:: The S.I.C.L.E. Cell ::

my view from the prison of a SICLE (Self-Imposed Child Loss Experience) due to debilitating maternal disease
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:: Monday, October 11, 2004 ::

I have just been jolted from sleep by a terrible dream. (Timestamp correct for once.)

I was in an abortion clinic with a friend. This friend I did not know but our concern for women and children was the core of our commonality. We were there as open operatives, as ambassadors of life to bear witness as women bore their late-term dead. Any other reason why we were there was not clear. Our task felt as hopeless as posting "Missing" pictures of loved ones outside smoldering stumps of the WCT on September 11th.

My friend was in a corner next to a box of clinic literature unable to move citing that it was not the clinic where she lost her child but that it brought everything back even still. She confessed to an already knowing staff that we were not on their side and that she probably would not be able to bring herself to the place ever again. They replied that they knew, which was why it was extra important that they convince us that what they were doing was reasonable, purposeful and valuable.

As the clinic worker's trade show speil went on, another staff member endeavored feverishly in front of a computer screen digging up black and white mugshots. My pseudo decorum slipping, I made some comment about their "mill". I corrected myself saying "abortion business" but never "clinic". Visibly annoyed the staff member mumbled something about the mugshots and suggested that if I was really pissed off I would take some sort of course of action or another which would end with driving by and flipping off the clinic. I can't recall what the suggestion was, but I do recall it being not only innocuous and ineffective but also somehow so twisted that it ended up actually benefitting the clinic financially.

Another staff member leaned over to the other and spoke of a "one-pounder" as she passed by. The child was dead, the comment was nonchalant. It was a proud moment for the staff member who had been talking to me, and she took the opportunity to show me a variety of novelty "baby items" that were placed with the dead: a rattle, a small nursery lamp... These items were not real but were made of colored veneer over several layers of pressed and bonded cardboard, like thick puzzle pieces a toddler would play with. The items were meaninigless in themselves but were meant to exhibit how "compassionate" this particular abortion business was. These were third-rate burial fare fit for the flame of cremation.

Such works would go through the fire and be burned up.

As my troubled friend rocked in the corner of the clinic storage room I eyed the waiting mothers, mostly young college girls and teens, who waited for their turns. Their bellies were huge. Some of them brought their other children. One woman with three children sat with her husband. They were Spanish-speaking and her oldest daughter, approximately 8-years-old kept wailing "Baby! Baby!" but her mother's ears were deaf to the plea.

In the background an infant's cry went up. I could no longer contain myself as I shouted for all to hear, "A baby survived! A little one made it! By law you can not kill the child now! AND YOU MUST DO SOMETHING TO SAVE THE CHILD OR YOU WILL BE PROSECUTED!" The staff worker was confused and shaken, not having been prepared for this business blunder. I directed her saying, "I will take the child! No matter how misshapen or sick! I WILL TAKE THE BABY!"

A miffed staffworker disgustedly confirmed, "You will take the baby?"

"YES!" was my urgent reply.

She went to inform the abortionist. I peered down the hallway after her and saw an open door. Inside I could see a huge room with corrugated metal walls. The "procedure room" resembled a giant airplane hanger with several women lined up on soft pallets on the floor. One with shoulder-length wavy blonde hair was the mother of the screaming infant. No abortionist was visible, only the staff worker who was holding the baby in her hands. I was not concerned about prematurity or CP as this child was shockingly, very nearly full term (and perfectly healthy). I could see the bloody cord dangling between his kicking legs and his young pierced and tattooed father beaming in spite of what he and his galpal had been there to do. His proud face told me that I would not be taking this child home. I saw the staff worker close the lid on the empty metal trash can.

The waiting room was in a frenzy. Of the live birth one clinic worker remarked, "This is terrible!" The waiting mothers cried but were all glued to their seats. Their decisions, though unimaginably gruesome and heartbreaking, had already been made.

I grabbed the hand of my unraveling friend and headed out the door. Standing on the sidewalk I noticed the tall buildings all around us. The red-bricked edifices with their unending windows told me this was a legitimate medical complex. I turned around to face the ward we had just exited: it looked exactly like the rest. The charnel house had been mainstreamed into medicine. I resolved to return the next day to stand on the sidewalk ever after to warn the women as they took their helpless children inside.

I woke up and the room spun. My heart was racing and I wanted to scream or to cry, but nothing came. I wanted to wake my sleeping husband and burden him with our loss (or punch him in the face) but I didn't. Instead I came here to the cell where I'm an inmate for life.

:: ashli 7:56 AM # ::

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