Monday, October 12, 2009

Tempe, Arizona

I work in the clinic here in Tempe, and am one of the few men on staff.

Here, the protesters are a fixture — whether or not it’s “40 Days for Life.” I tell patients they wouldn’t find our facility if not for the people gathered together outside.

“Every village has its idiots,” I say, “and we have ours.”

Last weekend, there were 30 people out in front of the building — more than normal — plus the ultrasound van. The van has mobile ultrasound, and free pregnancy tests — like a “crisis pregnancy center” on wheels, ready to scare women with biased information.

I know it can be intimidating to have to get through a bunch of protesters, but do I think they’re deterring patients from coming in? No.

It’s a year-round phenomenon — heavier on Fridays and Saturdays. There are going to be protesters out there, five or 50, depending on the day and who’s organizing.

If I don’t call the cops once a weekend, I’m surprised. It’s part of my daily routine. I make a point, on the days we provide abortions, to walk out there and make our presence known. We count them, and note if there are any new ones or weirdoes.

I am a soldier on the frontline of what we do.

Typically, I am one of the first people that a patient sees when they come in. Maybe because I’m a guy, they often think I’m the doctor. But when I start talking they realize I’m not. I sit and talk with women, crying women — and by the time we’re done talking there are no more tears. I’m helping them through the process.

I have three sisters, and I know they’ve have some tough decisions to make. So I get up every morning to fight for these women’s rights.

Protesters: 30

I am Emily X

I am Planned Parenthood.

7 comments:

HYuma said...

D,

While reading your story, I had more than tears in my eyes. You're honest and you are real. Woman need these attributes when they challenge an extremely tough decision. Knowing how much you care about PP's mission makes me want to be one of those women who see you first before they finally make their CHOICE.

Peace,
Heather in Yuma

Rev. Martha A. del Rio said...

I would like a "man" to carry a fetus for 9 months at risk to "his" mortality & the fetus. I would futher like that "man" to care (as a single parent) for the child (who happens to be born "handicapped") from birth to age 18 and possibly longer. I am a Reverend of the Divine Feminine whose widowed mom also raised a "handicapped" son & I say it has always been a woman's right to choose!

Denise said...

Thank you. I wish we had more men that understood. God Bless you and continued success!

Denise in Dallas

chercynic57 said...

I have been a volunteer at the Tempe clinic for a while now, and I have to say that the staff at this clinic is dedicated to providing the women of this community with safe and compassionate care, be it for birth control, well woman health care (and men too), treatment for STI's or abortions. It is an honor to work beside such devoted and caring people. Without the Planned Parenthood resources and staff the health and safety of women in this community would be at risk. These people don't just pray for women...they serve them.

KardBored said...

Your post just gave me chills. Thank you for everything you do!

Alice said...

I want to thank you for your PP service and to know that there are men like you who are supportive of women's need for Pro-Choice, is encouraging! I hope that there are more like you out there who choose activism in support of women's right to full access to their health needs.

Alice - Scottsdale, Az.

hdawnivy said...

Thank you for being there and an example that men do care about this as well. Thank you for telling your story and being part of such a wonderful organization.