Post # 1
All of the recent threads concerning this subject have inspired me to start this thread.
I never sought out to specifically work at a clinic, but it just ended up happening that way since I knew one of the doctors pretty well. I worked there part-time during undergrad and it was an experience, to say the least. I loved the people I worked with because they were like a second family to me and they are what made going to work every day enjoyable.
Obviously I am pro-choice, but being in that environment daily can be emotionally and mentally draining. I’ve dealt with protestors screaming horrible things at me as I would walk in, thinking that I was a patient. I’ve had them scream horrible things at me knowing I was an employee. All of the employyes, myself included, have been photographed, video taped, and have had our license plates photographed. Protestors would show up with regularity and would even bring their kids on the weekends.
I never felt completely safe going to work when I knew they would be there and I hated that they try to make the employees feel terrible for being there as support for these women. It was at least rewarding when patients expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation for helping them through such a difficult time. Of course we had patients who automatically came in with chips on their shoulders because of the hard situation they were in, but we had to remember to look past that tough exterior and realize that it was coming from a source of hurt over making this decision.
Overall, I am glad to be out of such a negative, hated profession. I do miss the people I worked with and the patients who were truly grateful, but I am relieved in a sense to no longer be working in a sad and discouraging atmosphere.
I could keep rambling, but feel free to aks questions and please keep it respectful. If you don’t agree with me having worked there or with my views, I understand. This is meant to give everyone insight into the actual profession and behind the scenes.
Post # 3
I’m pro choice, but I could not imagine having that as a job. =/ I cant imagine the emotional drain it would cause.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley
I remember driving by a clinic on my way to work a few years ago. 3-4 days a week there were people outside protesting as early as 6AM… I always thought about how horrible it would be to work there… Let alone be a patient. Ugh.
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2014 - TTC #2
@Missanon22: It must have been horrible due to the protesters, but don’t forget you’ve made a huge difference in the world!! Throughout your work you would have saved some women’s lives and livelihoods, some women’s futures and dreams, and saved relationships (including with parents). But most importantly you will have saved some innocent children from being born into a world where they wouldn’t have been loved, where they wouldn’t have had a fair start in life, and might even have been born into a family of abusers. But yes, I’m sure you’re glad to be out of there!
Just out of interest, what was the oldest patient you had?
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2013 - A court...
Ugh can’t imagine 🙁 & this is I don’t like pro lifers. You never see someone who is pro choice telling women getting an abortion is the way to go, they just support you if YOU feel that way… What were your favorite & least favorite memories while working there? You mentioned you loved your co workers & protesters were less than pleasant but anything specific ?
Post # 7
I’m from the US originally, but I had my termination in Germany where I lived at the time. It’s so sad to know there’s another reality out there filled with privacy, dignity, and safety that so many women will never experience.
There is no such thing as an abortion clinic there. I went to the same gyno (she was an OB/GYN) I always went to. We already had a realtionship (I was young. Not her fault I wasn’t being safe). There were many happy women in the waiting room, some of whom were there for ante natal care. No one was the wiser, and I recieved after-care over and above.
There are massive legal differences. It’s a process that involves manditory counselling and a waiting period with a strict cut-off date (first trimester in the case of a healthy mother and fetus and no criminal circumstance). But, I have to admit as much as my gut reaction says “on-demand!!!, no restrictions”, I can’t help but think that perhaps if the US had begun with this more moderate approach it might not have turned into this never-ending polarised sh**storm. I was very annoyed having to wait three days and go to Pro-Familia, but very happy to have not witnessed what you did every day you worked there.
Thank you for sharing your experience. (Incidentally, I live in Ireland now. From the sublime, to the ridiculous in terms of abortion stances. Oy vey…)
Post # 8
@Bette_Noire: Those anti-choice people are very militant, to say the least. They don’t want restrictions on abortions; they don’t want abortions, period.
Post # 9
Pro-life protesters must iive a sad little life if that’s what they consider a good thing to do. It must be nice to go home and really feel like you’ve made people feel like shit. What a good thing to do.
Post # 10
@Missanon22: I had an abortion 6 years ago. I was (and still am) so grateful for people like you that made it bearable during an otherwise horrific part of my life.
Pro-lifers have always astounded me. Their logic is flawed. In their belief that everyone has a “right” to live, they are forgetting another basic “right” we all have: the right to make decisions about our own bodies, based on our circumstances and our experiences. I would never feel like I was qualified to make a judgment about someone else’s body.
Post # 12
@MrsYoshida: I think 47. We had a lot of older “fertile Myrtles.”
@atreyu547: My most favorite memories were the staff parties. We had a birthday party for the 65 year old receptionist and brought in a stripper dressed as a firefighter. She thought he was doing a routine inspection. It was great.
My least favorite memories probably inolve the protestors and include having my picture taken, being told I was going to hell, that I work for blood money, and generally just feeling like it was a burden going into work.
One of the most notable memories I have is during a procedure a patient was uncooperative and generally hostile throughout the whole time in the clinic and accused the doctor of being a racist when he told her to calm down and sit still. He is far from a racist and I’ve never seen him as angry as he was after that.
Oh, can’t forget about the time that a woman’s boyfriend/baby dad was trying to force her to have an abortion. She passed a note to the receptionist that she needed help and wasn’t really there for an abortion. As soon as she came back into the clinic (only patients are allowed back there), she told us that he threatened to shoot her if she didn’t have an abortion and that she was really, really against it. We called the cops and they apprehended him in his car in the parking lot and turns out he did have a gun on him. That was scary because earlier he was sitting in our waiting room and could’ve easily shot up the place!
Post # 13
The most despised protestors were loud and obnoxious. Particularly there was a family (mom, dad, 2 teen kids) that would drive a truck covered with pictures of dead fetuses and all kinds of ‘abortion causes breast cancer’ things on it. They parked right in front of the clinic. They also used a megaphone to get the patients inside the clinic to hear what they had to say. The son was the one who videotaped people and they would also go and protest at one doctor’s home.
The sad thing is that we had a private duty officer there every weekend (which is when most protestors came) and they said nothing could be done legally to make them stop all of their ridiculous nonsense. We actually had patients too scared to come in for fear of having their picture taken and posted online (which these ppl did do.. I saw mine on their site) and just scared in general to pass by those intimidating people.
Post # 14
I’m going to be the only pro-lifer commenting so far. I have been at those clinics, and have not once seen the situation you are describing. When I have been there, a big group of pro-lifers would SILENTLY pray across the street, and a couple trained counselors would approach the women walking into the clinic and hand them literature about other options and tell them that they would help them find resources if they wanted to choose to parent or adopt rather than abort.
I’m not saying you’re lying about how things were where you are, but it is absolutely not true that that is how all pro-lifers are, or how all pro-lifers approach ministering to people outside of abortion clinics.
I’m also being trained to work in a crisis pregnancy center and they train us to be so compassionate, non-judgmental and encouraging to women who come to us for help. We do their pregnancy test for free, ultrasounds for free, and talk to them about their options. We make it clear that we do not promote abortion but do not pressure them either way. We run programs where we provide parenting classes and, in exchange for them coming to the classes, they “earn” baby clothes, car seats, cribs, diapers, etc.
Pro-lifers DO think that abortion is ending a life and that is why we feel strongly about it. But the majority of pro-lifers are out there really trying to make a positive difference in the lives of women who find themselves in a difficult situation and offering professional help, financial help, and emotional support. It’s not fair to portray pro-lifers as a whole the way you are portraying them.
Post # 15
IMO protesting harassing people getting a legal medical procedure should be considered harassment and illegal. If I stood outside a church and protested people going in, I’m sure I would be escorted off the property. Can I protest outside a cancer clinic because I believe chemotherapy is morally wrong?(Obvi I don’t) No. These people have no buisness being there. It does nothing to further their cause.
Thank you for putting up with the hard and scary stuff. Women need a choice and without people like you there to support them it would be a lot harder than I’m sure it already is.
Post # 16
I am pro-life, but I would never tell someone what to do with their body. My mom worked in an abortion clinic when she was younger and said she felt so awful for some of the women. Some wanted the abortion and others were forced by their partners. Whatever the choice is the woman should be comfortable with it! Obvioulsy, its a big choice.