American entrepreneurship is a wonderful thing, with its emphasis on the new and exciting, so it was no surprise that the Washington Post gave a spot on page one to a creative new enterprise: an abortion clinic that seeks to present a pleasant and even soothing experience, one that looks and behaves like a spa.
So far, so good, you may say, but in order to be good enough it ought to take it the crucial step further, and become an abortion clinic that is a spa in reality; one that offers, along with its primary mission, facials, facial peels, Botox, manicures, pedicures, exfoliation, and people who lighten your hair. Get rid of your ugly cellulite at the same time you get rid of the fetus that’s cramping your style. Convenience and glamour, in one tidy package. What could be better than that?
‘Why Do We Romanticize the Fetus?’ asked Katha Pollitt in a 1993 article; and in 2014 she wrote a book that the American Prospect called ‘a full-throated defense of abortion as a social good,’ that ‘takes pro-choicers to task for what she calls “the awfulization of abortion’ by repeating the myth, so they say, of their opposition, which is that abortion is often a painful decision, about which most women feel bad. But for forty-plus years, the fringe of the fringe has been trying to get women to feel good about it, without moving the numbers an inch in their own direction, with absolutists in small camps at each end of the spectrum, and with the vast middle ground occupied by the conflicted, who so madden the purists with their ambivalence, hesitations, and doubts. If anything, the needle has moved in the other direction, spurred by the sonogram and other advances, and survival rates among premature infants at an earlier stage in their terms. Thus, while we may not romanticize the fetus exactly, few seem inclined to romanticize its termination as a joyful experience. All the spa robes and soft music in the world can’t do a thing about that.