Absurd Theater Meets Call-and-Response Ceremony:
Doctors Legally Required to Torment & Insult Women

The blogger that I had referenced earlier who was at the center of an outraged online (and offline) shitstorm for daring to write about how she tried to get a morning-after pill, has posted an account of her abortion.  This is the kind of journalism that is all too sadly lacking in the MSM these days – for reasons that are easy to understand, really. But I’ll get back to that particular screed on polarization, religion and the press in a bit.

First, I have to say that the account that the blogger aka "Biting Beaver" published was long, involved, and excruciatingly detailed.  As in, squirm-inducingly detailed.  But this is a biological process, and until such time as we’re all implanting our consciousnesses (is that a word?) into synthetic tailored bodies, we’re just going to have to live with the blood, bile, sputum and other humours that the flesh is heir to.

The cramps were severe and I was very glad for the Codeine, although it
put me a bit out of sorts and groggy which wasn’t exactly what I wanted
either. Despite the pain I wanted to continue to move around, my mother
is a nurse and she backed up everything I had been told about laying
prone. I had been advised at Planned Parenthood that walking around a
bit would help the process move faster and would also result in smaller

Yikes.  She goes on to talk about how the cumbersome the process was – how many steps along the way there are, how many goddam hoops you have to jump through.  OK, I acknowledge that this is a serious matter – but Jeebus!  How many times does the government require doctors, nurses and eveyrone else to say "Are you sure?"  "Yeah." "Are you really sure?" "Yeah."  "Like, really really sure? I mean as in definite?"   As if there weren’t enough social, emotional and religious trauma associated with this process already, the capper is to just bug the women going through it with this constant questioning of whether or not their judgment is any good. 

Because, you know, we can’t possibly trust them damn wimmen with being able to actually think clearly, you know.

BB explained this at length, and I could tell that this was the part of the process that felt the worst.  Not the pain, although that was bad, but the deeply insulting and invasiveness of the process.  The people on both sides know that it is wrong, but the government, spurred on by the zealots, requires that this travesty, this bit of theater where both sides have to play their roles and spout their dialogue, take place. 

she explained that there was a 24 hour waiting period during which I’m
supposed to ‘think it over’, she then explained that by law she had to
tell me that. I responded by laughing and saying, "Yeah sure, as if
I’ve thought about anything else since I found out I was pregnant".

caused her to laugh heartily for a few moments and she rolled her eyes
and said, "I know, every woman who comes in here has spent way too much
time already thinking about it." After about 15 minutes with the doctor
I was released again and yet another appointment was made for Friday.

Like a call-and-response religious ceremony, really.  I guess that’s why the wingnuts require it. Because, really, that’s what they’re comfortable with.

The biggest take-away I have from this column is the strong language that BB uses to discredit the idea that abortion is used as a form of birth control:

I will personally wring the neck of anyone who is stupid enough to
suggest that particular fallacy around me ever again. I can firmly say
that I do not believe that any woman uses the equivalent of a
jackhammer to the guts followed by bleeding and clotting as well as no
intercourse and ‘light duty’ for several weeks as birth control. The
notion is completely absurd and it’s disgusting to me that the forced
birth movement has tainted abortion so much that a generally held
belief is that you can have one and it’s just like taking a pill or
slipping on a condom.


The best thing about the account is that the comments this time around are much more subdued that they were last time. I dunno if that’s because the right-wing radio hosts haven’t seized on this one yet, or because the backlash against the cruel & moronic was such to scare the cowards away.  But BB is getting a lot of support from the people on the comment board, and that is something decent that came out of this, at least.

Now then – to the reason this is a great example of journalism the way that it is so little practiced – it is because of the screamwar that erupted that most newspapers, radio stations or TV nets would stay away from anything this open, raw and honest.  The inevitable eruption of hate and frenzy that greeted BB upon first broaching this subject is the type of thing that can cost a media company readers/viewers, and that scares away advertisers.  It makes no sort of business sense whatsoever to publish something guaranteed to land you in the midst of a controversy. 

But it makes every kind of human sense.

The fact that the net is growing into a place where content like this is possible, and its dissemination is actually encouraged is one of the things that really gives me hope for this medium.

So godspeed, mercy and good vibrations upon you, Biting Beaver.  You faced the fire and you took what came on your own hind legs, and you’re still standing (if not riding horses yet).  Keep on keeping on.