This story can also be read in the book God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut. It is available digitally and in print.
“Honey, I want to have an abortion.”
“Again?” Harold asked his wife, Gladys. He’d been dodging her on this subject all week.
“I just can’t bear it anymore. It’s going to be more trouble if we wait any longer.” She had her heart set on abortion. What could he do?
“Can we talk about this later?” Harold turned the page of his newspaper, hoping to emphasize that he was too busy relaxing to bother with such weighty talk.
“I just want it over with. It’s hard enough, I’d rather do it while my mind is set.”
Harold tells her, not looking up from the sports section, “Now, Dear. Let’s not be hasty.”
“I’m not being hasty. I’ve been thinking about it for months. We both have. You just don’t have the nerve to say so.”
Maybe she was right, he thought. Then, resigning himself, “Maybe you’re right.”
“Of course I’m right.” She seemed satisfied.
Then Harold sternly added, “You’ll have to tell him though. I had to tell his brother. You can tell him.”
“Fine. I’ll make the appointment and then we’ll go up and tell him together.” Gladys left the room to get on the phone, to ready her late term abortion.
“Yes. My name is Gladys Harper. I’d like to schedule an abortion…” All Harold could hear from the other end was a low toned buzz humming on and off in a secretarial cadence. “Yes. His name is Jeremy Harper. He’s sixteen years old.”
Harold shook his head, still trying to read his paper; trying hard not to pay attention to the phone conversation. “Well, he’s just not turning out the way he’s supposed to. I mean… He even applied to an art school not long ago, it’s just shameful. Can you believe it?”
Harold couldn’t believe it. And the only reason he was agreeing to the abortion was his overriding morality. He’d be damned to have a child of his turn into some type of God-forsaken hippy. He’d hoped that the boy would simply straighten out; Jeremy had only gotten worse in the last three months.
The House and Senate passed the Late Term Abortion Bill into law just before Jeremy’s older brother Bobby was born. Gladys and Harold’s decision to abort Bobby stemmed from his decision to join the Communist Party in High School. They thought the idea of sharing something as sacred as money with less fortunate people was nothing short of dangerous and against God.
So they had him aborted.