We Do Abortions Here by Sallie Tisdale

3 Pages 637 Words February 2015

Abortions occur every day. In "We Do Abortions Here," by Sallie Tisdale, she describes her experiences on the job as a nurse in an abortion clinic. She uses paradoxical strategies to convey her attitude toward her job. In her essay Sally feels that her job is violent yet merciful, and that it is a routine but horrific, and at the same time she loves and hate her job. Tisdale proves through paradox that abortion cannot be viewed simply as good or evil. This also shows how she feels about her job. In her description of her work, she says, “It is a sweet brutality we practice here”. In this paradox, Tisdale acknowledges the harness of abortion. Abortion ends the life of a fetus before it has a chance to grow into a child. This is a harsh truth. But according to Tisdale, it is so sweet. The coupling of these words suggests that abortion is merciful. A burden lifted, perhaps, for a mother that cannot carry her child. Tisdale states, “Abortion is the narrowest edge between kindness and cruelty.” She expounds by adding, “Done as well as it can be, it is still violence-merciful violence, like putting a suffering animal to death.” Merciful violence, kindness and cruelty-these words conflict with one another. The paradox of these words effectively underlines the bigger conflict, the conflict of choice. To whom the kindness assigned, and to whom the cruelty? Either choice is tired to sorrow and regret.
Her essay also shows how she feels that her job is a routine yet horrific. Tisdale says “The worst is the sameness of human failure, or inadequacy in the face of each day’s dull demand.” (1) This shows how she must perform the same thing every single day but each time the experience is still horrific. She also states “I am struck by the sameness and I am struck everyday by the variety here-how this commonplace dilemma can so display the difference of women.” This shows that even though that the same thing happens every day, th...

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