Mandatory Abortion Counseling, A Lesson in Disappointment: “Have you considered adoption?”
So I’m on hour three.
I can’t step outside because THERE IS A PRIEST ON THE HIS KNEES PLAYING GUITAR AND A WHOLE CONGREGATION OF SCRAWNY WHITE FOLK READY TO POUNCE ON ME WITH PRAYER. CAPS. LOCK. FOR. EMPHASIS.
Women we’re essentially held hostage inside the clinic because of these righteous fucks. If you stepped out of the door you we’re approached by the foot soldiers of jesus. But! if there were men folk around you, they stayed away. So whenever I went out for air I tried to go by the nervous smoking boyfriends and husbands (it’s like a reverse maternity waiting room!)
I go in for counseling. A kindly, older, black lady asked me if I had any questions. I asked:
1. How long will it take for my nasuea and excrcuiating heart burn to go away?
2. Is today the worst day of the cramping and bleeding (as in, does it get easier or worse in a day)?
3. What exactly are they shooting me up with?
The stomach side effects usually lift by the next day (they did). The first day is the worst (it was). They are shooting you up with a sedative. NOT A PAINKILLER. “The sedative may make your nausea worse. You’re not that far along so its really not that necessary.”
Even though I paid for it. $525!!
Even though it was recommended to me.
I think she was saying this to be comforting but it just confused me. Was I only going to make myself sick from taking a powerful sedative? Could I still take the pill? She kept saying the doctor would explain it.
Then she asked me two questions that took me totally by surprise — AFTER we had already gotten up to end the session. She said, I need to ask you two things.
1. “Have you considered adoption?”
I said no, I wasn’t interested.
2. “Why aren’t you caring the pregnancy to term?”
Then all of a sudden I was struck with panic: what if I gave the wrong answer??? Would they not give it to me? The first thing that came into my mind was “because I don’t want it. I don’t want a baby.” But I thought maybe she would probe more and ask why and then we would have to “discuss” it. I said “Because I’m 23 and I barely know how to make rent” (not true. but sympathy inducing.) She broke a smile and said. “Ok. I just have to ask that question.”
That’s the problem. She HAS to. It’s fantastic that abortion is legal and accessible in this country, but it’s the pro-life (I decided I can use the term pro-life because I recognize that at one point in a pregnancy there is a heartbeat. But I don’t care. This world doesn’t need more kids. I don’t care if the thing inside me can blink, move its fingers, feel pain, play the piano, or speak fluent french. If its inside of me, its my life, that’s what I’m concerned with, NOT with a potential life. If we were concerned with “potential life” your boyfriend should be arrested for genocide everytime he cums on your back. ) agenda has permeated the entire process. The waiting period, the mandatory counseling, illegal third trimester abortions, etc.
This paternalism that has guided reproductive law hits you in the face when you try to excercise your right.
I find it insulting. I needed medical counseling, not emotional counseling. I don’t need the state stepping in to make sure “I feel ok”. If I was getting a bad tooth pulled out they wouldn’t send in a Orthadonic Interventionist to make to check in about how I feeling about the loss of a molar.