I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was on the pill until he found them in my purse.
I went to the Student Health Center—they were completely unhelpful, choosing to lecture me about the importance of safe sex (recommending condoms) instead of actually listening to my problem.
Then I went to Planned Parenthood. The Nurse Practitioner took one look at my fading bruises and stopped the exam. She called in the doctor. The doctor came in and simply asked me: “Are you ready to leave him?” When I denied that I was being abused, she didn’t argue with me. She just asked me what I needed. I said I need a birth control method that my boyfriend couldn’t detect. She recommended a few options and we decided on Depo.
When I told her that my boyfriend read my emails and listened to my phone messages and was known to follow me, she suggested to do the Depo injections at off hours when the clinic was normally closed. She made a note in my chart and instructed the front desk never to leave messages for me—instead, she programmed her personal cell phone number into my phone under the name “Nora”. She told me she would call me to schedule my appointments; she wouldn’t leave a message, but I should call her back when I was able to.
And that was it. No judgment. No lecture. She walked me to the door and told me to call her day or night if I needed anything. That she lived 5 blocks from campus and would come get me. That I wasn’t alone. That she just wanted me to be safe.
I never called her to come to my rescue. But I have no doubt that she would have come if I had called. She kept me on Depo for a year, giving me those monthly injections in secret, helping me prevent a desperately unwanted pregnancy.
I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for the work they do.
March 10, 1993
Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider, was murdered by Michael Griffin, an anti-choice protestor associated with Rescue America, during a clinic protest.
The protesters scream, chant, and wave signs declaring, “David Gunn Kills Babies.” Griffin steps forward from a group of protesters, yells, “Don’t kill any more babies!” and fires three shots into Gunn’s back as he is exiting his car. Gunn dies during surgery at a nearby hospital.
Griffin informs police that he shot Gunn with a .38 revolver he is carrying, and surrenders to police officers without incident. Steve Powell, an employee at the office park which houses the clinic, later tells reporters that the Rescue America protesters seemed “just happy” after the shooting.
Gunn had just opened the clinic a month before, and commuted to work from his home in Eufaula, Alabama. Gunn’s is one of two clinics providing abortions in Pensacola; the city also houses three “abortion counseling” facilities, operated by anti-abortion groups whose objective is to convince women not to have abortions. Gunn has received threats for several years, but in recent months the threats have become more dire.
Recently, anti-abortion group Operation Rescue (OR—see 1986) featured Gunn in a “Wanted” poster (see 1995 and After) distributed in Montgomery, Alabama; the poster included Gunn’s photo, home phone number, and other identifying information. OR spokeswoman Margeaux Farrar says the organization knows nothing about the posters and did not print them. The Reverend Joseph Foreman, one of the group’s founders, says Gunn’s murder is just the beginning if the government continues to try to “silence” anti-abortion protesters. Foreman tells reporters, “I’ve been saying for years that if the government insists on suppressing normal and time-honored dissent through injunctions, it turns the field over to the rock-throwers, the bombers, and the assassins.”
Anyone who supports Operation Rescue supports domestic terrorists. Call them out. Anyone who supports clinic protesting supports harassment and violence. Call them out. Anti-choice violence needs to end.
Dr. Gunn’s commitment to reproductive healthcare will not be forgotten.
"Jane’s voice was almost monotone, her words slow. ‘Sue,’ she said, ‘they’ve shot and killed an abortion doctor in Florida. Dr. Gunn. He’s dead. Murdered.’
I felt my knees buckle, and I sank to the floor, holding the phone, cord stretched, my jaw angled up to the receiver. My mouth was open, but no words came out. I was slumped in that awkward position, shaking, my tears starting to flow when Dad walked in. He turned and looked down at me, startled.
'Shooting us, Dad. Abortion doctor. Gunned down. Dead. Oh no. No. No. No.'”
-Susan Wicklund, This Common Secret
"If Voting DIDN’T Change Anything"
Author’s note: I am not at all implying here that voting alone is sufficient. This is my response to the shallow, societally-damaging, and completely non-historical and non-empirical phrase by anarchist Emma Goldman, “If voting changed anything, it would be illegal.”
Add 3+ million more on expanded Medicare.
The House GOP has no alternative, no honest reasons to withhold health care reform, they just really enjoy symbolic votes to show their jackass voters they will never respect a black president.
"Old white guy" and "painfully out of touch" are the conservative gold standard. War criminal and chickenhawk complete the profile.
Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
53 years ago today, To Kill a Mockingbird was first published.
It’s called Capitalism…
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