“GOOD MORNING, I HAVE SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN,” is probably the most common thing I hear when I exit the building. Instead of heading toward the sidewalk where the protesters stand with signs and outstretched hands ready to jam a pamphlet in my face, I curve around the building, my back to them.
As far as the protesters are concerned, I am a young woman exiting the clinic, the perfect target. They have one task: spread their anti-abortion sentiments. Unfortunately for them though, I work there, and will never be their prey.
The thing is, abortion services account for only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does. 3%.
In other words, a young woman going to Planned Parenthood for say, birth control in order to prevent an unintended pregnancy, will also enjoy the pleasure of being hassled by protesters!
Just last month, a campaign was taking place outside the clinic I work. Larger numbers of protesters stood on the sidewalk, which in turn made patients feel even more uncomfortable than usual. I put on a blue pinny and stood outside the clinic, awaiting patient’s arrivals. I had one job: distract them so they felt more at ease by giving them a friendly face to focus on instead of the judgmental eyes just feet away.
“What’s your name?” one called to me. I did not answer.
“We’re praying for you.” They said over and over.
I wanted to yell back, “Thanks for the prayers!” but I refrained myself. This is where being a passive aggressive person comes in handy. I did not talk back, but stared off into the distance, just above their heads. Anytime I did happen to look remotely in their direction, they would attempt to wave at me and smile. Such friendly people. If only we did not have opposing viewpoints on such a controversial topic.
But see, it’s not that I’m necessarily pro-abortion, I’m pro-choice. I believe a woman should have the right to decide what happens to her body, her life. If I were to get pregnant I want to believe I would choose adoption over aborting the fetus, but you cannot actually know what you would decide until it happens. Until it is real and not just a scenario in your head that you hope you never have to face.
“God loves you very much,” they called to me.
Yes, I do know God loves me, thank you. I attend church every Sunday so I know that already, but of course anti-choice people just assume anyone who would support abortion must be an atheist.
I am a twenty-year-old Christian college student who spends five hours a week at the clinic. Sure, I’ll use your prayers to help me on my organic chemistry exam that day, but I do not need them for my soul, and neither do those who visit Planned Parenthood.