“But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.” Big Chief, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
The doctor examining my daughter was an old family friend. He did the things he would always do when she came in: listened to her heart through the stethoscope, looked down her throat, poked around on her abdomen since she had been feeling sick at her stomach for several days. He looked up at me, her mom, with a puzzled look on his face and asked, “Can we go ahead and do a urine test? Just to rule out a couple of things?”
“Sure!” I replied as Lindy sat up on the exam table. Dr. Evans handed her a cup, told her to go in the bathroom and what to do next. She listened, nodded, and obediently plodded out of the room. Dr. Evans looked at me a little oddly, and his next question stunned me.
“Does Lindy have a boyfriend?” he asked. I told him no, she is not even thirteen yet. She is a shy girl and barely talks to boys. I wondered why he asked. He left the room at the same time Lindy was returning.
Lindy was the type of girl most parents would love to have as a daughter: good student, quiet, cooperative, and pretty. She looked more like fifteen than twelve. I always totally ate up all the compliments people gave me when they saw her. Lindy had been looking a little pale for a few weeks and we couldn’t figure out why she kept getting nauseated and feeling so tired.
Dr. Evans returned to the exam room to face us, and this time had a stern look on his face. He turned to Lindy first and asked, “Young lady, are you sexually active?”
Totally astonished, Lindy replied, “No sir, why do you ask?”
“Because you are pregnant.”
I don’t know exactly how it happened, but the next thing I knew I was sitting on the floor of the exam room. I guess I fell; I don’t really know. All I knew was that what the doctor had said had to be wrong. Completely wrong. When I got up, I grabbed Lindy and told her we were leaving. She didn’t say a word and followed me. We walked out past the front desk without paying, and walked quickly to the car. When we were inside with the doors shut, Lindy began to explain.
At the end of the summer, she had attended a church retreat. She was pretty excited about it because she hadn’t gone with the older group of kids before. The last night of the retreat, she asked to stay behind because she was running fever and didn’t feel well. The youth pastor said it would be fine, and he would come check on her after awhile. The other students left while she dozed off in her bed. She was awaked to someone pulling back the covers: it was her youth minister, Kevin.
He put his finger up to his lips to signal quiet and told her this wouldn’t take too long. When she started to say something, he stuck a sock in her mouth and pinned her down. He whispered to her that if she told anyone about this he would deny it and tell them all what a whore she was. And he promised they would believe him, not her.
Then he raped her.
We went home that afternoon, and I told Lindy to tell no one about the conversation. I was in a quandary because we really had no choices. The retreat had been eight weeks ago; too late for an abortion in Texas. What twelve year old needs to have a baby? And who would believe that she was raped by, of all people, her youth minister? Our family would become outcasts. Her junior high and high school days would be hellish and she would be marked forever. My friends would desert me for sure. I could see no good way out of this mess.
The next morning, I was ready to resolve the situation. I could only see one way out. I told Lindy we were going for a drive to talk, and to please get in the car. It might not be the perfect solution, but it was definitely a way out that didn’t involve shame, hateful looks and judgment.
We were found the next morning at the bottom of a ravine, dead from our car going into a ravine and rolling over multiple times. At least no one had to find out what really happened.
When repressive laws are passed that put people in impossible situations, no one wins. The Texas abortion bill allows for no exceptions for incest or rape. It turns ordinary citizens into vigilantes. This is a fictional story, but it is still something that could definitely happen. There are many ways to improve abortion statistics: education, better contraception, access to health care- that don’t completely turn every horrible situation into criminal activity. If we want to slow down abortion, this isn’t the way.