Recently, Planned Parenthood has been under attack for its ability to provide abortions to women. Politicians wish to pull Planned Parenthoood’s funding, and many anti-abortion protesters picket outside of the buildings with signs saying things such as “Abortion Kills Children.” However, what the people attacking Planned Parenthood often forget is that it provides other extremely important services to at risk women.
A young woman from Portland managed to shut down a Planned Parenthood protest by turning the conversation away from abortion. A few years ago, Mary Numair suffered from chronic yeast infections that let her writhing in pain. She did not have health insurance, so she turned to Planned Parenthood for help. Mary recalled that Planned Parenthood had been helpful in the past, when they had helped her realize that she had a latex allergy, so she strongly supports the work that Planned Parenthood does.
They helped her to resolve medical needs when she could not afford to go anywhere else. After all of the help that Planned Parenthood had given her in the past, Mary was upset to see protesters picketing outside of the local office. These protesters were shaming and harrassing women who went into Planned Parenthood, regardless of what medical needs they needed help with. Mary quickly found some cardboard by a dumpster and used a marker to create her own sign. Mary’s sign said “Dear P.P., Thanks for helping with my yeast infections!”
The sign was decorated with little hearts and a stick figure with pigtails. She began to approach the protesters with her sign, and Mary loudly began chanting about how Planned Parenthood had helped her with her yeast infections. The protesters immediately reacted to Mary, but she persevered despite their negativity. When Mary was called a whore by one of the protesters, she took the opportunity to explain how yeast infections work and that they have nothing to do with sexual activity. Other people passing by stopped to support and cheer for Mary.
The protesters eventually decided to leave because they felt that it was inappropriate for their children to hear about female bodily functions. Mary’s highly effective tactics stopped a protest and hopefully provided new information that could change some of the protesters minds. Mary plans to return to Planned Parenthood and vocally support them when the protesters come back.
She hopes to turn the conversation away from abortion and focus on the importance of a medical office that helps women deal with important medical issues, even if they cannot pay for it. Mary says that “Planned Parenthood is vital resource for so many people. We have to look beyond the pro-life/pro-choice debate and recognize this organization is out there providing some of the most important care to our sensitive medical needs.”