Pro-Choice Ohioans Rally Around Local Clinics

Anti-choice Republicans love to pretend like their extreme viewpoints on abortion are the norm and that the majority of American are against abortion. However, the facts show that this is far from the truth. According to the Pew Research Center, 51% of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with 43% who say it should be illegal all or most of the time.

Public polling shows that the majority of Americans are pro-choice and I’ve seen plenty of real-life examples of support from the local community. More and more Ohioans are becoming aware of the harassment and barriers that abortion patients and clinic workers must face every day.

Mark The Protester spends his Saturdays videotaping himself yelling at pregnant women, following clinic workers as they walk from their cars to work, and recruiting unstable men from the drug rehab next door to sneak onto the property and pass out misleading anti-choice literature to patients.

Mark The Protester spends his Saturdays videotaping himself yelling at pregnant women, following clinic workers as they walk from their cars to work, and recruiting unstable men from the drug rehab next door to sneak onto the property and pass out misleading anti-choice literature to patients.

Many people are shocked when they see disturbing photos of anti-choice protesters or read an article about the useless state regulations that threaten to close abortion clinics across the state. They say things like, “I had no idea any of this is happening. How can I help?” These generous individuals from across Ohio have stepped up and committed amazing acts of kindness towards our clinic and patients.

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge these pro-choice heroes and shine a light on the positive responses that Founder's Women's Health Center and Capital Care Network have received from the community.

1. THANK YOU to the men and women who volunteer as patient escorts at Founder’s Women’s Health Center (in Columbus), and at Capital Care Network (our sister clinic in Toledo).

These caring individuals wake up early every Saturday morning so they can be here at the clinic to walk patients through the gauntlet of anti-choice protesters, who use all kinds of manipulative tactics to intimidate and shame these women. Thanks to the clinic's volunteer escorts, our patients do not have to face this chaotic crowd of judgmental strangers alone.

Clinic workers test out the newly donated rainbow umbrellas that will be used to protect our patients from the protesters' cameras and graphic signs.

Clinic workers test out the newly donated rainbow umbrellas that will be used to protect our patients from the protesters' cameras and graphic signs.

2. THANK YOU to Catherine Girves, a Columbus pro-choice activist, who donated FIVE giant rainbow golf umbrellas for the volunteers at FWHC.

Now our escorts will be able to shield our patients from the protester’s cameras as these women are walking into the clinic.

614 Magazine, August 2015 edition

614 Magazine, August 2015 edition

3. THANK YOU to the fabulous feminists who came out to the clinic this summer to “Chalk The Walk” with uplifting messages and images.

Your beautiful, artistic activism was recently acknowledged and celebrated in the August 2015 issue of 614 Magazine.

Photo of Toledo Blade Op-Ed Article by Marina Bolotnikova, published 8/2/2015

Photo of Toledo Blade Op-Ed Article by Marina Bolotnikova, published 8/2/2015

4. THANK YOU to Marina Bolotnikova for writing an op-ed in the Toledo Blade chastising ProMedica for refusing to sign a transfer agreement with Capital Care Network - a simple act that would save Toledo’s last abortion clinic.

She voiced what many in Toledo were already thinking: Promedica has medical, civic, and moral duty to keep the city’s only abortion clinic open.

Pro-choice supporters rally outside of Capital Care Network, Toledo's last abortion clinic.

Pro-choice supporters rally outside of Capital Care Network, Toledo's last abortion clinic.

5. THANK YOU to the Toledo father who donated $1000 to Capital Care Network in his late daughter's name.

According to Marlena Ainslie, CCN's administrative assistant and patient advocate: "An elderly man called the clinic because he read the article in the Toledo Blade and was appalled to learn Toledo is so close to losing its last clinic. So I sat down with him and spoke for awhile about his dear daughter, who he lost 20 years ago. She had suffered from endometriosis, and at one point needed an abortion. He then wrote a $1000 check, to help more women in Toledo access the abortions they need."

6. Finally, THANK YOU to Amy D, a Columbus designer and business owner who sent a fun box of goodies to cheer up FWHC’s employees and volunteers after a really rough week.

Working in abortion healthcare can be a thankless job at times, so this unexpected gift of sassy merit badges and coffee sleeves made the clinic's staff feel appreciated.

The sweet note we found in the box of goodies from Amy D.

The sweet note we found in the box of goodies from Amy D.

The wonderful women who work in abortion healthcare are truly badass feminists.

The wonderful women who work in abortion healthcare are truly badass feminists.

Author: Amanda Patton

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