Hearing the news of Dr. George Tiller’s murder on Sunday was sobering. The news brought back a wide-range of memories and emotions for me.
In the early 90s, I had the privilege of working in public affairs at Planned Parenthood in California’s central valley. As I think back, it hurts to remember how under-siege we were. Yet, at the time the things that are stunning to me today, were common place.
We were trained by the local ATF on how to spot mail bombs.
We were advised to set up our offices to ensure that our backs never faced the door as we worked — we should always be sure to see who might be coming at us.
Every week, I left work with a trunkload full of clinic defense supplies because I was on-call should protesters attempt to blockade our clinics.
There were silly moments. One day I discovered that someone had taken the time to actually remove a pro-choice bumper sticker off my car.
Then there were terrifying moments. I actually attended an Operation Rescue “undercover.” As I sat in the back of one of the local churches in Fresno, I listened to national Operation Rescue leaders preach hate against the brave health professionals who cared for the women and delivered sex education in my community.
I am up late tonight watching The Rachel Maddow Show and am grateful that she is discussing this subject in depth. Though I don’t have a national platform like Rachel Maddow, I am thankful that I have this blog to thank her and the countless numbers of care providers and educators who work day-in and day-out to make abortions safe, accessible and hopefully, unnecessary.
To do my part, I’m off to make some donations to Planned Parenthood and Medical Students for Choice. I hope you will too.