Today I mostly want to share some interesting stuff I read over the weekend.
Before I get to that, though, a quick note about the pain in the ass christened "40 Days For Life" by people with nothing better to do. For forty days (starting last Wednesday), antis will gather outside of women's health clinics to harass staff and patients. They show up at abortion clinics, non-abortion clinics, and clinics that aren't open. They shout epithets and videotape clients and write down license plate numbers and say hilariously ridiculous stuff.
What can you do to support women seeking healthcare and the abortioneers who help them?
-You can check out this map of targets, contact the nearest clinic, and offer to be a patient escort, or to volunteer in whatever other way the clinic needs.
-You can counter-protest, if the clinic is open to it (many clinics do not want to risk escalating the situation).
-You can pledge-a-protester here or here or here. I love this idea because it allows every protester to make a difference -- just not the way they think. You can also simply visit your friendly neighborhood clinic and ask about making a donation.
-You can send a note of thanks to Planned Parenthood staff, or do the same for a local non-PP clinic. This is another small gesture that means a ton to your average abortioneer. You have no idea how much it brightens our moods when a passerby goes out of her/his way to offer us a word or a buck in support.
OK, now for the fun reading:
-Women on Waves, the Dutch "abortion boat" that is currently facing a decision to stop operation, is going to be the star of a documentary called Vessel and the documentary has its own blog.
-The wonderful group CPCWatch has posted a story to their blog, sent to them by a woman who says the crisis pregnancy center she visited before her abortion turned a non-traumatic experience into a trauma. They titled the post "Another reason we do what we do" -- I think we all get reminders like that once in a while.
-I just found the blog of The Cherry Hill Women's Center, where Jen has written a great post, "Annoying Misconception #1: Abortion providers think that abortion is always the best decision." All I can say is, heck yes. This is one of the first misconceptions I came up against in my career, and it still surprises me that people's impressions of this field of medicine is so simplistic. (If anything, abortion medicine is less likely to "push a procedure" on a patient than most other specialties -- specialists are notorious for recommending their pet treatments no matter what their specialty, yet abortion providers are extra-careful not to do so.) Stay tuned for their continuing list of "myths and misconceptions" posts.
-Farther afield but not by much, the Service Employees International Union found that eight states and the District of Columbia allow insurers to consider domestic violence a pre-existing condition. Just thought you might want to know.
-Finally, the Cherry Hill blog pointed me to a really good video made by the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, whom I've always admired because they truly get what "pro-choice, pro-family" is all about. Here it is (and sorry for the size, it won't scale down!):