I just want to start with something that isn't about abortion. Since when is Fredericton on Google Streetview?? I spent a good half hour googling all my friends' houses. Creepy? I like to think so. I was sad that they managed to capture the one moment of the day when neither of my cats are in the window. I googled the clinic because I'm quite visible at work; my office window is huge and faces the street. I hoped to catch myself doing something mildly embarrassing like adjusting a bra strap or making a puppet show with the speculums (speculi?), but no such luck. What use is this if it doesn't allow our ugliest moments to be trapped forever on the internet?
Anyway. Clinic was not too bad this morning. The weather was excellent for this time of year - zero degrees! In February! Amazing. The protesters were not out until around 8:00, which means half an hour's worth of patients came in unharrassed. Of course, when the protesters did finally come out they were in top form; I saw Pink Hat yabbering away at people from my window. One of the volunteers tells me that after a woman ignored her advice not to "kill [her] baby" and came in anyway, Pink Hat muttered "Another one bites the dust". These people love drama, and it doesn't get any more dramatic than Freddy Mercury. Trust me.
One woman who had been harrassed on her way in stopped to talk to me as she was leaving. She wanted to know who she could write to about the abysmal situation in New Brunswick, so I wrote out a contact list for her - the premier, the minister of justice, the minister of health, the local paper, etc. She is a single mother of FIVE CHILDREN. Now, I believe that every woman, regardless of her situation, has the right to make decisions about her body, but if I had to hand out abortions on a merit basis, this woman would be right up there. I can't imagine raising five children on my own, and then being faced with another pregnancy. Yikes.
I had a woman call yesterday to make an appointment. She said she had already talked to someone at the "abortion counselling centre" and had another appointment to go there later in the week, but that she had decided to have the procedure and wanted to go ahead and book it now, did I think that was alright? I was like, whoa, what are you talking about? She went to get the counsellor's card, and when she came back she told me that it was Martha something. Crazy Legs. I had to explain to her that the Women's Care Centre was not affiliated with us (something Crazy Legs had, I would guess deliberately, forgotten to mention) and that they were, in fact, anti-choice. The woman was quite surprised by this information, although she admitted that she thought it was rather strange that Crazy Legs was so adamant in trying to convince her not to abort. I told her not to be surprised to see her "counsellor" out protesting when she comes in for an abortion. Honestly, it is so easy for them to trick people! Volunteer AL summed it up best: "That is one of the worst experiences that I can imagine. Going to see someone you think is a professional, and it's Crazy Legs."
So while I'm blogging away, I do want to remind you, if you are an abortion provider or involved in abortion care in any way (as a doctor, nurse, clinic staff member, volunteer, future provider, etc.) to submit your story to the "I Am Dr. Tiller" project. I know it's kind of hypocritical for me to be talking this up since I haven't done it yet, but I do plan to! It is sitting in my inbox; it's just a matter of sitting down and writing it out. Anyway, it's always great to have Canadian voices in projects like these, so get to it!