Save for a few clips from the most recent Saturday Night Live episode, I’ve been keeping my head buried deeply in the sand lately. NPR has been replaced by music, I haven’t watched any of the news stations, and the latest publication of The Economist sits unopened on the kitchen table. I understand that this is irresponsible, that my behavior won’t change anything, but it does buy me some time to continue processing what has happened and what will happen. It gives me time to sort through all the emotions that I’m still experiencing and try to determine a path forward for myself. It’s also given me a chance to reflect on what a passive member of my community I’ve been and how I can become a more active participant.
With the election of President Trump and Vice-President Pence (I still can’t believe I’m typing that), whether women will continue to have the right to choose has been called into question. And while the war on women’s rights is nothing new, it is felt acutely here in Colorado, where almost exactly one year ago, a gunman fired on Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. I do not live in Colorado Springs, but almost daily I drive by our local Planned Parenthood Clinic. I see the peaceful protestors standing in front of the clinic on the sidewalks, holding their signs and their Bibles and I see the police patrolling in front of the clinic to ensure the protests remain peaceful. As I’m driving by I always have the same impulse, to honk my horn to interrupt the prayer session. But I don’t do it. I never do it. Instead, I make a mental note to donate to the clinic or to connect with my friend who works at the clinic to see how I might help. Again, these items never get checked off of my mental to do list.
Today, I acted. On the Planned Parenthood website, you can choose to either give to Planned Parenthood (they donate half your funds to your local organization and half to the federation) or choose specific giving, which allows you to pick a specific clinic where you would like your funds to be given. In honor of what happened nearly one year ago, I chose to give to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (the only option for the state of Colorado). Honking my horn will only annoy a few protesters temporarily; donating funds will translate into more of the medical needs of my community being met. If you would also like to give to Planned Parenthood, click the link Donate to Planned Parenthood.
The slogan for Planned Parenthood is “Care. No matter what.” The idea behind this statement rings true to me on many levels, not just as it applies to women’s healthcare. We can no longer be bystanders in our communities. We all need to care. No matter what.