Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is what we're here for

I'm here to work. That means making sure that every woman, man, and teen who walks through our doors gets the health care, information, and help they need. And it seems like every day there are more and more people showing up here for just that — to get care they can't get anywhere else.

And then there's them — the anti-choice people who appear at our health centers every year at this time for another round of the "40 days for life" protests. They're not here to work, or to seek care, or to find solutions for the people who rely on Planned Parenthood for everything from birth control to cancer screenings — they're here to intimidate medical staff and harass patients.

I am Emily X, and I've been dealing with these protests for years.

I refuse to feel intimidated by the protesters — but I have to admit they make me angry. It bothers me that Planned Parenthood has to devote our limited resources to dealing with extremists harassing our patients at a time when millions of women lack health insurance — that’s time, money, and energy that should be going to help the people who rely on Planned Parenthood.

So I've decided to do something about the “40 days for life” protests. For the past two years, I've been doing my part to turn what could be a negative into a positive — by blogging. And in addition to blogging, I’m sharing stories, posting videos, and letting you into our world for a month.

And I’m inviting you to turn the anti-choice 40 days of protest into 40 days of fundraising, with our Pledge a Protester program. Your donations will help keep our health center doors open for women, men, and teens in need.

So join me. Stay in touch on the blog, leave me a comment (I love your comments), pledge a protester, send a note to a clinic, volunteer … it all matters. This year, with so much attention on the increasing need for affordable health care, it matters more than ever.

Thanks for reading this. Thanks for your support.

I am Emily X.

I am Planned Parenthood.


Emily said...

hi, i think what you are doing is incredible. i recently volunteered at my local planned parenthood and plan on becoming a social worker. the protestors are horrible and their messages are often nonsensical. i'm going to send your blog around to make some noise. good luck!

Goose said...

Go Emily X! I've been a Planned Parenthood volunteer off and on since the 1980s. It is a wonderful organization that is playing an essential role in creating a sustainable, healthy, and just humanity -- and environment. If anti-choice people really wanted to end abortion, they would join us in teen pregnancy prevention programs, and support comprehensive sex ed. But do they, NO? And by the way, all you protesters out there -- Glenn Beck is not God. I know, surprise.

Faye said...

I would like to picket the picketers. I would like to make a big PROCHOICE sign that is bigger than any others. I just might do that.

The first person to ever mention abortion to me was my mother. She was very committed to the right's of woman. Next time I protest, it will be in her name.

Thank you for staying the fight!

Ann Mitchell Jazz said...

My daughter utilizes the health care services at PP in Rochester, NY. Kerri is also a proud spokeswoman for the area, for she represents many young women that are without health insurance. I proudly donate to PP yearly.... keep up the great work for women! Wilma S.

Regina said...

Hey Emily,
I'm a patient escort, and I feel your anger as well. Its makes me sooo angry that the protesters dont seem to understand that PP does so much for women and mens health. Then they go and call you a name and tell you get a real job and you want to laugh at them. Usually I can ignore them, and my friend and I start to question their fashion choices. It gets us thru the morning.....
Keep up the good work and I'm also going to make some noise about it!

N said...

Amazing post... thank you so much for the work you guys do. It's truly incredible. This world would be a darker place for everyone - especially women - without Planned Parenthood.

Anonymous said...

The first place I ever visited after my girlfriend and I decided to have sex was our college-town Planned Parenthood (Plattsburgh, NY) and the experience was wonderful, warm, and truly understanding of the nervousness of two people exploring. That stuck with me. It has been nearly 30 years and I still use and believe firmly in Planned Parenthood. The service they provide is a light in a world that can often be dark and misunderstood. You guys kick ass. Off to sponsor a protester.

Heather Smiley said...

I pledged.
This is the best way to turn something negative into something positive.
how can you not do it?

Lauren said...

Bravo! We need more efforts like this and we need to make it clear to the militant among the anti-choice, anti-freedom set that we are capable of great strength, grace, and ingenuity in the face of their chaos, lies, and harassment. Thank you for all of your work!

Sue said...

Excellent. My sister works in a clinic and was sharing with me some of what she was experiencing. I offered to come help. When we talk of so called homeland security rarely is it mentioned the hassels and threats that clinic workers have endured for years. They provide so much to so many.

Marie said...

I completely agree with you, when there are so many problems with provision of free health and you have people not wanting to help or thinking that their way of helping is to be negative and inflammatory it only adds more difficulty.

I will read and be following this blog, I will let a worker know how I appreciate their help to me, that what they do does make a difference.

Gail said...

I volunteer at Planned Parenthood. Due to recent budget cuts, the clinic is understaffed. Sometimes we have to tell clients that their wait will be over 2 hours. They stay. They wait. Because like you said, they can't get the services provided at Planned Parenthood anywhere else. Days like that make me realize just how important Planned Parenthood is.

Alison said...

Emily: I look forward to your blog. I also have a hopeful anecdote for you! On Monday, I was driving past my local Planned Parenthood, as I do most mornings on the way home from work. Every time I pass, I think fondly of PP employees, and wince when I see the narrow-minded people who hassle women seeking health care.

I was amazed and touched to find-- standing in opposition to the anti-choice protesters-- two women holding "I <3 PP" and "Honk if you love PP!" signs. They were getting all the smiles, honks, and waves... the poor anti-choice people were huddled on the opposite side of the driveway!