ABORT    5'?m2f Abortion in the case of rape and incest

(scene: desk and two chairs or two chairs facing audience)

DOC -- (enters backward wearing white lab coat and stethoscope,
points to chair) Okay, have a seat here while I check the
results of your lab tests.

PAT -- (enters buttoning shirt and tucking in shirt tails, sits)
Thank you.

DOC -- (reenters reading pages in file folder) Okay, let's see
what they found... Well, it's just as we thought. I'm sorry.

PAT -- You mean, I'm pregnant?

DOC -- I'm sorry. (sits)

PAT -- It's not a huge surprise. You told me from the beginning
that this could happen.

DOC -- Would you like me to give you a referral?

PAT -- A referral?

DOC -- Yes, you know, to terminate the pregnancy.

PAT -- You mean an abortion?

DOC -- Well, yes.

PAT -- Doctor! I thought you were a Christian!

DOC -- Well, I am. But this is not just an average pregnancy.
You were savagely and brutally raped.

PAT -- I'm sorry, but I don't see how the source of the
pregnancy changes anything.

DOC -- You know, you're only two months pregnant. That means
you're going to have to carry the memory of that horrible night
for seven more months!

PAT -- Are you saying that in order for me to have pleasant
memories, a baby has to lose its life?

DOC -- Well, it's not really a baby yet. It's only the size of
my thumb. (extends thumb) It's not really human yet.

PAT -- Are you saying that my baby is dead or it's deformed?

DOC -- No. According to your tests, the baby is developing
normally. What I'm saying is... well, it doesn't look like a
human being yet.

PAT -- I'm a little confused. Isn't the offspring of a human
woman and a human man necessarily a human being?

DOC -- Well, I suppose, technically.

PAT -- Doesn't my baby look exactly like a human baby always 
looks at two months of development?

DOC -- Well, sure.

PAT -- Is there any chance that this (extends thumb) thumb-sized
creature growing inside of me will become a... grasshopper or a

DOC -- Well, no. It's got human DNA. It will invariably grow to
become a human being.

PAT -- Well, if it's not a human being NOW, what is it?

DOC -- I guess what I'm saying is that it's not really a PERSON

PAT -- A person.

DOC -- Yes.

PAT -- What's the difference between a human being and a person?

DOC -- (pause) I... I guess I hadn't thought about it that much.

PAT -- Tell me, is there a medical procedure during the
pregnancy where you surgically implant the humanity or

DOC -- No. Of course not.

PAT -- So, if personhood is not injected from outside, it must
be in there already.

DOC -- Well, maybe. I guess what I'm saying is that its
personhood is not complete because the development is not

PAT -- How complete does it have to be to be a person?

DOC -- I don't know what you mean.

PAT -- A one-year-old baby doesn't have all its teeth. It can't
speak or walk. So, it's not a complete person. Does that mean we
should be able to kill a one-year old?

DOC -- No. Of course not. But a fetus at two month's development
has no activity at all.

PAT -- So, are you saying that a sleeping or comatose adult is
expendable because it has no activity?

DOC -- Alright. I get your point.

PAT -- What's my point?

DOC -- If you can kill a thumb size fetus merely because it
doesn't walk or speak or do anything useful, I suppose you
should be able to kill a medical student who falls asleep during
one of my lectures.

PAT -- That's the way I see it.

DOC -- Intellectually I see your argument. But I'm trying to put
myself in your position. I saw your black eye, your bruises and
broken ribs. Surely the violence of the act has to count for

PAT -- You're right. If the baby wasn't human, I'd get rid of it
in a second. But think about it. If your three-year-old child
plays with matches and burns down your house, giving you third
degree burns, would you kill the child because of your pain?

DOC -- No, of course not.

PAT -- This baby inside of me is even more innocent than a three
year old child who burns down your house. It's likely that this
baby wasn't even conceived until several hours after the
violence was over. Aborting this baby would be like shooting a
bystander who came to watch my house burn down.

DOC -- So, you're really going to carry this baby to term then?

PAT -- Yes. He's an innocent human being who has no idea how he
was conceived and he deserves to be protected until he's able to
fend for himself.

DOC -- You're not going to keep the baby, are you?

PAT -- Oh, no. I'm not married. Raising a baby without a dad
would be bad parenting. But I've heard that there are tens of
thousands of childless couples in this country who would love to
give him a good home, even if he's deformed or retarded.

DOC -- You know, you're giving up a lot to carry this baby to

PAT -- It's not like I'm throwing my body on a live hand
grenade. I'll spend a few months of discomfort and a few hours
of pain. It's the least I can do for another human being.

DOC -- You're right. (stands) Oh, that reminds me. (moves to

PAT -- (stands, follows) Where are you going?

DOC -- (exiting) I have to remove the abortion doctor from my
list of referrals. There's no excuse for such a referral now.

PAT -- (follows) Good for you.
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