The Land of Os

Part two

I was scheduled for a personal interview the next week. In the meantime I had to do some heavy spiritual reconciling. My spiritual beliefs are the most important thing in my life, without question. I have read my Bible for years and would NEVER do anything intentionally to counter my beliefs.

I prayed all week. I read my Bible over and over. I thought about all the daughters of women I knew and pondered “what if” they found themselves in a Our doctor did not live in the area. No one in this small town would have anything to do with the clinic – except, or course, the employees and the women in need.
Each week a worker met the doctor at the airport and returned him to the clinic. Most of the time he arrived to hear people screaming “Murderer, butcher, baby killer.” He was also met with applause from those seeking an abortion. The emotions were in all directions on procedure day.

After the introduction I asked Kaylene to place her feet in the stirrups and lay down. Then she needed to slide her buttocks to the very edge of the table.

At this point the confidence, with which some women strike that infamous position privately like they were born in the pose, was simply not there.
It was amazing though, how many women, who obviously had participated in sexual activities at least once, were suddenly too embarrassed to keep their legs open.
position similar to the women I saw making appointments.

What became apparent to me then was that the breath is life. “then the
Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

It seemed clear as a bell to me that until a child breathes on his own, independently from the mother, his life has not yet begun to be his own.

The clinic manager called and I accepted an invitation to observe the clinic in action on the day abortions were performed. It was quite an education.
The women waiting to get abortions all differed in age, race, demeanor and stress levels (to be sure). But the one common denominator was they wanted their state of pregnancy to terminate – NO MATTER WHAT.

The health workers I watched did not pry into their reasons, but exquisitely performed individual duties prior to the abortion to insure each woman a safe and thorough procedure.

Each woman was provided an advocate during the procedure. She helped the client stay calm, held her hand, and was there simply to remind the women of their own inner strengths that they could draw upon. There were there to let them know they weren’t alone. The women were encouraged to be strong on their own, but if they opted for support, or a hand to hold, it was there for them. I saw kindness and love between strangers that day.

The advocate also explained exactly what was taking place as the vacuum aspiration abortion was taking place. Later, due to the financial state of the clinic, two positions (advocate and physician’s assistant) would meld into one.

The team of women never stopped that day for a break or lunch. The day was almost twelve hours. The team was intelligent, and worked with each woman as if she were the only one to be seen that day. The medical side was handled with skill and efficiency, and the day ended with an after clinic meeting to discuss and review the day. I noticed each worker truly gave empathy and tender caring in support of the women opting to abandon their pregnancy.

The clinic manager called me the following day and offered me a position as an advocate. “We’d love to have you join us here at the home of the happy cervix.” She explained sometimes light humor helped the intensity of the days.

I was elated and afraid.

A young woman’s voice entered my mind as my flashback ended abruptly.

“I feel so bad”, Kaylene said. She gained control of her tears momentarily.

“Those people outside showed me terrible pictures of a dead baby. They don’t understand.”

Kaylene was right. You must step into another man’s moccasins to have understanding, and that is not as easy as it sounds. Still, we are not to judge one another.

Regardless of anyone else’s opinion, each of us will ultimately choose the path we follow. If that path finds a woman opting for an abortion, I guarantee (after witnessing 600 abortions), it will happen – even if it happens in an alley with a coat hanger or in a room dark room with an idiot trying to perform it. When a woman has decided she MUST terminate the pregnancy, WHATEVER THE REASON, NOTHING will stop her!

During the very intense training sessions prior to participating in any part of the procedure, we were told we were not counselors or therapists. We were there to make sure the abortion was safe, the woman informed, and to advocate for her rights as an individual human being.

The training pointed us towards verbally reiterating the women’s strengths and encouraging her capabilities. An abortion is a frightening experience to ALL women. It could possibly be one of the most traumatic experiences a woman goes through during her lifetime. Each woman responds to the stress and pain differently.

Kaylene was terrified. One unusual circumstance in her case was her age. Thirteen was not the average age of one seeking an abortion. The age normally ranged between 16 and 45. At thirteen she needed a bit more encouragement and counseling than most women. It was my option, I believed, to do what I could.

I did take the liberty of talking to Kaylene prior to the actual procedure, but she was adamant about the fact she felt she had no choice in the matter.

It was protocol to have each woman draped and sitting as the doctor entered. Opening your legs to have a stranger viewing your most personal areas at least warranted an introduction first.

——————————Part three – (end of story) – soon

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