Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Planned Parenthood Flashback

The Eight Sentences:

Debert pressed on, “It’s clear that your career choice had a major influence in your putting the baby up for adoption.”
“Picture this -- first grade teacher has each child stand up and talk about their family. My kid stands up and says, “I don’t have a daddy but my mom makes lots of money killing people.”
“You’re right, that wouldn’t sound good,” replied Debert, playing along.
“Besides, it’s too late now anyway.”
“What do you mean?” Debert became concerned.
“I’ve already killed someone --two, in fact.”
There was a long silence, Debert was stunned and speechless.

Art Hoffman
The Back Story:       It's 1976, three years after Roe vs. Wade and Claudia finds herself pregnant. The above eight sentences come from the flashback in which she visits her doctor in the Hackensack, NJ Planned Parenthood office. Claudia has decided to pursue a living killing people, but when faced with this choice, she chose adoption. A PP doctor will deliver the baby. In that same scene, she meets with the only person she can trust (Mr. Debert) and they discuss her conflicted nature and her current situation.       
[Special thanks to my good friend, Art Hoffman who traces his involvement in the family planning movement way back to 1970 when he began working at his first Planned Parenthood in Chicago, Illinois. Over the ensuing decades he also worked for or supported Planned Parenthood affiliates in Los Angeles CA, Rochester NY, Albuquerque, NM and Louisville, KY. Not surprisingly, most of his co-workers were females, so he developed an admiration for strong, fearless and independent minded women. Perhaps that is why Claudia intrigues him so.]                                                           

What next?
Looking for more viewers, readers, and contacts?

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors. The same 

link will take you to the work of dozens of talented writers.

 Check out their work, too. 

     Here's the Facebook link for the

 Sunday Snippett group.


  1. Interesting where our personal lines are drawn---sometimes they're parallel, and sometimes they intersect in odd ways . . .

    I love this line: “Picture this -- first grade teacher has each child stand up and talk about their family. My kid stands up and says, “I don’t have a daddy but my mom makes lots of money killing people.”

    She's a lady of many facets, our Claudia.

    1. That she is, Sarah.
      A baby boomer now seeking some degree of "normalcy" with a storied past.
      Thanks for the comment!

  2. The conversation seems so easy going, but I just know there's a lot of emotion hiding behind them. A full snippet for sure. Well done.

  3. That's a risky thing for her to admit. Interesting snippet.

    1. Indeed, very risky.
      She can only share stuff like this with her mystery man, "Mr. Debert."
      Thanks for the comment.

  4. Yeah, career day at school would be difficult. Fun snippet, Frank. :)

  5. The last line was an attention getter for sure!

  6. I love how matter-of-fact she is both about her career and her decision. Great characterizations, Chip. :)

  7. Such a fascinating story, will be interesting to see what she actually does. Excellent excerpt!

  8. Now that's not something you hear every day! I'd probably be speechless too.
    Nice one! :)

  9. Wow, this is powerful. She intrigues me so much. What an interesting lady!

  10. I an see how that career choice would interfere with parenting.

  11. Terrific eight. I so love murderous parents.

  12. I think she's a complex person! Hired assassin who is conflicted over ending the life of her unborn baby. Love that you've added this layer to her character, Chip! Nicely done. :-)

  13. The many shades of gray in life. What an interesting character twist considering her job. Well done.

  14. She can tell the kid that she was a super hero and that it is a secret or something, or she can stop killing maybe.