an After abortion

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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Last night, on "Cold Case", the TV show, we caught a snippet of a woman talking to the main female detective character, about having an abortion when she was growing up in the sexual revolution of the 60s. Since my teenaged son had the clicker, jumping around from this to the World Series game to umpteen other channels in a mind-numbing blur enough to make me sick, I only caught bits of the whole story, which I will paraphrase.

This was a subset of the main plot about the murder of a revolutionary interracial couple by another 60s type revolutionary leader/FBI informant. The woman, shown in a flashback, sat in the front seat of a car telling her boyfriend. He is shown visibly shocked, but within a few moments says, appearing to care for her and want to "do the right thing," "So we'll get married then." He looks at her with a small, scared smile on his face, as though he's frightened of the prospect of such responsibility but trying to own up to it, nonetheless.

It's either that, or he thinks that's what she'll want to hear. It could have been either; the program didn't provide more clues (that I viewed, at least).

She looks at him, stricken, almost appalled or repulsed, and replies, "I was thinking of abortion....I can't be having a baby now! I have plans! I want to travel, go places, so many places to see! If I have a baby, I'll never leave this town!" Her voice was not loud, but scared and determined all at the same time.

He looks at her in hurt surprise, saying softly, "We can go to those places together..." She tells him, "No...we can't." He appears truly devastated.

Finally, she speaks again, "I need money."

He becomes angry, saying, "Screw you, Renee!" and quickly opens his door and runs out of the car, leaving her alone.

Show returns to the present, where she answers the detective's questions that she never saw him again ("I thought it was best that we have no contact"), and that she sold some clothes and her stereo system to get the money to pay for the abortion.

To me, it seemed she was quite content to tell him he was no longer part of her life ("No...we can't"), but then still take his money for the abortion.

I've just found this description of a plot that must be that show, but it doesn't accurately depict what was shown about the murders:

"When the remains of a young black and and white woman are found under a building, Rush and Valens discover that not only did the 2 go missing in 1969, but that they may have been killed professionally for their work in an underground abortion clinic.
The reenactment of the murders shows that when the couple figured out the 60s hippie leader was really a "snitch" for the FBI, he shot them with a revolver. Not another thing about illegal abortion clinics was mentioned, that I saw.

UPDATE: Oh, this just gets worse.
Found the full plot description here.
"Lilly and Scotty go to that address. An old man opens the door, and they ask for Jane. The man is surprised that they are looking for Jane. They ask if she's in, and the man says Jane is not a person, she's an organization. The man introduces himself as Dr. Linden and asks Lilly and Scotty to come inside. Dr. Linden tells Lilly and Scotty that Julia and Gerard were volunteers for Jane, an abortion service. Underground, because abortion was illegal at that time. Dr. Linden tells that Jane's purpose was to provide safe procedures for women who wanted to have an abortion. He tells that the last time he saw Julia and Gerard was on the morning they disappeared, when they brought in a young girl.

"Julia and Gerard bring a young girl into the house. They take off her blindfold and try to calm her down. Julia tells the girl she'll have a "D and C" - dilation and curettage. She says the doctor is really good and that he helped her too. Dr. Linden comes and takes the girl - Renee - with him, for the procedures.

"Cut to 2004: Dr. Linden tells [the detectives Lilly and Rush] that the procedure went fine, and then Julia and Gerard left with the girl. And he doesn't know anything else. Lilly asks if he has the girl's name. Dr. Linden says no, but the contacts could have that information. He mentions another volunteer - Colette Ferguson, a professor at Temple."
And worse still:
"Flashback to 1969: ("Whiter Shade of Pale", by Procol Harem, plays in the back)...

"Colette is lying on a couch somewhere. Another underground abortion clinic, but not a safer one. She's in pain. Julia arrives, also to have an abortion. Julia asks what the guy uses. Colette says it's a bicycle spoke, that she must keep inside for 24 hours; and then it'll happen. The guy arrives and asks Julia if she has $400, she says she's got $350. The guy takes the money and leaves to get some wine, to calm her down. Colette tells Julia that he made her touch him before. Julia says she thinks they should leave, and helps Colette get out.

"Cut to 2004: Colette tells that Julia took her home, and went to visit her the next day. Colette says Julia had to take her to the hospital, because she got a bad infection. And because of that she can't have kids. Scotty asks how Julia found Dr. Linden. Colette tells Julia saw an ad for Jane on the Free Weekly, and that she was so thankful that she started working for Jane. And that was also how Julia met Gerard. Lilly says that it all sounds very risky. Colette says that it was especially risky for Gerard, who was on the Black Liberation Front, a group that was seriously against abortion, which they considered a genocide of black people."
By the way, the B.L.F. people are depicted in this show as real nasty dudes, trashing Gerard's apartment because he says he's friends with a white girl, Julia, while they accuse him of sleeping with her.
"On the next day, Lilly and Scotty go visit Charlie [the ex-boyfriend of the woman who aborted]. He says he didn't want to marry Renee, and that he just said he wanted to marry her because that was what he was supposed to do in that situation. Lilly asks what he thought about the abortion. Charlie says he didn't want to get involved. Lilly then asks why Charlie was at the meeting place the day Renee went to the procedures. Charlie tells he followed Renee and the car.

"Flashback to 1969: Charlie crashes into Jane's house, asking for Renee. Julia and Gerard stop him. They ask Charlie if he wants a baby at 18 and a wife before his senior prom. Gerard takes him out for some air.

"Cut to 2004: Charlie says he cried on Gerard's shoulder for ten minutes, and then went home. They ask Charlie where he was later that day. He says we has at home with his mother, who's dead. He adds that he didn't want Renee to have the abortion, but now he sees it was the best for him. Lilly asks Charlie if he realized that before or after Julia and Gerard died."
I know that Whoopi Goldberg publicly has stated that she used a coathanger on herself to force an abortion, but that is the only "documented" case I have ever seen, heard of or read of such a thing. I must admit that I am somewhat skeptical of anyone who is so avidly pro-choice as Whoopi saying they did this to themselves with a coathanger, knitting needles, or even a "bicycle spoke." Just as most pro-choice people are skeptical of those who object to abortion after having had one.

Is television putting forth more myth with this show? Or not? I don't know. "Good" abortion clinics, "bad" abortion clinics. It sounds too neatly "wrapped up."

I do have proof of abortionists, even legal ones, sexually abusing abortion patients before, during and/or after the abortions. That's culled from public court and police documents in the book Lime 5.

If anyone has any real proof, a legal affidavit, a court case, a medical examiner's record, some bona fide evidence of the "coathanger etc." abortions prior to the legalization in 1973, I'm all ears. Please comment or email me. Give us the links, if they exist. Surely, there must be some real proof out there, if they really did happen?

"Charlie says he cried on Gerard's shoulder for ten minutes, and then went home....he didn't want Renee to have the abortion, but now he sees it was the best for him. Lilly asks Charlie if he realized that before or after Julia and Gerard died."

The man cried on a total stranger's shoulder, another man, the man helping his girlfriend abort his child, for 10 minutes. He didn't want Renee to have the abortion. But then he added, almost as an afterthought 40 years later, that he realized later that it was best for him.

I have to wonder, who was he saying that for: the detectives, or himself? Was the character just trying to convince all of them, himself included, of this "belief?"

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