My mother had three pregnancies, and two children.  She had a miscarriage, between my brother and I, in that four year span between our births, there was another pregnancy, another child desperately wanted, who didn’t live to term.

My mother had her pre-natal care, and her post-miscarriage care, at Planned Parenthood.

Because it was the best place for her.  Because at the time, she had a two year old child and a bike and they were living just around that nice little sweet spot between ‘desperately poor’ and ‘almost have enough to consider a savings account.’  And when you are poor, and female, and need health services, Planned Parenthood is there.

And my mother walked past the protesters, walked past the people who screamed at her about not killing her baby, about how she was a whore, and she was going to hell.  My mother, in mourning for a child that she had lost, blaming herself, hating herself for failing at this most feminine of things, walked through that, to care for herself, to get the medical care she needed.  So that someday, two years later, she could have me.

I cannot speak to the courage that must have taken.  But that path is walked by thousands of women.  Every single day.

She donated to Planned Parenthood until her death.  And she said to me, that the people who screamed at her saw her only as a vessel for a baby.  They didn’t care about her, they didn’t care about her baby, either.  They were pro-birth, not pro-life, because none of them would be there after her baby was born, to offer help and support and care. 

The protesters didn’t care about her.  And the medical professionals inside did.  It is the right of every woman to have access to safe, affordable, quality health care, no matter where she comes from, what her income is, or what choices she makes with her life.  And that is what these kind of bills are attempting to take away.