October 20, 2006

Reproductive Rights

I spent a few hours yesterday morning digging through the electrical system of a Planned Parenthood office. I walked in to a vestibule where the windows were all bulletproof glass, it looked like one of those check cashing places in the urban areas - fortified for an assault. Two levels of buzzers to get into first the waiting room, then the offices. Sobering. Those who would use violence against women, the terrorists in a different sort of war, are out there.

I did not find much (sadly) - they had some interference on an ultrasound machine and it's not magnetic fields, it's not electrical. But as I reported my findings, the office manager was relieved. "Two of our staff members are pregnant, and a lot of our clients are as well, and we were worried about magnetic fields". I imagine those who would cast this organization more darkly would not choose to see or hear that sort of concern for life, that sort of reverence for reproduction. I imagine a lot of healthy children come into the world because of the free or subsidized care of offices like this.

I am not a huge fan of abortion. But if we want to reduce the number of abortions, we promote contraception, we teach kids about reproduction, we make safe spaces for women to carry unplanned pregnancies to term, we put in place a safety net for single mothers. The sorts of thing that happen in this office.

As I rolled my tool case out to the car, I stopped back into the managers office. "Thank you for the work that you do here". I do some good things in the world, I like to think. And I am sure my mere existence gets under the skin of some. But my life work does not force me behind bullet proof glass.....

No comments: