Earlier today, I did something that I’d been thinking about doing for months: I paused on the sidewalk outside of my local Planned Parenthood clinic and struck up a conversation with the protestor that stood just inside the gated entrance.
I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous. I’ve had plenty of conversations with anti-choice folks before – after spending two years researching and writing a book about abortion rights, it was impossible not to – but never with someone that was standing silently outside a clinic, head bowed, clutching a rosary. And even though I’d been thinking about just such an encounter for months, I still wasn’t sure where to begin after I actually had her attention.
The protestor was a neatly dressed woman, with a gentle accent that was hard to place. She was soft-spoken and I automatically matched my tone and demeanor to hers as I wondered aloud just what she was looking to accomplish by standing there.