Christie Summers drove herself to the clinic. It was a rainy day, but that didn’t stop the protesters. Mostly men, and older, they pressed soggy pamphlets against her windshield with the zeal of panhandling window-washers on the side of the highway. Several pamphlets stuck to the glass. "Every child is precious!" and "How could you do this to your child?" they screamed, before the wipers swatted them away.
Christie parked as close to the entrance as she could. An official-looking man in a suit ran out to the car. He opened an umbrella and held her waist tight as they ploughed through the rain and between two columns of floating placards on sticks, buoyed by whitecaps of clenched, agitated fists.
Inside the clinic, and after some paperwork and a gown to match, Christie was in a hospital bed. Unlike the chaos outside, the clinic waiting room was a serene and dignified scene. There was no anger, just clinical efficiency complemented by encouraging words.
"You won’t get any judgment from us."
"Your choice is respected here."
Most everything in the room was white, including the walls and the floor tiles. The nurses spoke in hushed, comforting tones. As the sedatives slowly worked their way over her eyes, Christie’s head slipped to the side and she caught a glimpse of the other patients. Whatever the ugly details of the stories that had brought them to the clinic, they looked so noble here. Their heads and shoulders poked over the crisp bedsheets, dotting the room like stately busts, reclined in cotton packaging, as if quietly waiting for their display on marble columns.
In this moment of calm, Christie reflected on the protesters outside. She asked herself how they could feel so viscerally about her particular situation, about which they knew nothing. Their vivid pictures of developed fetuses gave no indication of the hidden genetic code of the particular fetus inside her, which she had learned contained a rare gene, a gene that would in all likelihood cause wrenching suffering for her child. Where were the protesters’ pictures of that future tormented life? If the protesters had shared her own pain, and her own anatomy, perhaps they would understand.
And then Christie drifted off.
A bedside nurse was gathering medical tools from a nearby table.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Summers. How are you feeling?"
"Fine," said Christie, groggy at first, but then enlivened by the realization the procedure was already over. "Is that it?"
"That’s it, Ms. Summers," said the nurse with a standard smile. "The genetic surgery was a success. The gene NXP2 has been excised, and all indications are that you will have a healthy, heterosexual child."
More in Dystopia…
David Dubrow
Despite being separated, Brian and Nicole have been placed with a foster child.

by Audie Cockings
Elder care takes a dark turn.

by Carol Kean
It takes a village to raise a child. Or does it?
0 0 votes
Article Rating