Appendix: Online How-To D&C – Sarah B. Boyle

FOR THE WOMEN of South Dakota [Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Louisiana . . . ]

I. DISCLAIMER

       I believe
in information
                          & ideas
in women

in knowing about
……………………our bodies

       in the dark

II. INTRODUCTION

I understand anger
your body will worry

    ………….& what you need now isn’t
….                       righteous
More   immoderate
  more   mundane

                                An abortion is easy
to perform
…………I know
the time it takes to learn
………………………………..how it is done

There is no reason
…………—& for under $2000!—
……………………………              if you are
careful  diligent      have
……………………………….a good grasp of a woman
………………………why you can’t perform
—today!—
………….dilation and curettage

Vacuum aspiration is easier but
……………………..sometimes
necessitates
..                     “clean-up”

III. INSTRUMENTS AND THEIR USES

Cervical Dilators
……………………..metal instruments of varying sizes
………….For illegal practitioners        infinitely reusable

(Dilation is the easiest)

Uterine Forceps
……………………scissors meet talons
…………..Their use is simple   ..remove fetal material

Curettes
………………………foreign  small spoons with malleable shanks
…………………………………sharp edges that scrape

A course of antibiotics
……………………..your uterus    opened up    is prone to infection
…………From Mexican pharmaceutical houses
……………………………….less than $2

IV. PROCEDURE

Step 1

Sterilize instruments
……………………..(If you have an autoclave   lucky you!)
Use a household pressure cooker
………….Refer carefully to the manual    or
……. injury to the cooker could result

Now prepared
…………………….wipe down your table with bleach
…………………….allow to dry
…………………….place clean plastic sheeting over it

……..—Sterilization is no joke!—

Step 2

Silly pregnancy
…………………..tests are never accurate
Honesty
…………………dishonesty
  these could endanger the woman
………………………………..Do another one

Step 3

Your patient   naked from the waist down
and shaved
………………………& sedated
In the stirrups   she is clean & lubricated

Open the vagina    Examine
the cervix
………….      small  round  smooth-looking
………………………………..entrance to the uterus

The uterus could be
………….a small pear
………….a peach
………….a grapefruit

………….a fruit salad!

Step 4

It hurts   I know
……………Novocaine is sometimes injected
but
       when you are just starting
…………………….stay away from needles

Step 5

Insert each dilator in turn
………….They will deliver
…………………….less than an inch
……….                                            There’s no way to see
…………………….into the uterus
………….—But don’t feel afraid!—
…………………….It will not be difficult

Step 6

Break
..   the membrane bearing
…………………………………      the fetus
………….with forceps
…………………….clear or pinkish fluid will flow
Twist the sac away     it detaches
.         save
…………until the end
Remember   you are not “hurting” it
Bleeding may begin

……………………..DO NOT STOP!

……………………..Keep going

Step 7

Move on to curettage
The curette makes a sound
…………metal on metal on a clean uterine wall
…………………………………………….but silent on a wall needing
………………………………………………………..to be scraped
—It’s just like scooping ice cream
…………………….And remember: scrape hard!—
Listen to your patient
………….listen to your curettes

Step 8

It’s uterine forceps time
……………………………….. —Again!—
………….Put a bit of muscle into it
……………    for the last of the bones.
Bleeding heavily at this point?
Her life is
…………assuredly
………………………………..in danger
A hospital can complete the procedure

Step 9

Examine the material    Are you missing anything
…………..obvious?
………………………—A head?—
…………..Make sure to find it

Step 10

Allow your patient to rest comfortably
………….get dressed
………….Follow up

V. IN TOMORROW’S INSTALLMENT

………..For the women & girls
…………………..who are left

Directions for vacuum aspiration
……………………..and inducing miscarriage!

Note:  The words and phrases in this poem are sourced from a piece originally posted on the feminist blog “Molly Saves the Day.” The post was titled “For the Women of South Dakota: An Abortion Manual” and was a response to South Dakota’s functional ban on all abortions.

Sarah B. Boyle is a poet, mother, high school teacher, and activist. Her chapbook, What’s pink & shiny/what’s dark & hard, is available from Porkbelly Press, and her poems and essays have appeared in Menacing Hedge, Cheat River Review, Lunch Ticket, Entropy and elsewhere. Following the rapes and assaults that ripped through multiple literary communities this past year, she edited a series of essays for Delirious Hem on rape culture and the poetics of alt lit. Find her online at impolitelines.com.

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