I am a reverend, and I am part of the Planned Parenthood family. I serve on the board of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. My wife and I are proud donors. With our daughter, we have lobbied, marched, spoken at press conferences, served as escorts, volunteered in the clinics, helped with fundraisers, and served on committees.
We do it all because we are committed to human freedom and dignity. We believe that in order to be fully free, women must be able to choose if, when, and with whom to have a child. Planned Parenthood is the champion of reproductive freedom.
We do it all because we believe that sex is a wonderful part of being human. Planned Parenthood provides the knowledge and services that we need, that our children and grandchildren need, to enjoy that gift.
The people who have stood outside the Aurora, Illinois, clinic almost every day since the doors opened 14 months ago, seem to believe in something very different. There is usually just a handful, though on special occasions the numbers swell to a dozen or more. Sometimes they are quiet and law-abiding. Sometimes they are vocal and abusive. Occasionally they overstep the boundaries — though careful to avoid actual arrest.
I am sad for them. They could accomplish so much with that much energy and commitment. I want to take them with me to the programs I work with that help survivors of domestic violence; or to places that shelter families that are homeless; or to the centers that provide early childhood education; or to recovery programs for ex-offenders. That is what it means to me to be “pro-life.” My message to the protesters: “Please, get out of the way of people simply exercising their legal right to medical care. Go out and do something that actually brings life to someone else.”
I am Emily X.
I am Planned Parenthood.