If Empire Records Was About A Struggling Independent Abortion Clinic -The Toast

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Today is the most important day of the year for the employees at Empire Clinic, a quirky, independent abortion clinic. Can they keep it together long enough to make sure they don’t get swallowed up by D&C Town, a faceless corporate chain of abortion providers that’s taking over the East Coast?

Some of them are in love. Some of them are in trouble. All of them are in it together.

LUCAS: Write slip twice. Put money in the bag.

GINA: Lucas, what are you doing in here?

LUCAS: My life has reached its pinnacle. Joe’s letting me close the clinic tonight.

GINA: You’re kidding.

LUCAS: I am not.

GINA: Big responsibility, Lucas.

LUCAS: Yes. But Joe’s rules are extremely simple. Count money twice, keep my hands off his beer, curettes, and vacuum aspirators. And his drumsticks.

GINA: My, my, how will you remember it all? Good luck. Don’t screw it up.


MARK: We mustn’t dwell…no, not today. We can’t. Not on George Tiller Day.


[A LINE of mostly older women wraps out the door as the store prepares for the George Tiller signing. GEORGE — in a shiny purple blouse — leans back in his chair, grimacing]

GEORGE [to himself]: I’ve been performing vacuum aspirations since before these punk Empire kids could lift a scalpel.

[AN OLDER WOMAN approaches. She lifts her shirt]

OLD WOMAN: Would you…would you sign my endometriosis scar?

GEORGE [forcing a smile]: Of course.


COREY: So today…I will offer myself to George Tiller.

GINA: All right.

COREY: Do you think George is the right guy to perform my first abortion?

GINA: I think he’s perfect for you, Corey.


AJ: I need to ask your advice. You know a lot about — love and women and — that sort of thing.

JOE: My wife left me for another woman, my girlfriend made me leave at gunpoint, and I haven’t performed an abortion since the Berlin Wall collapsed. Does this qualify me?

AJ: Definitely. I’ve decided today’s the day that I’ll tell Corey how I feel about her.

[JOE smirks and turns to leave]

AJ: I know what you’re thinking, but I really am. I’ve been working here off and on for five years, so…I’ve got to tell her how I feel. That I…that I would be honored if she would let me perform her first surgical abortion.

[There is a pregnant pause]

AJ: So…how do I do that?

JOE: You say, “Corey, I’d like to perform your first surgical abortion.” You want written instructions?

AJ: For the abortion? Yes. I’m still a little shaky.

JOE: Fine.

AJ: I’ll tell her this morning.

JOE: Good.

AJ: By noon. Definitely. No. By noon or by 1:30. By 1:37 exactly, Joe.

JOE: Just as long as it’s before her third trimester.


LUCAS: Mark, who’s your favorite abortion provider?

MARK: Axl.

LUCAS: Well, if Axl Rose was driving down the highway, and saw George Tiller stranded on the side of the road, do you think Axl Rose would stop and help him?

MARK: [thinks] Does Axl have a jack?

WARREN: No way, man! Axl would pound on the gas, turn the wheel, take aim, and take that sucker out!


GINA: What the hell is this?

DEBRA: “Rules and standards for D&C Town employee conduct”?

JOE: Put these in the boxes.

MARK: D&C Town? We’re not a D&C Town.

LUCAS: No, we’re not a D&C Town…

JOE: Yet.

MARK: Isn’t D&C Town a chain?

GINA: “No gum chewing will be allowed inside the clinic”?

AJ: They’re turning us into a D&C Town? Why didn’t you tell us?

JOE: Because I was trying to stop it.

AJ: What do you mean?

JOE: I got enough money to make Mitch an offer. He was going to make me a partner. I could have bought him out, eventually.

AJ: You were going to buy Empire Abortions?

COREY: That’s a good thing, right?

GINA: That’ll be fantastic.

JOE: Do you think it’ll happen now? I have pay for what Mr. Brilliant did. It’s over, kids, okay? Mitchell is the man. And “the man” calls all the shots.

LUCAS: Damn the man.

JOE: Let me explain it to you. Mitchell’s the man, I’m the idiot…and you’re the screw-up, and we’re all losers.

GINA: D&C Town abortion procedure must be adhered to. That means…

DEBRA: No Pac, no Dre, no emmenagogues, no abortifacent pills, no stitching your own name in the patient’s endometrial lining…

GINA: “No visible tattoos.”

DEBRA: “No revealing clothing.”

GINA: We’re both screwed.

DEBRA: At least you’re used to it.

GINA: Now, Debra, don’t be bitter. With your ever-growing collection of flesh-mutilating silver appendages, and your brand-new neo-Nazi boot-camp makeover, the boys will come running.

DEBRA: Let’s not fight, let’s just rip. Imagine it’s fetal tissue.


AJ: Hi…what are you doing up here?

[COREY pushes AJ down]

COREY: You listen to me! You’re so special and you’re so talented and you have everything it takes to be a world-class abortionist! You have MORE than everything it takes and you’re REALLY stupid because you don’t know that. And I know you don’t love me anymore, and I know that I blew it but at least I know that, and if you don’t go to abortion school and if you don’t understand how special you are then you know nothing!

AJ: Corey, I…

COREY: And I did want you to do my first abortion, and I still… only I didn’t realize that it really WAS wanting you to perform my abortion because it was more than that and it wasn’t just some stupid feeling in my stomach like everything else and I’ll never love anybody as much as you and I hate you! I hate you!

AJ: Corey, I quit. I quit!

[There is a pause]

AJ: I’m going to abortion school in Boston. So I can be near you.

[AJ performs an abortion on COREY. Their eyes meet. She smiles.]

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