There’s only one thing worse than sitting in a dental chair — numbed with Novocaine — waiting for your third root canal in three weeks to be uprooted, and that is having to listen to an anonymous, blowhard, dentist in another room proselytize, at the top of his lungs, all the reasons why abortion is medically unnecessary.
The dentist’s office is large. There are several dentists and lots of patients are herded in and out all day long. At least ten dental assistants scurry about doing the real, and oftentimes, dirty work of the office in a really fine and positive way.
I believe the abortion lecture started over concern for giving a pregnant woman an X-Ray. A pregnant woman was led to a dental chair before me.
After that, all the rest of the office could hear, was the dentist in question spouting his personal, religious, beliefs throughout the office. At least five other patients were within earshot of his speechifying.
The dentist went on to shout about his wife and how she told him on the way to the hospital that “whatever is inside me, is coming home with us.”
That led a male dental assistant to opine in a similar loud voice, “Our doctor saw something weird in our baby’s brain in the sonogram and wanted to do tests. Any woman over 35, they want to test. We said ‘no’ — whatever it was, we would deal with it after the baby was born.”
Then I heard a meek, female voice speak up — obviously the pregnant woman the dentist was supposed to be attending to — “Yeah, but when you’re date raped at 16, abortion…”
The dentist cut her off before he should finish her sentence. “There is never a medical necessity for an abortion,” he scolded. “There are other ways. Adoption. Foster Care and such.”
I never heard the woman’s voice again.
A bit later, the dentist and the male dental assistant strutted down the hallway next to my station — still talking in their loudest voices about how unnecessary abortion is in the world and how righteous they were — and all I could do was hate them for their rabid insensitivity to the unknown, vulnerable, patients all around them who had to sit through their sermon on a hot, Wednesday afternoon, and I would’ve told that dentist precisely what I thought of his theories if I only had a working, non-numbed mouth.
I presume that’s how a man like that gets away with such dirty deeds: He relies upon an incapacitated and captive audience who are all numbed, and silent — but never convinced or compliant — by radicalism from a dental chair.