I’m in Idaho now.
Seeing protesters outside the clinic reminds me of the importance of my job. I work at Planned Parenthood because I believe in what we do for women, men, and teens everyday.
Because I’m surrounded by like-minded people at work and at home, it’s easy to forget how abortion and family planning are issues that fundamentally divide my community -- not to mention my country, especially now that it’s election time. The physical presence of protesters outside my window, the misinformation they shout through their bullhorns, their grotesque signs -- it all reminds me that I am morally obligated to do this work.
While I can’t know exactly what goes on in the minds of the protesters -- and thank goodness I don’t -- I can imagine how they feel about me, or what they think their protest means to me. I have heard them on the bullhorn, calling for me to come out of the clinic, that it isn’t too late for me to be forgiven for what I have done. They must picture me hanging my head in shame, worried that they might be right, that I am committing sin each day I come to work. They couldn’t be further from the truth.
When protesters show up outside my window, I am immediately invigorated. I hold my head higher. I pull my shoulders back. At their arrival, I am reminded of how important I am to Idaho women. I am reminded of how strong I am. My job requires that I never engage protesters in discussion. But if I were able to say something to our protesters, I would say, “Thank you.”
Thank you for giving me an energy boost.
Thank you for being a source of motivation.
Thank you for reminding me of the dangers of ignorance.
Thank you for rekindling my passion for what I do.
I am Emily X.
I am Planned Parenthood.