Monday, October 15, 2007

The view from the parking lot

Every morning when I drive into our parking lot, there's a group of protesters standing along the street. Sometimes it's three of them, sometimes 10, once it was 30. As soon as I put my turn signal on, they turn their bodies and watch me park my car. They stand there and watch me, just like this:




Sometimes all I want to do is march over and tell them that we don't even provide abortions at this particular clinic -- when people come to our clinic, they are coming for things like Pap tests or birth control or an STD test. But I know that telling them won't make a difference, they'll still be there every day, trying to scare our patients away and trying to scare me out of serving them. But we're not going anywhere, and neither are our patients.

Protesters: 1 (and a note to the man with the sign -- even if we DID provide abortions, I'd still be driving into work every day.)

I am Emily X.

I am Planned Parenthood.

20 comments:

formerteacher said...

I am glad that there are people like you that will not be intimidated into not providing necessary health care to all women. We have a PP Express clinic in my town, and the horrible, grotesque pictures these people put up are awful. My sons, ages 2 and 4, have seen them and I am afraid they will cause nightmares for them. This is no responsible reason for this type of intimidation! I am, and have always been, pro-choice as well as pro-children. No one WANTS to have an abortion, however it is legal and necessary in some situations. Besides, your care actually prevents abortions which these people do not want to admit. Thank you for all of your efforts to keep PP up and running for all women!

sociallyabsorbed said...

I just wanted to stop in and say Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do and keeping your head up. Thank you for not giving in. It's people like you that help to make the world a better place and teach us all what perseverance is. Hopefully someday the abortion argument will be null and void, and society will just wake up and accept it as HUMAN rights. I know it's probably wishful thinking, but without hope, nothing will ever change.

Amanda said...

Good for you! And the sad thing is that they probably wouldn't even care if you told them what actually went on at that clinic--to them, it's all about control, and access to birth control and out-of-wedlock pregnancies are all in the same boat.

Keep up the good work!

Dan said...

When my wife had her abortion a few years ago, we were so happy with the service provided by PP with that difficult situation we were in. Mind you we already have 3 children, but circumstances made it practical for us not to have the 4th. Anyway, I know you aren't supposed to confront the protesters, but i want to figure out a way to go there and counter their protests, even just once to get even with them. Anyone have any good ideas?

LarryCarterCenter said...

Hello All, I'm a clinic volunteer in Charleston, SC where Planned Parenthood is raising money for a health center, but it is not yet open. The free standing clinic is privately owned yet is constantly under attack by tampon terrorists, as I call them. I escort women & help park cars every Saturday for the last 2 years along with others who've been volunteers, some as long as 15 years. Sadly, the lunatic protestors camped out 24/7 for the first week of this 40 day campaign of intimidation against women. Since the first week, they are there over 18 hours per day. Leaving after midnight & returning about 7 most mornings. Our Catholic mayor & police refuse to enforce the ordinances that require protestors to carry their signs, instead just 3-5 people are allowed dozens of signs & a large banner illegally affixed to a utility pole. Worse, years ago, a special ordinance was passed banning parking in front of the clinic where staff used to park so that protestors would stay across the street. I bought a temporary fence to block their jumping at women just feet away from their cars. The bullying tactics of protestors calling every female a "murderer" entering the clinic have been thrwarted somewhat when we sing over their shouts "Union Maid" & "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie. Best wishes to all in Aurora & readers who defend women's right to choose against the zealots for zygotes.

VeriteBlesse said...

I work at Planned Parenthood too, in Florida, and I just wanted to let you know that I think this blog is awesome. This is a great idea, and it's really cool to see Planned Parenthood workers (some of whom I know!) have a voice. The youtube videos in particular show some really great, strong women and I'm glad that this blog exists. Keep up the good work!

Kate said...

I work at a Planned Parenthood as a Medical Assistant. We provide EC, birth control, sti screens and treatment, school physicals, colposcopies,etc.. but not abortions..(if we did, I'd still work there!) As I was leaving 2 weeks ago, one of our "regulars" had a sign about 4x5 feet stating: "In memory to all the babies that have been killed." He had it set up in the back of his pickup in full view of anyone who was exiting our parking lot. This particular protester feels that birth control IS a form of abortion. The only effective method of countering this type of mentality is accurate and informed education. Every child a wanted child. Every woman in charge of her destiny.

Titty said...

I see them every day to and from school. They stand in the rain and in the cold.

Thank you for doing your part. I support you.

JessieAnn said...

Thank you thank you thank you for all the work you do!

Carrie said...

Thanks for all you're doing! I added you to my blog sidebar.

Jordan said...

This blog is amazing. Thank you.

TidalGrrrl said...

Thank you thank you thank you!! I spent 4 years as a clinic supporter in MN and CA for PP as well as WomenCare, and I appreciate all you do.

barbieiyq said...

THANKS YOU THANKS YOU THANK YOU!

I discuss you blog with my social work friends and we all love it!

oread the SSA said...

I am eternally grateful for people like you. For a long time, I couldn't afford birth control or a pelvic every four months (gee, thanks, HPV / dysplasia! gah.), and PP was the only place I could go to. I got a Take Charge card really easily and was able to feel safe knowing that nothing had progressed to cancer and that I was going to be ok.
A lot of my girlfriends in high school were on Take Charge, which was a wonderful gift to them - most of their parents were firmly against BC and for abstinence. With that tool, they were able to finish high school go on to become EMTs, nurses, engineers, and even organic farmers. Without it...I'd hate to think of where they could possibly be.
I will always love the brave women at PP.

Ashley said...

I got pissy with some protesters when I went to get my IUD a few months ago. As I walked in, one yelled at me not to kill my baby, and I stormed over and said evenly "I am here for a pap smear and an IUD, you idiot. I mean you don't MIND if they check to see if I have cervical cancer, do you? Not everyone who comes here comes for abortion. Some of us with no insurance needs some affordable healthcare!"

He backed off, but then wanted to know what an IUD was and I told him it was birth control and he got to yell to my back as I walked through the door about how evil it was to circumvent the will of God concerning conception, the usual....

On the way out I told him when he grew a uterus, then I'd be happy to hear his opinions on Planned Parenthood, I'm sure it will be interesting.

Probably not at all productive to the situation, but it still felt good.

Ashley said...

I got pissy with some protesters when I went to get my IUD a few months ago. As I walked in, one yelled at me not to kill my baby, and I stormed over and said evenly "I am here for a pap smear and an IUD, you idiot. I mean you don't MIND if they check to see if I have cervical cancer, do you? Not everyone who comes here comes for abortion. Some of us with no insurance needs some affordable healthcare!"

He backed off, but then wanted to know what an IUD was and I told him it was birth control and he got to yell to my back as I walked through the door about how evil it was to circumvent the will of God concerning conception, the usual....

On the way out I told him when he grew a uterus, then I'd be happy to hear his opinions on Planned Parenthood, I'm sure it will be interesting.

Probably not at all productive to the situation, but it still felt good.

FEMily! said...

I think you should tell them that your Planned Parenthood doesn't provide abortions. You're right that it won't make them go away, but at least they'd feel stupid along with looking stupid.

This reminds me from when I was VP of my college's Gender Equality Club. The club's president organized a meeting with the director of the local Planned Parenthood, and one member refused to go because she's very much against abortion (I'm still not sure why she was even in the club). The PP director said that her clinic doesn't provide abortions. People are just so ignorant of what Planned Parenthood actually does, and they don't know that they can use Planned Parenthood's services to their tremendous benefit. Not every woman walking into a PP is getting an abortion. Most are preventing pregnancy.

susie said...

Thank you for this blog. I hope millions of people read it. Thank you for your work, and thanks to all the Planned Parenthood people all over the country.

In 1965 I was 21 years old. I had had risky sex for 4 or 5 years. That was because I was trying to be a good Catholic and I knew that planning to have sex, and thus getting birth control up front (if I even could, my only choice was to buy a condom, which I couldn't do anyway), made me a bad person. I was still bad when I had sex, but at least I didn't plan it. LOL

But I finally became responsible when I gave myself a good talking to and reasoned, I'm going to have sex again, I shouldn't have a baby, I don't want an abortion (even if I could get it, which I couldn't), therefore, I need birth control.

Specifically, I wanted the new birth control pill because that seemed the most reliable. I wasn't allowed because I wasn't married. (But it didn't matter what kind -- I wasn't allowed any form of birth control because I was a single woman.)

It didn't matter that I was over 21, either. Even when I lied and said I was married, I was asked to bring my marriage certificate. This happened in two different states. Fortunately, I was finally able to visit the Bay Area and while there I found a Planned Parenthood clinic, and I did finally get birth control pills. I will always be grateful to Planned Parenthood.

I support the organization financially when I can. But I'm vociferous always whenever the subject comes up. I remind people that most organizations against abortion are also against birth control (even if they try to hide this). I ask people, do they really want to go back to the times when getting birth control was illegal?

Please, everybody, keep fighting for your rights, and young people, don't be complacent! Illegal birth control could be in your future!!

alfagrrl said...

I am a Catholic, I believe that life begins at conception, and I support a woman's choice. The government has NO right to intrude in this area; neither do our partners, parents, friends, etc. I have taken a friend to have an abortion; I have also helped a friend who decided to keep an unplanned, originally unwanted, child. Thanks to your organization, both of these women's lives, and countless others, are protected in our society. We need to provide access and information; but most of all, we need to provide support and encouragement. Women need to recognize that we are all connected, even if we (luckily) never face such a choice.

Donna Barr said...

No, life does not begin at conception -- the egg and sperm are already alive. What the protesters MEAN to say is, they believe the SOUL begins at conception. They should at least get their own concepts right.