An Abortion Party
Yesterday, we mentioned Obama’s recent comments to Catholic reporters: “I don’t know any circumstance in which abortion is a happy circumstance or decision.”
He obvious has never been to an “abortion party.”
“Have you guys heard the news?” Maggie (name changed) unwrapped the scarf from around her neck and patted her flat belly. “Preggers.”
My girlfriend Ali and I exchanged a surprised look. Our forks, dotted with pasta sauce, dangled identically, flaccidly, in our hands. She was quicker than me to gain her composure, and turned to address her best friend.
“What are you going to do?” Unnecessary question, really — a conversational life vest, used when you’re sputtering for something to say. We knew the answer. Maggie, a 22-year-old college senior with no intention of bringing a child into the world yet, was going to have an abortion. She told us that she had already made up her mind; she had even determined the time, date and location. A better question might have been, “How are you going to pay for it?”
She answered that one before we had a chance to ask. “We’re having a party Friday to raise money,” Maggie said. “You guys are obviously invited.”
An abortion party. For the price of whatever we were willing to donate, she explained, we could partake of baked goods, beer and dancing. It was going to start at 10 p.m. at Maggie’s.
The Facebook invite came a day later, and it was settled. Ali and I were going to scrape together what donation money we could and join in the festivities.
Ali and I arrived around 11, only half aware of the irony of being “late” to an abortion party. Walking in, we were bludgeoned with a blast of hot air, followed by the tangy stink of dance floor revelry. Someone had taken a red bed sheet and hung it below a light fixture to resemble a giant womb. Every so often, a dancer’s head or arm or dreadlock would brush against one of its smooth folds, creating a rippling effect. “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince was playing.
Despite describing himself as “an ardent pro-choicer,” the author wasn’t entirely comfortable with the atmosphere surrounding the event.
Even though I thought the presence of a young child at an abortion party was a little bizarre, nobody else seemed to acknowledge (or care about) this contradiction. Instead, the rest of the guests just took turns fawning over him, exchanging high fives and swooshing him through the air. He, along with everyone else, was having a blast.
I did, however, think the extent to which Maggie’s friends were eager to vilify her partner was peculiar. These were liberal people, after all — people whose views on sex were worlds away from anything someone might consider “modest.” I couldn’t help but notice how aggressive and, for lack of a better term, ‘male’ their attitudes became when confronted with the issue of a woman’s right to choose. It was almost as if, in the process of upholding an ideal of openness and acceptance, they had fallen victim to the same forces they were trying to critique.
As usual, Andrea Mrozek sums it up best: “Better their party than my tax dollars? (with the options ranging from ‘bad’ to ‘increasingly horrible’.)”