I’m in Yuma, AZ, now.
Typically we don’t have protesters here. I’ve been a clinic health assistant for a little more than six months, now. I’ve only seen one guy who comes by to pray, and I haven’t seen him since this whole thing started a couple weeks ago.
You know, we don’t even do abortions at this health center. That doesn’t keep them from putting their signs in our patients’ faces. They don’t really say anything to us. A couple of them have come inside and asked where they should be going or what they should be doing — as if we are organizing the vigil! We say, “Uh, we have nothing to do with that,” and send them back outside.
In the morning, at the beginning, there were maybe 10 or 15 people out there. And sometimes a bunch of people from a particular church will come. They’ll be there from 7AM until 7PM or so. There are fewer and fewer now, though.
Honestly, they don’t bother me. I really don’t think anything about it. I come in and I do my job. I come to work every day because I love my job. The whole staff, we get along, and we can put a smile on our faces every day no matter if there are people out there or not. We can just brush it off and be there for our patients -- because our patients are the ones that really matter.
Our patients are great, too. Three of them came in the other day and said, “We’ve got your back.” They love us, they love that we’re here and what we do. It’s true -- our patients really back us up, no matter what. And they stand up for themselves, too. We had a couple of clients that came and yelled back at the protesters: “It’s my choice. It’s a woman’s choice. You’ve got to respect where we’re coming from.” And one girl came by and donated $5 -- just because she was passing by and saw the protesters.
It’s funny, because we honestly thought we might have fewer people coming in because of the protests. But we’ve got more patients, more walk-ins. It’s like the protests are drawing attention our way.
In the end, it’s pretty simple — we’re here, we love our patients, they love us. That keeps us motivated.
I am Emily X.
I am Planned Parenthood.