Behold

the abortionists chair

not leather, for leather is thirsty

this chair is wreathed in glossy rubber

that can be wiped down and disinfected

to mute the smell of blood

this chair does not owe its shape

to comfort, nor seeks it

nay, the very contour is built upon a premise

bringing life should not be a sentence

women are not incubators

nor second-class citizens who

have no right to their own

crown of thorns that is choice

these women and girls

climb into the chair tearfully

the tears are not because they are forced

to leave behind a piece of them

but the slow sorrow of particular relief

regret that contraception failed

regret that he left her destitute

regret this is her 6th pregnancy and she is unwell

regret life is hard and she cannot, she cannot

bring a child into the world

relief that she has a choice.

Before entering the clinic they watch from their car

swells of protestors with plastic babies attached to placards

chant and throng hate and intolerance

thinking how little has changed in 400 years

how if nobody was watching

that crowd would fall upon the girl, the woman

and have her bloody guts for garters

if they could get away with it

a murder of crows, the sycophant irony

they are trying to save just as they

fantasize about killing.

These women trapped in their cars stare at colorless clouds

a chain of ants climb along cement walkway

easily crushed, invisible to us, these women feel

a simpatico; the worth of life, of value, of other’s moral high-ground

as those who believe themselves untouchable, eat with their heavy knife and fork

bleeding steak at lunchtime pontification

lashing the sin of woman, swallowing globs of meat

without thought of the dumb beast who trawled

to the slaughter yard in a cart of wide eyed animals

who knew they were going to die

facing it without words.

The chair has seen the doctor

wiping her brow as she gives freedom of choice back to women

whose womb holds the viability of that life, not politicians

whose legs pucker with the cold of heavy instruments

and they say she chose this as a form of contraception?

They say she is evil and has no compassion?

They who would have her led like muted cow to slaughter

speaking on her behalf, feigning they speak for her murdered child

painting easy shame to denigrate her dignity as life bearer

which necessarily includes a symbiotic understanding

it’s never that simple and you can’t speak for me!

How society thinks they own bodies but won’t pay maternity leave

believing a coat-hanger legacy unworthy

no reason to grant real lasting equality

as her body roils with morning sickness

as she knows she cannot bring a child into this world

this world of carnivores eating steak at lunchtime

gazing at the fine legs of a slender waisted woman

walking from the bar and back to bring them a drink

the very same men and women who pervert justice

calling a girl a whore if she drank before she was raped

a child ‘gagging for it’ if she wore a short skirt

asking; are you sure you didn’t lead him on?

Thinking a prostitute unworthy of consideration

rape a corrective necessity for lesbians.

These things are not footnotes in history

they happen every day

a world that still doesn’t grant equality for women

thinking it preferable to

spray paint clinics, shut them down, starve them of resources

shoot their staff, shame those women who

knew they couldn’t bring a child into the world

didn’t want to be an incubator for an adoption agency

who profits adopting out babies of young mothers

whom they have guilted into remaining pregnant

because any abortion is a sin, don’t you know you will go to Hell?

But isn’t Hell a place where you are a second-class-citizen?

Your rights eroded, your body controlled

by all means choose, keep a baby, or not

but to have no say in what happens in your womb?

Hell is shame placed on your every action — trapped, trapped, trapped

yes I would say that is hell

a world where clinics are closed and protestors have nowhere to hate anymore

so they come up with something else

(because they will)

it’s not even about sparing little defenseless babies

if that were true they’d give a damn about all those unwanted kids of color in foster care

it’s hate of convenience, a conviction of superiority, a penchant for judgement

extended through the laws of patriarchy and beyond

twisting religion and doctrine to your will, as if you speak for Gods

controlling what others do with their bodies, like you are one

even in cases of rape and incest because; it’s not the innocent child’s fault, meting out the sentence

let’s ask ourselves then, whose fault is it? A society where rape isn’t taken seriously or punished?

Or people who think a survivors rights are worthless?

The abortionists chair is gathering dust

and some people cheer this as they bite into

their $50 dollar steak and pieces of a life far more sentient when it was ended

get stuck like slivers of placenta

in their righteous clenched teeth.

Who then, we ask

is the greater criminal?

The woman who seeks choice or the hypocrite who denies her

the solace of saying what her own body

will bear?

20 Replies to “The abortionists chair”

  1. You may be familiar with the phenomenon. Having written one story, the only way to find out what happened next was to write a sequel.

  2. I’d quote, but they’re so many lines that deserve it. This is . . . it just needed to be written. And thank you for doing so.

  3. Fantastic! You made me want to go back to marching in the streets AGAIN! BECAUSE IT NEVER BLOODY ENDS. This is wonderful. Standing ovation and much applause.

  4. I am so glad you wrote this today as only a moment ago I visited a blog decrying abortion as a sin.. where is the recognition of the complexity of this issue, something you have so powerfully given a voice in this poem. Thank you for that from someone who chose this option 6 times out of what I believe to be a conscience..

  5. Thank you Bob. I see you have been very busy over at Christine’s site, having written a lot of stories. I tried to catch up on those and read the other day. Well done you!

  6. Everything here, raw power and momentum. You took this down like a boxer with strength and stamina and grace to spare and I punched the air and shouted YES! at the end.

  7. Thank you SO much !!! I did just March three weeks ago and a woman around seventy got up and spoke and said why are we still here? It was so emotional. I’m so glad I did. I can’t get pregnant but it doesn’t mean I don’t understand the right to choose for those who can. šŸ’œ

  8. Thank you very much for reading this. I wanted to stand up for women who may one day not have a choice. It worries me that this could happen. People think if you’re pro choice you are pro abortion bit nobody is pro abortion they are pro choice and not having others control a woman’s body. Such an irony people object to other “sanctions” but wouldn’t see not giving a woman choice over her own body, a sanction.

  9. I’m so glad it worked because it is an important subject so I didn’t want to mess it up. It scares me that basic rights of choice are being eroded from multiple directions. I don’t even understand it. Do people really believe women want to kill babies? Urgh. I’ve never met a woman who had an abortion without regret that it came to that. But they were so thankful to have the Choice. I don’t understand why people can’t see why eliminating that choice returns is to the dark ages. Is it because I’m incumbered by doctrine?

  10. This is excellent, Candice – and most powerful. Thank you so much for writing it. (Sorry I’ve been out of touch. Was inactive online due to new serious health problems. Have thought of you often and wondered how you are. We need to connect via email!)

  11. I know its ridiculous. Plus often it is the responsible choice for all.involvrd those blinded by their own judgement see only at such a shallow level. I am so glad you Did advocate for that more compassionate respectful perspective.

  12. I know they have no compassion at all and all there judgement comes out of a black and white poorly nuanced point of view. To force a woman to have a baby she can not nurture us nit compassionate and what about victims of violence? Plus the angels say each child not bought to term understands why from a soul perspective. Lorna Byrne writes about this in her book on angels Angels In My Hair.

  13. I’m listening to the Supreme Court’s thoughts today through gritted teeth. Absurd that we’re ‘still here’ – so I had to write something. Thank you for reading it!

  14. Interestingly I had more ‘reads’ of this poem than I believe any other I’ve ever posted (248 reads) but not as many likes as usual (I get few likes but just compared to the typical) which I think is telling. People may support this but they don’t want to post it – talk about it – do anything to keep those rights and then it will be too late

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