Page 1








ALEXA PENCE Welcome to Aberrance Quarterly

ASHLEY BURKETT, L AURA DALEY Sexist themed telivision shows impact a young audience





Dot King finds home in the arts community of Louisville while creating homes for actors

SIENNA SUMMERS A journey to empowerment through hoop dance






Fashion editorial featuring Parkside and Pink Door Boutique

A woman’s walk down Market Street



STAFF // Issue no. 2

STAFF Alexa Pence Editor in Chief

Ashley Burkett Managing Editor

Gabby Torres Social Correspondent

Brigid Neary Creative Director

Yazmin Martinez Photo Director

Sarah Rohleder Writing Director

Vanessa Gregorchik Designer

Laura Daley Writer

Josh Svoboda Designer

Darby Brown Designer

Sienna Summers Columnist

Abigail Tyler Stylist

Andrew Spalding Design Editor

Olivia Cook Designer

Clay Cook Fashion Photographer

Additional Lilli Nelson Contributors: Lucy Duane

Isidro Valencia Christy Jones


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Louisville is “griddy” in more than one sense. Most literally, the city is mapped out in a grid of sorts, with so many one-way streets that at times, I mentally transform into Ms.Pacman. Did I mention I’m a new driver? But don’t let me lose you in my teenage woes; I truly love Louisville in all its orchestrated chaos. Louisville at times is an underrated city with unearthed potential at every corner. Sometimes its charm may only lend itself to those of us lucky enough to live in this city. Louisville is one of few places in Kentucky where skyscrapers perch on bluegrass and if I am walking barefoot down the city’s streets, heels in hand, I will not be ridiculed — all stereotypes aside. And as much as the AQ reporters love Louisville and the people who reside here, we tell its griddy stories. We would be doing the women in our city an injustice by overlooking one particular street — precisely one gridspace in the heart of downtown Louisville that has dulled our city’s charm.

This issue, we’ve stretched our limits — after all, AQ in itself is an experiment of sorts. It’s a test of vigilance, passion and empowerment in a progressing community. The AQ women — these aberrant journalists — are my sisters and although our dinner outings sometimes end in typography disputes, we’ve found our place in this grid that is Louisville. We invite you into our community; please accept the invitation. Get to know Dot King, find your flow, and consider what streams from the television to your little sisters’ eyes. If I can leave you but one notion to inspire you in these chilly months, it is to get out of your realm and be a beautiful aberration.


As you read this issue of AQ, consider all perspectives and put yourself in the place of that girl, perhaps arriving in Louisville for her very first time, but also put yourself in the place of the protesters, fighting for lives they view as lost.




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EDITORIAL // Issue no. 2




| Story by Ashley Burkett & Laura Daley | Design by Darby Brown


distinctly remember growing up with scraped knees, choppy bangs, and a striped pink shirt with a polkadot skirt that I sometimes threw flared pants under if I was feeling extra fashionable. My wardrobe included Target, Walmart, and maybe JCPenney on a special occasion. I don’t know if it was the humbleness of the rural county I grew up in, but I never felt as if I were out of the norm. I climbed trees in my back yard, not the escalators at the mall. I read the American Girl books, not the American Vogue. I snuck makeup — but it wasn’t allowed until I was thirteen. I have scars on my lgs from sneaking the razor into the shower — but I’m sure my mother had a heart attack when she saw them. At the same time, though, I felt no sense of rushing my childhood. I loved having no worries — just riding my bike down our gravel driveway, or trying to raise money for cancer research by selling lemonade on the side of the road. I presume that this generation’s childhood has changed. Arguably, for the worse. The other day, I was approached by my friend’s nine-year-old sister’s friend who appeared no different than I was at her age. But once she opened her mouth, I realized quickly that she was much different that I was. “When I went to a football game to impress my boyfriend, I put on lots of makeup and wore nice clothes — like booty shorts.” This desire to be glamorous and attractive — even sexy — does not start at nine years old. Perhaps the matter that my two-year-old niece has already verbalized that she is unhappy with her appearance is of huge significance in regards to the environment in which our society is raising its children. “The majority of television just reiterates women having to be oversexual and at the same time virginal…” Dr. Kaila Story of the Women and Gender’s Study Department at the University of Louisville said. “They package over-sexualization as empowerment, they package vulnerability as divine, in all these different ways, forcing young girls and women to fall into the same ideas of who they should become as women.” And so we ask ourselves “what did we do wrong?” We left the wrong fashion magazine open on the coffee table. We let our television set define what the normal girl was. We forgot to enforce that reality is much different than what the media portrays — something that America has come to adore: a template of how we should live, act, and look. I constantly find myself turning on the television and seeing young

girls being portrayed as archetypes of full-grown adults. The glorified pretty girl is also the rude, controlling girl. The girl with glasses, carrying reading material is the girl who gets disregarded while people walk by without even noticing her. And though perhaps this isn’t the way producers feel it should be, this is what America has become comfortable with.

The Noam Chomsky model of propaganda says the advertisers are the customer. That makes the “eyes,” (the number of viewers), the product, and the television producers the salesmen. More viewers means more ad sales, and that means more stereotypes on cable television. I grew up with books. That isn’t to say that this nine-year-old girl did not, but I never learned about “booty” shorts in American Girl. I didn’t watch Toddlers in Tiaras. I didn’t read Teen Vogue. I was never advised to be or look like anything I wasn’t by nature. My television set did not define who I was, and I certainly didn’t have one in my bedroom. Why do our girls think booty shorts are the best way to get a guy? Because we left Jersey Shore on the television while we were babysitting our little sisters. We wanted to come home and relax with a senseless show — maybe one that degraded women and made pigs out of men — after a rough week at school and work. It was harmlessly funny, after all. We didn’t care that Two and a Half Men was on while we read a Cosmopolitan magazine. We didn’t think our second graders could get anything from the “Make him want you!” headline on the cover of that Cosmo magazine. Of the first 30 results of recent American covers on a Google image search of “American Cosmopolitan covers,” 29 said the word sex. This is what our little sisters, daughters, nieces, cousins, friends see when they walk through the magazine aisle at the grocery store. Maybe they giggled as they walked past, but it planted a seed. In just a split second, it told them what it meant to be attractive. It told them to be sexy. It told them to be unrealistic. It told them to play dress-up, not with princess costumes, but with mommy’s makeup and a pair of socks to stuff their trainer bras. It’s easy to be self-conscious in this world. It’s inevitable when you get a sense of who you are and what others around you look like. But I was never aware of this as a child. I didn’t watch Oxygen Channel. I didn’t read fashion magazines. I was never told to be or look like anything I was not. My television set didn’t define me.



Photo by Alexa Pence

A 8

A IS FOR // Issue no. 2




Dot King finds a home in the arts community of Louisville while creating homes for Actors Theatre’s performers

| Story and design by Sarah Rohleder

“That’s what the company manager is!” Sterling Franklin said. “She’s the Tetris of real life.” Dot King piled water and wine bottles onto a tightly packed rolling cart, affectionately named Charlie Cart. The last task of the work day was complete, but she’s never really off the clock. Company manager isn’t a nine to five job. She left the theatre and locked up behind herself. Just a few steps from home, her phone rang — someone wanted a blender. Another nighttime Walgreens run. “I take care of anything for them at home and the stage manager takes care of anything for them on stage. So let’s say they are onstage and they stub their toe, I am then responsible for making sure they see a doctor, get their prescription picked up, schedule their physical therapy, or whatever,” King said. “ I’m kind of like a personal concierge to them. My job always requires me to live in the facility where I house them, so an intern stays at one building and I stay at another — we’re also like adult RAs. If they get locked out, I’m in charge. I call the plumber, or I am the plumber, or the cable person. If they’re drunk at a bar, I go pick them up.” Besides taking on her own acting roles of RA, concierge, plumber, cable guy, traveling agent, taxi driver, nurse, or locksmith, she also serves as a sort of counselor to the actors. While she could simply drop off a blanket to an apartment, King aims to find the deeper desire and personally deliver it to the actor in a tote.

“They need comfort, they want to build their home,” King said. “I think that type of patience is different versus just trying to endure and being Iike ‘okay whatever you need.’ Really finding out the heart of the situation is the true patience that it takes.” King wants the actors to feel at home, though their fast-paced careers only allowed them to call the theatre home for two months, at most. The idea of being uprooted is often familiar to King, and she wanted them to feel the stability she hadn’t always felt in her past home. As the daughter of two Navy sailors, moving was a commonplace occurrence for the Kings. All three children were born in different states, and even a different country. Her parents had been stationed in the Philippines when they got married and had their first daughter, then they were relocated to California, where Dot was born. In neither of those situations had her parents been very physically close, having been in different offices and different ranks in the Navy. When they got out of the Navy, they moved to her father’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where her brother was born. But the new home didn’t turn out to be the home sweet home she had hoped it would be. It was the first time her parents had ever been living in the same space in their marriage. Her father turned to drinking, a habit which likely started while in the military, but rose to new proportions in the Pittsburgh home. He began to severely abuse her mother. Her



A is for Actors // Issue no. 2 2.


A is for ACTORS mom chose to leave and take her children out of the situation, which meant another move — this time to a local women’s shelter. When King’s father found them, he beat on the shelter door in drunken rage, to the point they no longer felt safe there. At only three, King was on her way to yet another home — another women’s shelter, this time, back in Oceanside, California. Finally, her mother, two siblings, and she were safe from her father and found a home outside the shelter. But that didn’t last either. The courts gave them word that her father had moved to Oceanside and was filing for custody. He gained visitations with them. “It was bizarre after not seeing him for several years then him just showing up and visiting with us like nothing had happened,” King said. “He couldn’t know where we lived or anything like that just to be safe in case he went on another drunken rage. He was supposed to be clean, but I don’t know if that was correct. We had visitation with him for a couple years, but part of me and my mom -- I mean I was probably seven -- knew that my dad was not absolutely stable.”

One night while King and her siblings watched Star Wars, she fell asleep on the couch. She awoke to a banging on the door in the middle of the night -- the police had come to bring news to the already shaken family: her father was killed. He was walking across a highway intoxicated when two cars hit him. Her mother was dating another military man at the time the United States was involved in

“YOU KNOW, IT KIND OF SAVES YOU . . . IT WAS MY ESCAPE.” the Persian Gulf War. The King family was off to a new place again and this time it was to his inherited home in Oldham County. They packed up their classic Studebaker and drove cross-country to Oldham County—all before King reached the fifth grade. It wasn’t until high school until she really found a home, though. Growing up, King and

her siblings acted in Pampers commercials and local magic shows, so she turned to the theatre community at North Oldham High School. “You know, it kind of saves you -- it gives you something to not go home to. Even though my dad was gone and the abuse had stopped, my mom really had a temper and she worked three jobs. She was barely home with us,” King said. “... I felt like it was my escape, my home away from home. In theatre, across the board, whoever your friends are that you feel like you can relate to and escape with, that becomes your next family.” Theatre became a refuge for King. Her senior year, when prom season came around, a prom dress wasn’t in the budget. The theatre family bought a prom dress for her and North Oldham crowned her prom queen. As an adult, she realized that oftentimes, theatre was a refuge for the actors she serviced, too. “It’s more than just taking care of somebody, it’s about meeting their needs,” King said. “The woman who lead my campus ministry taught me a lot about that. It wasn’t that my mom didn’t teach me that, but as a kid I never listened. My mom taught me please and thank



1. (on previous page) Portrait by Yazmin Martinez. 2. Dot King and interns drive to Walmart in Clarksville, IN for homegoods. Photo by Sarah Rohleder. 3. Nametags from 14 years of working at Actors Theatre hang in King’s office along with polka dots, quotes, photos, and other memorabilia. Photo by Sarah Rohleder. 4. Portrait by Yazmin Martinez. 5. Portrait by Yazmin Martinez. 4.

you and very good table manners, and if you didn’t do that, you’d be pinched, but there are other life skills that I didn’t always pick up on.”

the things they do without her. She’s the first impression and a lasting impression because she takes care of everybody.”

King drove to the Clarksville Walmart for the third time in a week, picking up two carts full of bath mats, towels, mops, and other home goods. Three casts were due to arrive within the month. She drove back over the bridge to Louisville and to the historic WeissingerGaulbert building downtown where actors were scheduled to move in. The WG had charm -- narrow-planked hardwood floors, pedestal sinks, vintage furniture, and floor to ceiling windows decorated prohibition-era.

The pair piled into King’s red Pontiac Vibe and headed back to Actors Theatre. As usual, King talked to the parking attendant as she pulled into the garage. She talked to the security guard when she opened the building’s back door. She talked to the costume designer in the elevator ride to the third floor.

Sterling Franklin, King’s intern, stays in the WG. King gave Franklin the nine-month intern position to learn the ropes of arts administration. Fresh from Western Kentucky University, Franklin settled into Louisville with her chubby dog in tow. Dot King was a comforting face in a new environment, not only for the Actors, but for her intern as well. “I’m like her first lieutenant and she’s the captain,” Franklin said. “I’ve never seen someone have a job that blankets so many aspects. I have no idea how they would do

They exited the elevator and passed gray cubicle after gray cubicle before turning a corner. Around said corner, an explosion of polka dots and ladybugs plastered over gray walls. It looked as if Ru Paul’s Drag Race contestants wielded Bedazzlers and used her desk area as a fabulous target. Plastic drawers contained a spectrum of Sharpies and sticky notes. Thank you notes and scripture cards hung from a clothesline above her computer. Pink rhinestones hot-glued to various surfaces mirrored her sparkly pink Converse. Steelers memorabilia occasionally intercepted the otherwise glitsy environment. They had arrived in Dot King’s office space.

“Every time I’m walking around the building and I look like I’m not supposed to be somewhere because I’m not and I’m lost, I tell them ‘hi, I’m Sterling, Dot’s new intern,” Franklin said “Everyone just lights up because I’m associated with her. It’s like I have a hall pass.” Although King plays a variety of roles in Actors Theatre of Louisville, she’s still a behind-thescenes character. She doesn’t get front row seats or Directors’ chairs, but that doesn’t change the air of authority she holds, nor did it minimize the love and respect the theatre has for her. King never steals the spotlight, but she steals the hearts of those who are in it. “She’s the heart, the go-to girl, an uplifting presence that takes care of everything,” Franklin said. “It’s kind of amazing how she does so much and manages it so well while still wearing sparkles and having polka dots everywhere. She’s the oil that makes the gears turn.”






A JOURNEY TO EMPOWERMENT THROUGH HOOP DANCE. | | Story by Sienna Summers | Design by Vanessa Gregorchik

It’s a misty morning as I awaken to the sun streaming through the forest. I stretch and prepare for the long day ahead. I have traveled to Pennsylvania with my family for a 5-day flow festival. There are nearly 30 classes to choose from today; classes ranging from guided meditations, slackline lessons (similar to tightrope walking), fire-eating, and various yoga, poi (the art of spinning two balls on string), and hoop classes. The schedule tells me there is a core-hooping class following the 7 a.m. yoga I plan to attend, so I grab my hoop and set off down the trail. I gravitate toward the loud dance music coming from a giant white tent . There are twenty other hoopers attending this class, all absorbed in their own hoop dance, warming up for the lesson that we are about to experience. The girl next to me sways her hips to

the music as the hoop rotates around her abdomen. This is the movement most people associate with the Hula Hoop. However, hooping has taken on a whole new concept, incorporating hoop manipulation and dance. In the tent, this distinction is obvious in the advanced moves being performed around me. As the music speeds in tempo, she girl next to me swiftly moves her hand behind her back and gracefully guides the hoop above her; arm outstretched, the hoop rotates around her hand. She brings the hoop down across her front, to her side, and with a swift curve upward, she guides the hoop back across her front to the opposite side. She then turns her body in the direction of the hoop and begins walking through the hoop, both hands at work as the hoop rotates back and forth, her feet stepping in and out of its rotation.

She straightens, standing upright, again, and thrusts the hoop up, about 6 feet in the air. She crouches, spinning around on her knees and catches the hoop isolating it in front, framing her image. This amazing performance is only one of many around me, but the performance aspect of hooping isn’t my prime motivation. Hooping has helped me grow as a person, taking me outside of my regular routine into a world of spiritual insight through object manipulation. It has become a preferred outlet for movement, creation, inspiration, and meditation. Being surrounded by these women (and a few men) under this tent, I feel a sense of community, knowing that they have found this love for the hoops as I have. This empowering experienced from hooping


is what inspires me to advocate hooping as a tool in self-healing for women. Not only is learning and accomplishing moves a confidence boost, but the ability to express myself freely through dance and movement is empowering. I believe the hoop to have many feminine characteristics. The hoop is a circle, with a cycle and rhythm. Women can attune to this cycle and express their own unique dance. The hoop provides a space for women to move freely for themselves. In our modern culture today, many women take on traditionally male roles, hooping is a feminine release, enabling women to move their hips and dance. One of the more prominent aspirations I seek, as a hooper, is the flow it can activate within me. Flow, defined as moving along steadily and continuously in a current or stream, comes naturally within the circumference of the hoop. Much of our society, it seems, has forgotten how to interact with this current, the flow. I have observed that looking for flow outside of myself can result in seeking the approval of others. But the hoop can serve as a self-mediator, a way to reflect and work on myself, a reminder that everything I need can be found within myself. As a kid, play came easily, allowing me to interact in the world with confidence. Children care much less about what others think as they move gracefully through life, doing what feels natural to them. But growing older, the ego incarnates more fully and awareness of the outside world can cripple the once-free spirit. This preoccupation of what others think can become a drain on my imagination and movements can become restricted and controlled. Hooping is a tool that enables me to move freely again, activating my inner child, and re-discovering the flow within myself and the universe. Cultures have acknowledged the power

inherent in circles and spinning. Native Americans use hoop dances in sacred rituals as a form of storytelling. They use up to 30 hoops, creating various formations, symbolizing animals such as the butterfly, snake, eagle, the coyote, as well as the ongoing circle of life. The Sufi Dervishes, derived from a sect of Islam, perform a ceremonial dance through spinning in order to gain connection with god. With one hand upturned to the sky, ready to receive god’s goodness, and one hand turned down towards the earth, the Sufis spin in repetitive circles, a symbolic imitation of the planets rotating in our solar system. In modern-day America, what began as a fitness craze in the 1950’s and became a modern revolution over a decade ago has exploded in recent years to encompass the goals of fitness junkies as much as those of dancers and soul seekers on the path to spiritual enlightenment. “The hoop is a circle in sacred geometry” Robyn Brehaut, founder of HoopBloom and long-time hooper said. “It is a powerful symbol on its own. It represents harmony and bringing things into order so we can make sense of the world.” Through my experience and personal flight time (part of the hooping lingo describing the personal, one-on-one time with the hoop), I have discovered the hoop as an object with its own movement and rotation–it has its own flow with which I aspire to harmonize. Through understanding the hoop’s flow, I have learned to move with it, and established a connection to my own flow. The hoop has served as a tool for teaching me how to move my body again, like a child. Unlike so many other sports and exercise techniques, hooping has enabled me to become my own personal teacher, and the hoop my guide. Hooping creates for me a sacred space, both physically and mentally. Learning to be my own critic and to quiet my mind in order to really gain the connection between my hoop and body, I have discovered what a powerful meditation tool it can be, finding the inner connection through

the hoop. Dripping with sweat, I trudge back to my tent to rest my aching muscles, and recover from a long day of learning and sharing the art of hooping. Detached from my fatigue, I am energized by a new found nostalgia for

“THE HOOP IS A CIRCLE IN SACRED GEOMETRY. IT IS A POWERFUL SYMBOL ON ITS OWN.” hooping. I prepare to show off my new moves later in the evening. As dusk takes over, the forest is alive with preparation for the night. Towering stilt walkers and jestering jugglers part their way through the forest, as the dj’s ready their turntables. Vibrant, rainbow light trails through the dark night. Rave music plays, each beat guiding the flow dance of the hoopers amidst the field. We are in the forest, where women and men are no longer mere mortals, but powerful beings, entwined in light, intermingling with the hoop. The strobing lights and thumping music is mesmerizing, almost mind-altering, and in this moment I know what it means to feel empowered, moving matter to motion. Present in each second, I move freely from a force within myself. In this moment I’m sure — This is my flow.


FEATURE // Issue no. 2




A WOMAN’S WALK DOWN MARKET STREET | Story by Alexa Pence | Design by Josh Svoboda


FEATURE // Issue no. 2


Some names used in personal accounts have been altered for the safety of the subjects One step preceded one-hundred and eighty-eight more. I wasn’t pregnant, but they didn’t know that. My fingers laced his and we walked together, cushioned by the orange barrier of clinic escorts. The escort told me, “Ma’am, you don’t have to answer them, they can’t touch you.” Each of his words broke clean, charged with an unease—as if he were simultaneously comforting himself. The man reminded me of a flight attendant preparing us for a shaky take off. He directed us down the seemingly endless sidewalk, flanked by pro-lifers. Their eyes met ours and each protester perked with vigilance — an activist army of sorts. Their ammunition: poster-size images of aborted fetuses, Bibles, stares, and chants. They closed the gaps around our orange escorts. Their cause was directly polar to the escorts’, and mine was somewhere in between. A woman whispered down my neck that my baby’s fate was death and mine, hell. The chants ranged from encouraging words ending in adoption proposals to frantic commands to not kill my own baby. And then, an elderly woman wearing a teacherly cardigan and frown-lines offered me a free ultrasound. I was almost at the clinic doors, but I answered, “Yes, yes, I would like one.” An escort near the clinic entrance warned me that I would miss my appointment if I went with her. The elderly woman told me he was lying. He told me she was lying.


In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union called the social climate outside Louisville’s abortion clinic one of the worst in the country. Jen Sullivan, patient of the EMW Surgical center can attest to the protests, “We were told to arrive in the parking lot at 7:20am and to walk in at 7:30am. After we parked, the protesters surrounded our car and knocked on our windows, yelling at us, and eventually covered our car windows with posters of aborted fetuses.” 1. (On previous page) A pro-life advocate paces down Market Street. 2. A young girl is approached by a pro-life advocate, who then tells her to go to A Woman’s Choice Resource Center for free ultrasounds.


FEATURE // Issue no. 2

Jen was a young girl — as her mother added, too young to be a mother. The motherdaughter duo traveled hours for abortion services. “You know, I thought I was mentally ready for this,” Jen’s mother, Tammy, said. “I thought my daughter and I were really prepared.” Tammy’s lips quivered uncontrollably. Her hands grappled at the purse in her lap as if it were a last remnant of sanity in an otherwise unimaginable world. “We don’t want to be here. We are making the right choice, but no one wants to get an abortion” she spoke. The hushed waiting room shook with silent nods from partners and parents. She continued, “But when they asked me today if I loved my daughter and if I would kill my own daughter, that’s when I really got upset.” Escorts claim Saturday mornings between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. happen to be the worst for the patients. Anti-abortion activists rally on the street in front of both the EMW surgical center and next door, in front of A Women’s Choice Resource Center, a center that provides women “education and assistance” to the women they serve. But in some cases, the education blurs with

misleading information. In 2006, The New York Times reported that phone receptionists of the clinic had allegedly been tricking patients by answering abortion price quote requests with, “‘It changes, but why don’t you come in for an ultrasound and we’ll talk about it.’” A Woman’s Choice Recourse Center does not provide abortion procedures. One of the alluring services that A Woman’s Choice Resource Center provides is free blood work and ultrasounds. Men waiting inside the surgical center said they were enticed by the promise of free anything. The abortion procedure alone is costly, starting at $600. The EMW Surgical Center is one of two clinics that perform abortions in the state of Kentucky, the other in Lexington. Posts on Redditt have confirmed suspicion that had been lurking around the escort community — that protesters have mislead patients into A Woman’s Choice Resource Center. Jack, partner of an EMW patient said, “I could see how a person who is having problems with finances would go to the other place (A Woman’s Choice Resource Center) to get the ultrasound and bloodwork for free, but all the while, those people (pro-life advocates) are

beating them in the head with propaganda and telling them what is right and wrong for them.” Early in the morning, preachers outside latch wireless P.A. systems to their hips and begin to, what pro-life advocate, Vickie described, “preach by the window—because we’ve found that if you are loud enough, they will be able to hear you on the other side of the window.” Vickie is a regular pro-life activist along with some of her church friends. She’s petite and pregnant—just like some of her fellow activists. “Clinic escorts, they just push the girls along and don’t give them any information,” Vickie said. “People are pushing them in and the people they come with abandon them. People in there shove things down their throats.” Vickie and her companions were not informed of the pre-abortion counseling the EMW offers. Like A Woman’s Choice Resource Center, Anne Ahola of the EMW Surgical Center takes girls into her office and counsels them through the process, asking questions like, “Why is it that you feel like you can’t have this baby?” She reports many times it is an abusive relationship, incest, rape, or financial


ineptitude. “We never steer women to have an abortion,” Ahola said. “They can back out at any time, all the way up to when they are on the table about to be sedated...and we never give a procedure to a woman unless we know for a fact that she has a healthy pregnancy and no harm can come to her.” The clinic does this by examining blood work and an ultrasound. This is not the message patients and patients’ companions hear while entering the clinic. “Dude told me to go next door because they do preparation work for free and started telling us this place had crooks and they would take our money…,” Mason, companion of a patient said. “What scared me the most was when they told me there were two cases who died on the table when getting a procedure and that really freaked me out.” At step 155, the elderly woman walked me past the EMW and into A Woman’s Choice Resource Center. My hand broke from my partner’s. He was hung up outside in conversation with a preacher. The elderly woman guided me into the center. A pregnant mother, about to pop sat at the desk, new on the job. The elderly woman assured the clerk that she had me. “These are the size of your

baby’s feet right now,” she pointed to clay feet of several different sizes. “And this,” she pulled out a little flip book, “this is a photo of your baby once they’re done with it,” she gestured to an image depicting a baby detached of all limbs, a gruesome pile of human parts. She said I would have an increased risk of breast cancer and the high chance of sterilization from the procedure. She said, “Dear, I’m so worried for your safety. They will take you and fourteen other sedated girls into a basement with no windows and if there is a fire, you will all burn to death.” I told her I was going home to mull over my options. I weaseled out the door, her following when the door closed between us. I found my partner’s hand once more and we walked. I took the 190th step, right off the block. In that instant, I broke character. I wasn’t pregnant. Nothing would show up on an ultrasound. I could go home and never take their words to heart. They hadn’t been burned into my mind and the decision altogether just slipped away. I didn’t have to face the decision to rewind ten steps to reach A Woman’s Choice Resource Center or 20 steps to walk

through the doors of the EMW Surgical Center or travel the miles back home to whatever situation brought me to the abortion clinic in Louisville, Kentucky. But 5, 6, some days 19 women face this reality on the corner of First and Market every Saturday morning.


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We offer affordable spaces and we can design your ad for you or use your already-designed ad. Readers, Our next launch party will celebrate the Winter issue in December. Check out

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Aberrance Quarterly would like to thank you for your invaluable contribution to this issue. Jan Winter Stephanie Brothers Gill Holland Liz Palmer James Miller

Dr. Nancy Theriot Dr. Karen Christopher Dr. Diane Pecknold Dr. Kaila Story





A Beautiful Aberration // Issue no. 2









A Beautiful Aberration // Issue no. 2


Mariah Mendenhall Surrounding models (left to right): Tammy Moreira, Alondra Hernandez, Alex Francke, Danielle Dorsey, Sarah Cupkovic, Emma Harris


A Beautiful Aberration // Issue no. 2


Mariah Mendenhall Surrounding models (bottom to top): Alondra Hernandez, Emma Harris, Tammy Moreira, Alex Francke


A Beautiful Aberration // Issue no. 2

Mariah Mendenhall Surrounding models (left to right): Emma Harris, Tammy Moreira




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