They got out of the car and approached the clinic. Several middle-aged ladies – including Mrs. Howe – and a local preacher were circling around, holding protest signs and singing hymns, ready to pounce on any female daring to enter the clinic. On one side was a teenager, evidently capturing the event on video. Harry and Helen started towards the door and the protestors converged on them, calling down hellfire and brimstone. Harry stopped in front of Mrs. Howe and eyed her coldly. “Hello, Grace. I see you’re up to your usual bullshit. Thought you’d be tired of it by now.”
Grace Howe bristled and puffed her self up even more than her usual haughty state. “I will never tire of doing the Lord’s work, protecting the unborn from the baby killers. And people like you,” she added, with a glance a Helen, who promptly gave her the finger.
Harry smiled and deep inside him a door was unbarred. “Tell me Grace, do all of your friends here know you had an abortion when you were 18?”
Grace Howe stopped in her tracks like he’d dropped a load of bricks on her head. She staggered back two paces and plopped down on bench. “Why, who, what, how?” she sputtered. Her face got beet-red and she started breathing so heavily Harry was afraid she was about to have a heart attack. He thought of asking Helen to have one of the doctors from the clinic come out, but Grace seemed to be weathering the storm, surrounded by her solicitous companions.
“What have you done?” shouted the preacher. “Mrs. Howe is one of our most respected members! She’s a deaconess, for heaven’s sake. A true Christian lady! She would never consider abortion under any circumstance!”
“And she’s a full-blown hypocrite.” Harry replied. “Ask her. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, 1960. She was 18 and a councilor at a summer camp. A little hanky-panky down by the lake, and voila! She knew what would happen if she came home in that condition. Her father was a preacher like you and a bigot to boot. And the baby’s father was Mexican. So she aborted, and denial has fit in well with her snobbish upbringing and pretensions ever since.”
He noticed the teenager was beside himself with excitement and zooming in on himself and on Mrs. Howe. He’d initially thought the boy was part of the protest group, but evidently not. He reached into a pocket and extracted a business card which he passed to Helen as he whispered something to her. She nodded and went over to talk to the boy. Harry turned to Mrs Howe and the protestors. “I know for a fact that Grace Howe isn’t the only hypocrite among you. You not only oppose abortion, you oppose contraceptives and counseling, but some of you use birth control yourselves. So I will say what your Good Reverend should say, but won’t: ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her – John 8:7′. And as long as we’re being biblical, you might check Matthew 7:1 and Luke 12:2. The world is about to discover that in this day and age, privacy is a thing of the past. And it starts here. With you.” He smiled sweetly, then turned on his heel and headed back toward his car, with Helen at his side, giggling.