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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What happened to the clinic?


            I’ve had a few e-mails asking why I haven’t been blogging about the clinic.  This blog is to address those questions. 
            The clinic I was escorting at has been a causality of the anti-choice legislation currently being passed around the country.  It was targeted by extremist organizations, and it was forced to shut its doors.  The circumstances of this closure were very dirty.  The big shots at the capitol of the state just made it up as they went.  One congress person attends a congregation that hosted an organization that is very well known as an extremist organization.  The church settled out of court because another clinic sued them for supporting tactics that were not only illegal, but very dangerous.   This may be temporary and it may be permanent.  I have been very slow to report this because I fear it may make women give up the fight for choice.   
            Prior to the clinic closing we tried to rally support for the clinic, no one responded.  No one cared.  A few dedicated women and men wrote their congressmen and the health department, some with to the capitol, but at the end of the day we needed more, much more.  After it was published in the newspapers people said this is terrible.  These were the same people we had tried to enlist to support us.  It angered us, because they could have possibly prevented the closing had they responded, but they were apathetic.  This left the few of us who were fighting standing very much alone.  We were not able to have the presence we so desperately needed.  The ones, who fought, did so with all they had.  We were unsuccessful do in part to the apathy of people who want the clinic open, but want to do nothing to fight the bullies who want it closed.  
            Fighting doesn’t mean you have to escort, or go to the capitol.  Fighting can be as simple as e-mailing your local representative or writing a letter to the editor in your local paper.  A few people are not able to do it all.  We need the support of others who for whatever reason aren’t boots on the ground. Fighting can be having a conversation with your lunch buddies about the current situation.  The fact is a lot of people are still unaware about the war on women.  A lot of people don’t know what choice is. 
            During my time as an advocate for choice, it seems the greatest threat to choice is the misunderstanding of what it is.  A lot of people really do believe that as a choicer I think all pregnancies should be aborted.  This is not true of me or any of my pro-choice friends.  People think that we celebrate abortion.  They do not understand that we are as equally able to celebrate a planned and desired pregnancy, as we are able to support women who do not wish to continue with an unplanned and undesired pregnancy.  They don’t seem to get that we do not try to choose for the women, we support them regardless of their choice.
            As an escort there have been women who changed their minds about abortion in the clinic.  We all; escorts, clinic staff, and clinic owner, give them our support.  You hear from the staff even on the day the procedure is scheduled “is this the right choice for you”.  No one drags anyone by her hair into the doctor’s office.  Even the doctors don’t pressure women once they are back there.  Doctors especially want what is right for the patient. 
This seems to be greatly misunderstood.  The information about choice is so far from the truth that were I to hear about choice from one of the people on the other side I would be scared of choicers.   As usual the best way to fight ignorance is with education.  Educate your friends.  Educate the men and women you love.  Educate people about the situation concerning choice on a national and local level.  Support clinics in your area let them know you are there if they need you. 
Don’t let apathy be the reason we have to explain to our daughters why they must carry a fetus conceived through rape or incest.   Don’t let apathy be why we lose what our parents and grandparents fought for us to have. Don’t take what we have now for granted.  The next generation is as deserving as we are of safe and legal abortions.  Their health is at risk we must fight for them, or they will return to coat hangers and knitting needles. All women deserve the right to choose what is right for them. Let us not forget the history, let us not forget Gerri. 

PS.  I have another clinic which I am going to begin to volunteer at so more from the front lines soon to come. 

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