vaginal sex?

11) You look uncomfortable. Do you want to talk to me without your boyfriend around?

12) That will be one thousand, two hundred and fifteen dollars. Um...can you take that cash to the money-order place?
That will be one thousand, two hundred and fifteen dollars. (But I saw your sleeping bag unrolled in the back-seat of your car.) Um...actually, can you hold on a minute? (Maybe I can talk to my manager.)

13) We offer IV sedation, but you can be awake during the procedure if you prefer. What's it like? Well, have you ever given birth? You know the contractions beforehand?...Way less bad than that! But worse than your period cramps. For about a minute.

14) What's going to happen? OK, first you'll...well, have you had a gynecological exam before? No? Hm. Well then, here's what the speculum will do. Yeah, it will feel kind of weird when it opens, and maybe uncomfortable. I know.

15) You're welcome -- you're very welcome! God bless you too!


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  2. Hi Bob! Just so you know, all the bloggers in the list on the right are either blogs by abortioneers who work in direct service (doctors/counselors/fund volunteers/etc), or blogs about someone's personal experience having an abortion. We're trying to compile a longer list of people who blog and are pro-choice, but (happily) that list is insanely long and growing. Until I can add that kind of a blog-list, I'm happy to keep your link here in the comments. Is that ok??

  3. PS - I LOVED this post! LOTS!!!! :)


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.