Friday, February 13, 2009

PP protesters...

Anyone who knows me..knows I am pro-choice. That doesn't mean I am pro-abortion or want there to be any, if not more abortions in the world. I just support women and their right to choose. I understand the stance of people who are pro-life and in an ideal world, I agree with them...but, I also accept we don't live in an ideal world. I don't think I could ever get an abortion personally, but then again...I've never been placed in that situation.

I am a pretty big supporter of Planned Parenthood. I think they do a lot for women. I think they do a lot for the community. I also think they make a huge difference with women in poverty. Some insurance policies and governmental agencies do not provide contraception coverage for women. So, it makes it difficult for women to make responsible sexual choices when money is also an issue. Planned Parenthood provides services to low income women and charges them a sliding scale fee depending on their income. And, they don't just provide condoms and birth control pills...they provide annual exams and screenings as well. I consider the agency a godsend to women in poverty.

Why the ad for Planned Parenthood? Because I am a fan. But, what makes PP even more controversial is that they also provide abortions in the community. They are often the only agency that does. Our local PP provides the procedure. Therefore, we get protesters from time to time. The route from my house to work drives right past the PP...and so I see the group at least once a week, if not more often. It's usually the same small group of people. During the spring and summer months when I ride my bike to work...I often make a comment here or there to them as a ride by. It's nothing disrespectful or mean...just something I want to say. It's usually along the lines of, "Planned Parenthood prevents more unplanned pregnancies than you do." They don't usually say anything back....and I just ride on by. It's just my own way of supporting PP and protesting back.

Anyways...the point of my ramble. There is one man who is always there protesting. No matter how large or small the group...he is there. He's an older man...probably in his 60s. He just sits there, on his knees...with a sign with a bible verse on it. He is always silent and always praying. I'll be honest, he intrigues me. And, of the whole group...he is the most dedicated of the bunch. I've noticed him at least once a week for the past few months. It's been bitter cold and there has been snow everywhere. Because of property laws and what not, he can't be on PP for the last couple of months, he's been on his knees in a snowbank praying outside the building. A large part of me really respects his dedication and his faith. I can't imagine how much physical pain he is in while he is doing that. He stays there for the the pain.

I still disagree with his opinion. I happen to think the women who frequent the PP should not have to walk through the protesting. And, for the most part women who go there are going for services other than abortions. But, to doesn't matter why they are going there, they should not have to walk through a group of protesters making comments about them. But, I will say...I respect that man's dedication and passion. I doubt it is possible, but I'd love to sit down and talk with him. I'd love to hear his life story. If only...