What surprises me most about “We Do Abortions Here” is the level of imagery she employs. After reading the text, I feel as if I could act on the old cliche and ‘paint a picture’ of this particular abortion clinic. I can walk in the locked glass door and see the receptionist look at my bag skeptically. In the waiting room, I see and hear the dysfunctional mother, or “girl with maternal benignity,” yelling at her kids in the waiting room.
I can see the fear the woman’s face as the ignorant, hot-headed father lambasts her from the adjacent chair. I feel the cold of the metal stirrups. I hear the whirring, churning, thumping of the machine. I watch the “swollen abdomen sink” as the doctor moves the tube “with an efficient rhythm,” an “intent expression” on his face. I can sense the emotion of the girl whose hand I hold with one hand as I feel the “tissue” and “contents” drain into the basin I hold with the other.
I see their “shakily applied eyeliner smear when they cry” that “sharp, childish cry. ” After the “dirty work” is over, I see the “curdlike blood clots” and “translucent arm” swimming beside a hand. As it is dumped down the drain, the odor of something “rich and humid,” “hot, earthy, and moldering” fills my nostrils and hits me in the stomach. I feel like I could walk out the doors of this building with a paycheck, yet there would be a piece of me that would feel morally bankrupt for what I did in the place where “They Do Abortions. ”
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