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Cole Richardson Professor Bedwell English 1321 10 11 October 2011 Rhetorical Analysis Essay 2 We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse’s Story, written by Sallie Tisdale, was first published in 1990 by October’s edition of Harper’s Magazine. Tisdale was motivated to write this article because she is an American nurse and essayist. She is a writer on health and medical issues and anything in between.
The purpose of this article is to inform the readers on how often abortion is called upon, along with the thoughts of these young women and children having them done.
I would say the audience of this article is a well-educated, middle class people, because some of the vocabulary can be a little difficult at times. We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse’s Story, by Sallie Tisdale, makes both an effective, and ineffective argument.
Tisdale makes her article effective because she uses impelling illustrations to explain how rapid abortions are done, but she also explains in great detail how painful the process is and what it is like. Although she uses great illustrations her argument is ineffective because her writing and thoughts are unclear, therefore making the way she thinks confusing.
But the main reason Tisdale’s article is ineffective is because she is writing against abortion, yet works as a nurse who helps physicians do abortions, it does not make sense to me.
Tisdale feels that abortion is wrong, happens too periodically, and is taken advantage of. She works in a hospital as a nurse that helps physicians during the procedure. Her work consists of completing sound wave tests, also known as ultrasounds, and she helps to sooth patients’ state of mind. In her field of work her and her co-workers are all seen as impure because it is known as dirty work to some.
Tisdale sees many abortions done daily, along with numerous done weekly, numbers over the hundreds. From all different types of women, some in their teens with multiple years to come, others in their twenties or thirties having their first abortion, some having their fourth or fifth. But each person she sees is there for the same reason as the rest. They all made a choice to have unprotected sex or in some cases unfortunately some were forced beyond will, and now they cannot handle the consequences.
This is what Tisdale sees every day and although she tries her hardest not to let her emotions cry out for what is wrong, it is her job. Tisdale states, “abortion is so routine that one expects it to be like a manicure: quick, cheap, and painless” (750). This quote is effective to the story because it is compares abortion to a manicure, which are of no relation, but for Tisdale this quote can open the eyes of the reader’s and show them how much abortion is taken advantage of.
Manicures and pedicures are done every day all over the world, and comparing abortions to manicures can help the reader understand how many abortions are done not only daily but also just in general. In fact, abortions are repeated on a daily basis, without knowing the exact number Tisdale states, “we do over a hundred abortions a week” (750). Assuming that they are closed on the weekends, that is anywhere from twenty to possibly even thirty a day. If you sit back and think about it, twenty to thirty are done per day, and one hundred to one hundred-fifty are done per week, and we do know that there are fifty two weeks in a year.
So do the math, if there are approximately one hundred to one hundred-fifty abortions per week with fifty two weeks in a year that is anywhere from 5,200 to 7,800 dying babies a year, but again we do not know for sure. Either way they are humans, living being created by God, and it is sickening to think about how many of them are being murdered. Tisdale’s details about the actual aborting process are very vivid and detailed about how horrific, painful, and sickening the procedure is.
Abortions can be done to all types of women from children, to teens, even to moms in their thirties who are anywhere from one month pregnant to six months pregnant, but after that it is too late to have an abortion and of course the longer you wait, the more painful it is for the women. For instance a woman who is a month in a half pregnant would just sit back and let “The doctor [reach] in her, opening the narrow tunnel to the uterus with a succession of slim, smooth bars of steel.
He inserts a plastic tube and hooks it to a hose on the machine….. [as] The machine rumbles low and loud in the small windowless room; the doctor moves the tubes back and forth with an efficient rhythm, and the long tail fills with blood that spurts and stumbles along into a jar” (748). This quote is effective to the story because it gives great detail of how painful the process is. Now for someone who is farther along in their pregnancy it is a little more brutal and the pain is more intense because the doctor “quickly grabs and crushes he fetus in several places, while the room is filled with a low clatter and snap of the forceps, the click of the tanaculum, and a pulling, sucking sound” (753). The effectiveness of this quote compares a five month pregnant uterus to one of which that is still in the first trimester of pregnancy, and allows you to see that the longer you wait the more painful the procedure is going to be. Although her writing was effective, it was also ineffective at the same time because her writing is confusing and unclear.
Her writing is unclear because her story is not structured well and needs to be structured a lot better; it jumps from subject to subject and then back to another subject leaving spaces in between, making it hard to understand at times. For instance, in one paragraph Tisdale talks about the process of abortion, then in another she talks about all the different types of women and teenage girls who have abortions done, and then on the next page in a different paragraph she comes back to talking about the process of abortion again.
I mean she could have talked about the whole abortion process in one paragraph rather than split it up into different paragraphs with other paragraphs in between that have nothing to do with what she is talking about. Another reason her article is ineffective is because she arguing against abortion, but she works as a nurse who helps physicians during the abortion process. Tisdale claims, “In describing this work, I find it difficult to explain how much I enjoy it….. It is a sweet brutality we practice here, a stark and loving dispassion” (748).
The effectiveness this quote adds to the ineffectiveness of this paper is quite important. I mean she is arguing against abortion and then turning around and helping doctors with abortion procedures, she is completely arguing against her claim. Technically, she is not actually the one doing the abortion or the one having the abortion done, but she still helps with it, which is as bad as doing it. I mean, how can you sit here and argue against something like abortion about how wrong and bad it is, and then turn around and work for a company that takes part in abortion.
For instance, take the Germans, they were not technically the ones who killed all the Jewish people during the holocaust, but it was Hitler that was in charge over everyone and he was actually the one doing the killing and burning because he had the power. So in saying that, the Germans, like Tisdale were guilty by association because even though neither she nor the soldiers were actually doing the killing, they both knew it was going on and chose not to do anything about.
In her article, Tisdale argues that abortion is wrong and that “abortion is the narrowest edge between kindness and cruelty (753),” but if you think about what she is arguing it is not effective because she is against abortion but works for abortion. So in saying that, she is a cruel person that is willing to work for abortion because if she were really a kind person and were actually against abortion she would not work for a doctor’s office that does abortion or anything that has to do with it and enjoy it. She would work in another nursing field doing other things such as taking a patients temperature or getting their height and weight.
Tisdale is a great writer from what I can tell, but for this paper, I would have to say it was just not her best. It was an ineffective argument and although her claim was good, she just could not support it because it is hard to support an argument when what you are arguing against is what you do for a living. Word Count 1,556 Works Cited Tisdale, Sallie. “We Do Abortions Here: A Nurse’s Story. ” The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction. 12th Edition. Ed. Linda H. Peterson and John C. Brereton. New York: Norton, 2008. 747-753. Print.