Excerpt from Charles Colson's book
Ann went around to her side of the desk and scanned the opened
appointment book. She sipped the hot coffee gratefully.
"Please sit down," she said to the girl, gesturing toward a metal
folding chair in front of the desk. "I'm Doctor Sloan. I understand
you were given a hard time this morning."
The girl perched nervously on the edge of the chair, hands still
in her pockets, head down. "It was awful," she said softly. They
said not to murder my baby. They said there was still time to
change my mind. They had big bloody posters of tiny babies..."
Ann flushed, the familiar anger rising in her chest. It was one
thing to harass the strong, she thought. It was a pain, but she
could handle it. But here was this young girl, all alone, vulnerable.
It made Ann crazy. This was a medical procedure, for heaven's sake,
perfectly legal, affordable, safe...and yet women across the country
faced every obstacle these fanatics could think of to keep them from
exercising their rights. It infuriated her every time she thought about
her own daughter and the future she faced...all the advances feminists
had fought for, and women still couldn't freely control their own bodies
and lives. It was insane.
"What's your name?" she asked.
"Sherry, the girl said, her head still down.
"Sherry, those people are living in the Dark Ages. They're just
trying to impose their morality on you. They don't even care about
you; all they care about is their own agenda. But this is still America.
You have the right to make your own choices."
The girl looked up for the first time, and Ann was struck by
how much she reminded her of Lindsay.
"They just made me feel so bad," Sherry said. "It's not like I'm
so crazy about having this done. It's just that I don't know what else to
do. I'm in school, I don't have much money, I don't have anyone to fall
"I can understand if you're not happy about having an abortion
right now," Ann said. "I've dealt with thousands of women over
the years, and believe me, what you're feeling is normal. But you do have a
right to make this decision. It's your choice - nobody else's. Probably
now isn't the right time for you to continue a pregnancy. But it's up to
you. Not a bunch of terrorists shoving posters in your face."
Sherry sighed. "You said you've dealt with lots of women, " she
said hesitantly. "How many of these do you think you've done? Abortions,
Ann paused for a moment. She had left her gynecology practice
during Lindsy's last year in elementary school. Now she served three clinics
in three states - about six thousand procedures a year.
"I've done this about thirty thousand times," she said. "And I
can't begin to tell you how many of those women told me that it was
the best choice they ever made for themselves." She lowered her eyes as she
took another big swallow of coffee.
THE GIRL SLID the gun from her pocket. The safety was off;
the silencer was on. She kept it and her hands below the edge
of the desk.
"Thirty thousand babies," she said slowly, taking a deep breath.
"Then your own lips have condemned you."
The doctor looked up, startled.
Both of her gloved hands on the gun, the girl stood, raised the
barrel quickly, and aimed at the quarter-sized round of skin between
the woman's dark eyebrows.
She gently squeezed the trigger, just as she had been taught.
There was a spitting sound and, simultaneously, the doctor's head
exploded against the wall behind the desk. A pink mist hung in
the air; the coffee cup dropped to the desk, spreading a brown
stain across the appointment book. The doctor's body slid down in
the chair and to the floor.
The girl turned, as she had practiced, slipped the pistol back in
her pocket, and ran the few steps toward the door. She took the
key hanging from the deadbolt, closed the office door behind her,
and locked it. Hands back in her pockets, she moved quickly
down the hall.
The woman who had escorted her into the clinic earlier
looked at her questioningly.
"I'm sorry," the girl said. "I just can't go through with it. I've
got to get out of her." She moved toward the doors.
The woman shrugged. Sometimes it happened; patients
panicked. Well, that made one less on the schedule.
The girl burst through the front doors and pushed through the
protesters. They were still trading insults with the woman who had
brought the doctor her coffee. The cameras were rolling, and the
woman kept talking, jabbing her finger at the pro-lifers.
The girl made her way through the crowd and around the corner.
The white van was waiting, its motor running. The side door slid open,
she jumped inside, and the van pulled away from the curb, the
Channel 4 logo on its side just a bit off-center.