In a Catholic world, people see conception both as a blessing and an opportunity. This has been the most firm foundation of an ideal family. Children are raised with supervision from authorities, promulgating information on how life is so precious and therefore must be lived and be cherished. This so-called catholic doctrine has been present for centuries. Now, with the advent of liberal and free-world status quo, such concept is slowly diminished, and soon will be vanquished. Teenagers think so vast, parents raise children so sudden. Teenagers rebel when unsatisfied, seek pleasure in vices that create and destruct life. In a sudden situation, abortion came to existence. Sallie Tisdale, in her essay on “We Do Abortions Here” immensely captures the bright and dark sides of Abortion. A registered nurse and an essayist, she successfully elaborates the medical and literary perspective of creating and destructing life. From the paradoxical descriptions Tisdale wrote, abortion cannot be viewed simply as pure good or evil.
Paradox. Yes, “We Do Abortions Here” is a thick collection of paradoxical statements that can somehow leave the readers in midair about her stand on this environment she’s registered into. Tisdale used paradoxical strategies to capture her emotion and attitude towards her state of work. There are several points that can be highlighted and brought up to solidify the paradoxes Tisdale has used to convey the abrupt imageries she visualized on crafting this essay. First, let’s cut through Tisdale’s feeling toward this job. “It’s violent yet merciful”, as mentioned. Violent, in the sense that Tisdale is obliged to destruct a living creature inside a uterus of an impregnated woman, obliged to end a life of an innocent, unknowing angel. Tisdale shed much emotions of how destructing it is for her to do such act, but she took it back as being a merciful destruction, since it somehow ended the dilemma a woman is carrying, a life-threatening problem that must have twisted the life this woman has undergone. Abortion is violent yet merciful; thus, abortion cannot be viewed as pure good or pure evil.
Tisdale also made mention on how her work is titled a “sweet brutality”. “It is a sweet brutality we practice here, a stark and loving dispassion.” as mentioned. The phrase “sweet brutality”, and even “stark and loving dispassion” is a clear paradoxical description of how routinely but horrific her state of living is. How can someone call abortion sweet yet brutal? How can even a nurse working in an abortion clinic call her environment a loving yet lifeless? In a literary perspective, Tisdale take abortion as sweet for the reason of satisfaction that her work has brought to the lives of women carrying an unplanned an accidental child. Yet, it is brutal in the manner of how fetuses are taken out from the womb of an unwilling mother. Tisdale see this work as stark for it is, by nature, an unpleasant ambiance, emptying a woman’s lifehouse to cleanse the mistake made out of rebellion or an escape from a distressing reality. With that, how can someone see passion and show love for it? Impossible. Abortion is then a sweet brutality, and the people working for it show stark and loving dispassion; thus, abortion cannot be viewed as pure good or pure evil.
Meanwhile, Tisdale also highlighted that abortion “…is the narrowest edge between kindness and cruelty.” The words “kindness” and “cruelty” both contradicts to the statement, giving the readers a confusion to the intent of Tisdale’s writing on abortion. Again, taking into account the literary perspective of Tisdale, abortion is nearing the edge of kindness as it brings an ending relief to a woman crying for freedom and distortion. From the medical perspective, abortion is seen at the edge of cruelty as it brings destruction to a life resulted from an unwanted conception. In her essay, Tisdale elaborately imaged the vision of this paradoxical situation of abortion, but readers somehow take it as a translucent scene of depriving a fetus’s life, without seeing the bright side of it. Abortion is then seen at the narrowing edge between kindness and cruelty; thus, abortion cannot be viewed as pure god or pure evil.
In summary, Tisdale presented different vivid lines of abortion. Lines that strongly define how bad abortion can bring to our lifespan, cutting the Old Catholic doctrine that humans practice and adapt before. Tisdale also delivered vivid lines of relief that abortion can give to a woman. Ergo, one cannot take abortion as a detrimental matter. Although this might depend on how vast a person’s mind can decipher, taking either side of it boils down to how we see morality. Abortion cannot be viewed as pure good or pure evil, what matters most is how we see the world, and how we take life as it is.
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