To the sidewalk “counselor” at Planned Parenthood,
Hi there, sir. You probably don’t remember me, but I sure as hell remember you. It was December 21st, 2013, at the PP in St. Louis, MO. I was there for my first abortion consultation.
Imagine this. Shitty, freezing rain day. Eighteen year old girl. Senior in HS planning on college next year. Scared as shit. Barely five weeks pregnant. Sleep deprived. Having such terrible implantation cramping she curls up in a ball every night holding her breath. Nervous and equally scared (but just as supportive) boyfriend and her pull into the parking lot, right in front of the fence.
See, I was relieved because at first glance, there weren’t any protestors out front like there usually were. But then I see you walk up to us, sneakily, behind the fence, in the corner of my eye. You’re older, 65 or so. You say “Good morning guys, Merry Christmas”. I immediately know where this is going, and my anxiety kicks in.
Despite the fact I want to tell you to fuck off at this point, I keep my cool. My boyfriend and I smile, say “Merry Christmas” back. Before we can turn around, you let the bomb drop “Are you parents to an unborn child?” We don’t respond, and I’m sure your soul fills with delight because you get to be the hero of the day. Out of the blue, two PP volunteers come up to us with umbrellas, apologizing they couldn’t be there sooner. We walk away.
You don’t like that.
Your voice gets louder. “We have a free medical bus in the parking lot” (I don’t even turn around, I’m not stupid and know what a Crisis Pregnancy Center is). This annoys you, and as we get closer to the building, you start yelling. “It’s not too late! Do you know your baby has a heartbeat at eighteen days? It has all its fingers and toes?? Did you know….” Your voice is finally drowned out inside.
I always think, what if I was some poor girl on my own, who didn’t quite know what CPPs were? If your free medical bus had enticed me? I know. I might have gone in there. Got a free ultrasound by a lady in a coat pretending to be a doctor. Listen to you feed me lies about abortion. Maybe I would have even kept the baby! You’d promise me free clothes and diapers if I came to parenting/bible classes.
But let me ask you this, where the hell would you be after that?
You’re so worried about me keeping this baby, so I’m guessing you’d help me raise it right? You’d help me pay for childcare and clothes and toys. Help me find my own place and pay rent? Support food stamp legislature so I’ll be able to feed myself? Probably not. You’re not concerned about me. You’re not even real concerned about the five week “child” that’s currently the size of a blueberry.
You want to be able to go around and tell people you saved some poor eighteen year old girl and her boyfriend from killing her child because you told them the “truth”. I’d be one of your success stories. You’d probably tell people and they’d respond with how much of a miracle it was. You’d be happy for me one day and a year from now you wouldn’t remember my name.
Well you didn’t win. You didn’t get what you wanted, and I’m going to guess if you approach other scared women in the way you approached me, you’re not very successful. I terminated the pregnancy a week later and while it was hard, it’s probably the best decision I ever made. In some ways, you reaffirmed my choice.
And for the record, if women want “counseling” about pregnancy, THEY’LL SEEK IT OUT THEMSELVES. And they DEFINITELY won’t go to a 65 y.o. man who has NO clue what its like to be in their situation.
Thanks a bunch for reaffirming my decision,
A Girl Who Didn’t Fall for Your Shit.