It’s March – Women’s History Month! And looking around, I just had to speak up about parts of our past that seem to be repeating themselves – and not the good parts.
What a year it’s been for women – Can you remember such negativity in the air? It’s in the Senate hearings. It’s all over the House. It’s in the news. It’s right outside of my window today here at the clinic in the form of parents who are making their 10 year old handicapped boy hold a “Smile! Your Mom chose life.” sign on a Tuesday morning. (the negativity is obviously the parents, not the kid.)
Most recently, the national prejudice against women who step up to make their own decisions came in the form of a personal attack on my work by a national, notorious “anti-abortion” group called Operation Rescue. (Notorious, because they’re directly linked to such big-media abortion stories as: The murder of Dr. George Tiller, 2 years ago, and the conspired gasoline-bombing of a clinic.)
Operation Rescue President, Troy Newman, claims his sole purpose is to close abortion clinics. He came from Kansas to put all eyes on Texas abortion clinics. He sent a few 19 year olds to dig through our dumpsters, pretend to be our patients, record private phone calls, snap cell-phone pictures of the inside of our clinics and generally conduct very questionable, very poor “investigations.” Their goal was to make abortion clinics look dirty and criminal. They tried to cast shame on us, and shame on each woman who enters our door.
Let me get one thing straight. I am not scared of Troy Newman, his 19 year olds, or his allegations – and neither are any of my co-workers. These guys have less credibility than, say, a used car salesman at a Ferrari dealership.
What I am saying is that what they’ve done to the clinics that I work for, and to the 7 other clinics in the state of Texas, is wrong. What they’re trying to do to the women of Texas is wrong. No matter what mud slinging is thrown at us, and against us, I know that what we do is good work for women and their families.
– We have beautiful staff members with giant hearts who look into the eyes of a woman and let her know that someone in the world trusts her and supports her dreams and her decision.
– We work to raise money for women who are in need of help to have their abortion, through local and national abortion funds (who also do some pretty amazing work, themselves.)
– We have beautiful clinics with rooms dedicated to and decorated for women who inspire us, like Frida Kahlo, Alice Walker and, (yep), Queen Latifah.
– We listen to each woman and each story we hear is compelling. Each and every woman who comes into our clinic ultimately makes this personal healthcare decision on her own, after consulting with whomever she chooses. Sometimes the women we see need a little extra help, and in those cases, we offer further resources, referrals and support.
Our work is filled with people offering a renewed sense of purpose in women’s lives. It’s support. It’s access. It’s giving a woman a way to have control over her own future. It’s pro-family. It’s pro-LIFE and pro-LIVING the way that makes you happiest. It’s respecting women who have both a past and a future, feelings and emotions, hearts and minds.
So, for everything slanderous that’s said about abortion, the field, our clinics, our patients and our staff, I want to show you what’s real, good, and true.
This is what they’re afraid of you seeing. This isn’t gross-out medical photos, accusations, dumpster-diving or a big biased report with the intention of shame.
This is what really happens in an abortion clinic.
This month, I’ll be doing an investigation of my own by travelling to our clinics in the state of Texas to show you what’s often forgotten – the people, the patients and the good work that we do.
This is what happens at Whole Woman’s Health. Stay tuned!