If you’ve been to a Planned Parenthood health center, it’s likely that you’ve crossed paths with protesters. While the frequency and duration of the protests varies from health center to health center, many patients find them to be very disrespectful and irritating. Further, staff at many affiliates across the country deal with harassment, including hate-mail, harassing phone calls, and in some cases, protesters have picketed outside the personal homes of our doctors and administrators. When I see them, I tend to look through them. I do not instigate interaction, I just take it in stride. We’re Planned Parenthood, the leading provider of reproductive health care in the country: not everyone agrees with unrestricted access to affordable services. I get it, and while I don’t agree with the protesters’ sentiments, it does not dissuade me from donning my nametag and providing quality care every week.
However, there are some folks out there who are sick and tired of the harassment, and they’ve come up with a very clever campaign to counter the intentions of those picketing demagogues.
A friend of mine works for Planned Parenthood of Rocky Mountains, and they’ve initiated a “Pledge-a-Picketer” event, in which people can donate to the organization by “sponsoring” a picketer. Each time a donation is made, a yellow ribbon is tied outside to show the protesters just how much money they’re raising by being there. The hope, of course, would be to raise awareness about the cruelty and harassment our patients and staff encounter every day as they attempt to conduct things like pap smears, picking up birth control, and conducting safe and legal abortions.
Genious, I say! Genious! Further, this sponsorship campaign has made its way to Reddit, and is gaining speed and momentum. You too can donate to this campaign, and show the protesters that we’re here, and we’re not going anywhere (click on donate button on right sidebar).
Have you dealt with protesters outside one of our Health Centers? Would you donate to this cause?