Earlier this week, I did something I never expected I would do. At least, not spontaneously.
I’d had a doctor’s appointment for something extremely routine after I got out of work. This particular provider is a specialist and I had to travel to nearby Big City to see him. Nearby to this office is the local Planned Parenthood. I knew this more as academic fact than anything, though I knew a few people who went and stood outside to simply pray or distribute literature once in a while.
On my way home, I had to drive past the building complex where PP is located. Outside, in the rain, was a middle-aged man carrying a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and an elderly woman with a sign that said “Abortion Hurts” with a picture of a young woman and the name and number of a local pregnancy crisis center. I don’t know what possessed me, but I pulled into the parking lot, got out, walked over, and asked if I could join them.
They asked nothing of me beyond my name, if I was familiar with the 40 Days for Life campaign (I am) and if I was affiliated with any church. I stayed with them, and another woman eventually joined us, for about 45 minutes. It was rush hour, and there was a lot of traffic at the 3-way intersection where we stood. The reactions we got from people were interesting. Many people honked horns or waved. Many would not make eye contact. One woman leaned on her horn, flipped us the bird, and screamed at us. I can only guess what she was saying, because she didn’t roll down the window. So because letter-writing is so popular these days…
I will not pretend to know your story, or why you chose to make the remarks to us that you did. I could presume to know, considering that you were pulling out of the Planned Parenthood patients’ parking lot, just as you may have presumed to know our stories as we stood in front of the sidewalk of that same building. The thing is, neither of us knows the other, so both my silence and your actions are moot points.
What we cannot deny is what goes on in the building behind us. We cannot be okay with what is done to women and their children within those brick walls. We can no longer allow “reproductive health” or “choice” to be euphemisms for pain and murder.
What I can no longer do is stand aside and let these things slide. Please look beyond the politics to what you are supporting. Those people on the street are waiting for you with open arms and open minds and open hearts.