In the wake of the horrific murders at a Planned Parenthood medical clinic in Colorado Springs, more and more people have been speaking out in support of the clinic. Though the clinic mostly just provides health care to underprivileged women, it has always been hated by religious extremists, since some Planned Parenthood clinics may do a few abortions. According to a former worker at a Planned Parenthood in Kansas, the facilities regularly deal with all sorts of attacks that are trivialized as harmless pranks.
During her three years of working at Planned Parenthood, Bryn Greenwood got used to dealing with harassment. In addition to constantly being called a “murdering whore” and receiving death threats, there were many physical attacks. Gasoline was poured under the back door and lit on fire multiple times, harmful and caustic acids were dumped into the ventilation system, cherry bombs were left outside of doorsteps, and windows were shot out. Greenwood rightfully calls these attacks terrorism, since it was violence committed to fulfill an extremist, political agenda.
It is telling that many of the attacks against Greenwood and her colleagues were sexist in nature. They were often called whores or jezebels for daring to work at a facility that supports proper sex education. Sadly, even in modern times, some people continue to try to suppress women by attacking their sexuality.
Instead of researching Planned Parenthood and understanding how helpful the facility is, many people just chose to instantly resort to personal attacks. Throughout all of the attacks, the community did not support the Planned Parenthood clinic. Instead, pro-life protesters would harass and taunt staff members as they tried to clean up the vandalism.
Though the many attacks could have potentially killed people, they were dismissed as pranks by discontented citizens. Greenwood and her coworkers constantly had to deal with all of this, but their clinic did not even provide abortions. They were being publicly harassed as “baby-killers,” but all the clinic did was give physical exams, pregnancy tests, STI treatments, and birth control. Violence against Planned Parenthood clinics and other abortion providers had calmed down in the past decade, but there has been a huge increase in attacks lately.
In July, a group that calls themselves the Center for Medical Progress released videos that claimed Planned Parenthood staff sold organs to profit from aborting babies who were old enough to live outside of the womb. Though these videos have since been proven to be false, the harassment continues. In order to stop these cruel and harmful attacks, it is necessary for conservatives to quit demonizing the clinic.
In the wake of the shooting at Planned Parenthood, many people are calling for Republican candidates to apologizes for constantly making inflammatory and untrue statements that make Planned Parenthood appear to be a monstrous baby-murdering factory.
As Greenwood’s story shows, it is essential for the public to be properly informed about Planned Parenthood’s real actions. They provide many different medical services for women who could not otherwise afford to go to a doctor, and the staff should be applauded instead of harassed.