On October 16, 2010 at an unspecified time, a group will gather together in front of the Planned Parenthood located at 18585 Coastal Hwy in the Midway Shopping Center. What is their purpose? To hold a public rosary against choice, against religious freedom, and against the secular community.

     A church service has NO place in front of a medical facility and is not fair to the patients utilizing the facility that day. While this group wants to portray their presence as a peaceful one, the ultimate goal is shaming and intimidating women away from utilizing the many reproductive health services Planned Parenthood provides.

    If you live in Delaware, stay tuned. I will be creating facebook events to help organize counter-protest. For now I am seeking someone who would be interested in counter-protest efforts at this location. Contact via email (40days4choice@gmail.com), leave a comment, or on twitter @40DaysForChoice.
 
     The Anti-Choice community in northwest Arkansas said prayers were answered when the Fayetteville Women's Clinic announced it would close July 31. What was ignored was the reason for this clinic shutting it's doors. Was it because the clinics head doctor realized his "wicked ways" and decided to repent? Hardly. It was because the practitioner in question needed to focus on his battle with cancer and his family. Apparently, a dire health crisis and a father needing to focus on his family is a "gift from God" and a reason to rejoice.
     This is hardly the end of the story. The Fayetteville Women's Clinic was one of only two clinics in Arkansas. The remaining clinic to perform surgical abortions is located in Little Rock. Arkansas has been transformed into another Mississippi: a state where woman's access to reproductive freedom is incredibly impaired and incredibly unfair.
     Not only has the anti-choice community decided to treat this man's cancer as a blessing, they will be holding a rally outside the closed clinic in "celebration".

We need a strong pro-choice counter-presence available at the former clinics location: 1011 North College Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 10AM. At this time many involved in 40 Days for Life will be holding a "celebration" of Dr. William Harrison's cancer. Please comment here or email 40days4choice@gmail.com if you would like to spearhead a counter-protest in less than a week.
 
     A lesser known, but highly effective form of counter-protest is as simple as raising funds for the cause being attacked by the other side.
     This idea was inspired by many different people. First, I viewed a video of a man who organized a fund-raising effort during some anti-gay hate-speechin' by the WBC. He raised money for organizations WBC exclusively singles out for harassment disguised as free-speech rights (while they have their right, the should uphold the responsibility to not ABUSE their freedom of speech and hurling slurs and hate messages at ANYONE is abuse.) Next, was an sizable donation made by @GuerrillaLogic to the National Network of Abortion Funds in the name of a very anti-choice twitter user.
     Instead of escalating the noise outside of clinics, lets encourage bystanders to donate their spare change to the clinic under attack. Or better yet: get individual sponsors for your own pro-choice demonstration/counter-protest. Simply have donors pledge a certain amount of money for each day a pro-choice volunteer is working to help ease the burden of clinic harassment on the patients. Or formulate your OWN counter-protest/fund raising plan!

     In the coming weeks (soon I hope) 40 Days For Life will be updating their clinic listings which will then result in a complete update of my own clinic listings. I will also begin to contact clinics on the list to alert them of OUR motives in helping them overcome the increases in harassment, as well as provide you with detailed information on how you can help at each clinic.

     Here is my ultimate goal: I would like to have individual volunteers who would be interested in running counter-protest/fund-raising efforts at their local clinic. I will ask each volunteer to sign a pledge of honesty and integrity and will require the volunteers to check in via email about their progress as well as provide proof that 100% of funds raised are donated to appropriate agencies. (I promise this wont be as obnoxious as it seems. I just do NOT trust the anti-choicers who frequent my twitter account to NOT stoop to such a level of deceit)

I will post as soon as I begin looking for local volunteers.

Please leave any thoughts, suggestions, or perhaps any online resources that will make organizing fundraising MUCH easier :)
 
First, I want to say a HUGE thank-you to EVERYONE who has helped promote the twitter account AND the page! I could not do this without you!
Second, I want to say this CAN NOT be done without you! I need you to email or tweet any info you can that will help me improve the site. If something seems lacking TELL ME, if something is wrong TELL ME, if you want to complain about something on the site DO NOT HOLD BACK! I did not create this site to stroke my own ego and feel pride in doing something small.

Which gets me to the reason for this entry: Why I Started this site.

Aside from my obvious pro-choice stance, I started this site out of compassion for ALL WOMEN.

Most of the organizations and medical centers that offer abortion services offer a wide range of reproductive health services  to the local community. Interestingly, though in no way surprising to me, these medical offices often are the main source of health care for those who need affordable health care. Keep this fact in mind as I paint a picture:
You are a poor woman who cannot afford health care. A short walk or bus-ride down the road is your local planned parenthood. They offer affordable pap-smear and other gynecological testing, affordable birth control, and tons of valuable health information. To get your yearly pap-smear you have to walk past a crowd of people, often loud and shouting at you but sometimes peacefully praying. When they are loud, they suck. It hurts you. They have NO IDEA what you are doing there yet they are 100% comfortable judging you as a god-less, sinful person. When they are quiet and praying, the judgment is still obvious and still hurtful.

I created this site to help that woman access the clinic with an ally. I created this site to bring extra clinic escorts and volunteers to clinics under the constant assault of judging eyes/voices. I created this site to bring awareness to clinic harassment being about MORE than an exercise of ones 1st amendment rights; it's about intimidating and shaming women away from practicing their own rights to privacy.

I encourage you ALL to share your stories with your volunteerism or with visiting one of the many clinics targeted. Please visit the blog and share your comments on the blog.