After a long break from such activities, I returned to Planned Parenthood this morning to escort clients past protesters.
For the past several years, various anti-choice organizations have staged a 40-day protest at clinics in Houston and Bryan/College Station, and no doubt at clinics in other parts of the country. The first year, they started in August, but in addition to being anti-choice, it turns out they are also anti-heat-exhaustion, so the start date now rolls around later on the calendar. If they could push it back a little farther, that would really be ideal, but it might get in the way of protesting Halloween or something.
The number 40 resonates with all kinds of biblical happenings – the flood lasted 40 days, the Jews wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, Jesus then went into the wilderness for 40 days, etc.
The 40 days protest has been going on since 2004. I guess that means those of us affiliated with Planned Parenthood are either off the hook, as many cycles of 40 days have already come and gone, or we’re in one of those 40 year periods, and after 34 more, our walls will come crumbling down, or we will be smote, or smited, or turned into columns of salt, or whatever punishment is supposed to rain down upon us.
During the next 30+ days, I plan to catalog of the types of protesters I encounter – something like the 7 Faces of Philanthropy. I want to use my nifty new camera to take photos, too, so it will be easier for you to identify these wingnuts. We’ll see how that goes – I’m betting that they don’t like having their pictures taken any more than the clients and staff of Planned Parenthood do.