Friday, October 10, 2008

I Just Want to Say, “Thanks”

I’m in Idaho now.

Seeing protesters outside the clinic reminds me of the importance of my job. I work at Planned Parenthood because I believe in what we do for women, men, and teens everyday.

Because I’m surrounded by like-minded people at work and at home, it’s easy to forget how abortion and family planning are issues that fundamentally divide my community -- not to mention my country, especially now that it’s election time. The physical presence of protesters outside my window, the misinformation they shout through their bullhorns, their grotesque signs -- it all reminds me that I am morally obligated to do this work.

While I can’t know exactly what goes on in the minds of the protesters -- and thank goodness I don’t -- I can imagine how they feel about me, or what they think their protest means to me. I have heard them on the bullhorn, calling for me to come out of the clinic, that it isn’t too late for me to be forgiven for what I have done. They must picture me hanging my head in shame, worried that they might be right, that I am committing sin each day I come to work. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

When protesters show up outside my window, I am immediately invigorated. I hold my head higher. I pull my shoulders back. At their arrival, I am reminded of how important I am to Idaho women. I am reminded of how strong I am. My job requires that I never engage protesters in discussion. But if I were able to say something to our protesters, I would say, “Thank you.”

Thank you for giving me an energy boost.

Thank you for being a source of motivation.

Thank you for reminding me of the dangers of ignorance.

Thank you for rekindling my passion for what I do.

I am Emily X.

I am Planned Parenthood.


stocad said...


I hope you make it back to Washington sometime. Are there specific yellow umbrella events that we can attend?

I keep driving by the local Planned Parenthood here in Seattle hoping to see you across the street from the 40 Day people here, but I haven't seen anyone.


Andrewl said...

Keep up the great work and amazing efforts. As an Australian man who has lived in the US for a number of years, I am still appalled at the level of intolerance and bigotry that the Right to Lifers display. Especially (as you have pointed out) they offer no support services to women in need. Hopefully with the upcoming election, change will occurr that will minimise the influence this minority of religous right maniacs have on government policy.

All the very best


Leah said...

Keep fighting the good fight. We support the services you are providing!

HeidiH said...

Emily- I am a physician, currently working night shifts in an emergency department, Right around the corner from my apartment is our local Planned Parenthood. Today, while out for a bike ride so I could hopefully go back to sleep, to be better able to serve patients late tonight, I passed the clinic. The public sidewalk there was choked with protesters, blocking people from using it. These "prolife" people were literally trying to push me onto a busy street where I could get hit. I guess my "beating heart" is not worth that of the unborn ;) At any rate, I share this to give encouragement, and to let you know my response to their hatred: to log on here and donate. I have also already cast my Arizona vote for Obama. So keep up the work. You have more support and love coming your way than you ever know.

Julie S. said...

I have had three abortions. Not because I am a whore and don't want children as I have three of them as we speak. Only one of which I gave birth to. It almost cost me my life and the life of my baby girl. She was barely hanging on and spent the first year and a half of her life in the hospital with severe illnesses. My body cannot handle the strain of pregnancy. I have tried... I wanted another baby... But the longest I have been able to carry a baby was 9 weeks and 1 day. And at the point that we terminated my final pregancy, I was almost dead. It took only 9 weeks to nearly kill me.

When I went into the clinic that day, I was approached by a protester and told not to terminate my pregnancy. Clearly seeing that I was not well, as my husband had to push me into the office in a wheele chair with myself hooked up to an IV, I looked at her and asked... "If I try to have this baby, are you going to come raise my three children when it kills me?" She looked very somber after that and just let us pass.

I don't think these people understand the severity of the situation when some of use are in despirate need of help. I have since had my tubes tied when it was confirmed that my body would not make it through another pregancy. I love my children, and am thankful everyday that I have my little girl. God gave me one miricle. But blessed me with two more when I married my husband. I am thankful everyday that I had somewhere to turn when I need it. But it makes me hurt when people pass judgement when they don't know whats going on.

Keep doing what you do!!! ITS A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE!!!!!!!!

Kelly said...

In Colorado and at my local hospital we're facing almost the same issue. We have the hot topic of Amendment 48 and the defining of a "person's" rights (i.e. an unborn fetus) plus the very hospital I work at which currently has no faith based ideas, a Catholic agency wants to put A LOT of money into 2 community hospitals. However, then they get to CHOOSE what types of procedures and health care is available to women. My issue is I use Depo Provera for Medical Issues for a Health problem that I have. It's hard to deal with the possibility because of the decision made by the State of Colorado I may become VERY sick because I won't be able to access my medicine through my very own doctor who works at my very hospital. Although I feel that abortion and sexual health issues are a personal choice, just like Hospital Administrators shouldn't be making my health care decisions, neither should this be a National Issue. I have your info posted on my Blogspot (against the ideas and morals of MANY of my friends) but I don't care. If I advocate to people every day to wear your seatbelt, wear a helmet then I'll be sure that people know about the benefits of Planned Parenthood. Thank you for what you're doing. I hope you earn a lot of money. Keep fighting the good fight. PS My vote has also been for Obama and was mailed today! Man do I hope and pray for change!

hugs cause cancer said...

you are one of the bravest women to do what you do every day. thank you for continuing to fight for the rights of women all over america.

poeticajasmine said...

I'd be interested in doing the escort thing here in Portland... Is that an option? Thanks!

Pandora said...

I haven't seen any protestors outside my local Planned Parenthood office, not yet at least...I suppose it's both a good and bad thing at the same time. Good because the patients and volunteers and workers there aren't being harassed, but kind of bad because it won't make any money for the cilnic. XD Are you coming to California any time?

Suep said...

Thanks Emily X. You are a truth seeker. Choice takes courage. You have it...and compassion. Good luck to you - and keep on learning from the protesters - and hope that they start learning from you.


Pynki said...

Ever seen the movie "Dogma". This sort of reminds me of the beginning of that movie with Bethany. Who, if you haven't seen it is Catholic, and works at what she calls an "abortion clinic".
Thank you for working for all the people who need you.

allie said...

Keep up the good work! I support everything you're doing for women across the US! :)

Jessica said...

Your post echoes a lot of the emotions I feel when I come to work at PP too! It makes me that much stronger and prouder every day.

Remember there are PP workers across the nation standing strong with you!

Jan said...

Emily and the other people who have left comments,
I too was once bothered by the protesters. I wondered why they weren't doing something more productive. Why, as one person commented: "offer no support services to women in need." Actually, not all protesters are the same. Some groups do offer support services, and set them up with mentors who help them through the entire process.
Not all protesters are "Ignorant,
intolerant, or bigots"
Just as not all people who work at planned parenthood are the same, not all protesters are the same.

nurse4choice said...

I am not only pro-choice and proud, but a nurse by trade who worked in the industry. I have seen the tactics used by the protester on a daily basis,and it only made me stronger in my convictions. To make sure all women have access to reproductive freedoms.
I would like to end by thanking the women and thier courage,having to over come so many obsticles to obtain thier basic human rights that we are entiled.
Stay strong, and proud.

nurse4choice said...

I am not only pro-choice and proud, but a nurse by trade who worked in the industry. I have seen the tactics used by the protester on a daily basis,and it only made me stronger in my convictions. To make sure all women have access to reproductive freedoms.
I would like to end by thanking the women and thier courage,having to over come so many obsticles to obtain thier basic human rights that we are entiled.
Stay strong, and proud.

Nicole said...

It is difficult to have a strong opinion and stand up for it. I respect you for doing that. I am pro-life...but you won't ever see me screaming with a sign at women who really need support and help. I am also infertile and hope like so many other women with this issue to adopt one day. Please remember that adoption is an option too. I support abortion in life or death circumstances, when there is incest or rape or when the woman is really young and would be harmed by going to term with the baby. I think the fetus is a person. I know lots of people don't agree with me. That's OK. I will quietly and politely express my beliefs with respect and I won't hate you for disagreeing with me. I may even ask you to have a coffee with me and talk about it. :) Emily, I'm glad that you stand for what you believe in with such dignity. I hope I can do the same.