Editor’s Note: This post is not an actual letter from an abortion center to clinic workers but rather a creative presentation of the verbal gymnastics and abuses that have been documented to occur at various abortion centers across the country.
Welcome, and congratulations on your new position at the clinic. You have a lot of learning ahead of you, so allow me to make the process easier by filling you in on a few things. This is all confidential, mind you.
First, you have no doubt noticed the protesters gathered outside. The activity you have seen is pretty typical; they mostly just pray and when they do approach a patient, it’s quiet and respectful. The orange-vested escorts we employ aren’t really necessary for the patients’ safety, but they are very necessary for our image. It’s important we continue to advance the fallacy that pro-lifers are violent, or at least unpredictable, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority are respectful and law-abiding.
Pregnant patients will meet with counselors. Luckily, some will know right away they want an abortion. If they’re wavering, our counselors will coerce them into it. May sound harsh, but trust me, it’s for the best. And after all, abortion is our bread and butter. We try not to use the word “abortion,” though. It puts people off. Other words to avoid include “baby,” “child,” and “mother.”
If they ask about adoption, it’s important we emphasize how difficult it is, and how complicated a process. We need to talk her out of it.
If the pregnant patient doesn’t want to abort, we can’t really do anything else for her. We’re an abortion clinic, not an obstetrician or a counselor.
Whatever you do, avoid telling the patient anything about her baby’s development. If she insists on seeing a sonogram, come find a more senior employee. If she asks about the size or other details of the fetus, tell her it’s just a “blob of tissue.” Always refer to the “products of conception” or “tissue.” Try not to even say “fetus” if you can help it. It sounds too human.
No matter what the gestational age, if she asks to see the sonogram, discourage her strongly. Tell her there’s nothing recognizable to see. We don’t want her knowing the embryo has arms and legs as early as six weeks, and we certainly don’t want her seeing movement or facial features in the later weeks. No matter how far along she is, tell her, “It doesn’t even look like a baby yet.”
The heart starts beating at 18 days gestation, and a heartbeat can be audible not long after. By no means should you ever let the mother hear it. And never ever refer to her as the “mother.”
You may have heard rumors that we sometimes perform “abortions” on women who aren’t pregnant. Look, we have to keep our doors open so that the women who need them can have abortions, and sometimes that requires getting a little creative. If we weren’t constantly up against anti-choice opposition, we wouldn’t have to do this. She never needs to know.
By the way, if patients suffer any psychological damage after abortions, it’s not our fault. We’re providing a service, and we can’t hold everybody’s hand after it’s over. That’s what shrinks are for.
You should go ahead and accept now that what we’re doing is killing. You’re going to see blood and body parts. It’s best if you get used to this fact right up front. All of us who work in clinics understand the reality of abortion, but we accept that it’s what’s best for society. Our civilization can’t support all those unwanted children, anyway.
Remember: if we quit doing this, someone else would take our place. It may help to think of all the doctors and employees like us who are able to support our families — our born, wanted children — with the work we do here. Think of all the women who come to us for help, and then get to go on and finish college, have careers, and start real families.
If you start having doubts, come to one of us who’s been here for a while and we can help you get your head straight. And whatever you do, don’t talk to them. They have a way of brainwashing people. Don’t listen to those traitors who’ve had their heads messed up by the anti-choicers.
Remember we’re ensuring the liberty and equality of women, and sometimes that fight can be bloody. If you remember the end justifies the means, you’ll be just fine here.
I’ll remind you once more: all this is confidential. We have lawyers, and we’re not afraid to use them, so even if you end up not working out, keep your mouth shut about everything you see. We are very good at lawsuits and at discrediting people in the press.
But there’s no need for all that unpleasantness. I’m sure you’ll like it here. We’re like one big happy family.
Kristen Walker makes people mad on the Internet and sometimes tweets.