Finding stuff

Hey! Thanks for checking out my blog. I had my abortion in Dec 2008, so you can find most of the posts about the nitty gritty by clicking on "2008" in the blog archives, and checking out things from there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making the Appointment

This turned out to be harder than I expected.
First thing I did after taking the test and yelling at my boyfriend was call my local Planned Parenthood. I left a message saying I needed to make an appointment for an abortion, and repeated my name and phone number slowly so they could clearly hear everything.
The next morning, I decided to call again, but as luck would have it, my phone battery was dying and I couldnt find my charger.
Later that day I went out to lunch with a couple of good friends, and figured I should call from one of their phones.
We called 411, and for whatever reason, their phone's 411 was set to be in Spanish. And I don't speak Spanish, nor did anyone else at the table. Eventually we were connected to the number anyway, but it was busy, so we had to call 411 again and this time I got the bilingual person who answered the phone to tell me the number so I could write it down.
We tried to call for about an hour, without getting passed the busy signal.
Eventually my friend suggested we just go in person to the clinic and make an appointment there. So we went.
It was in a very ordinary office building, which I liked, because it seemed pretty protest proof. "Smart choice of location," I thought.
There were 2 doors with identical call boxes, and identical door labels which read "Planned Parenthood Suite 400".
I asked my friend, who had been there for gyno appointments many times before, "which door?"
And she replied, "Oh, they are both the same. They have 2 waiting rooms but they both go to the same place."
We rang the little bell and the callbox asked why we were there. Instead of saying something, I simply thought to myself "I hate call boxes, and I am not interested in telling this callbox that I am irresponsible and got knocked up."
So I stood there silently and luckily my friend took over and said "I'm here to make an appointment."
Silence for about 30 seconds.
"Ok," said the callbox,"someone will let you through the other door in a minute."
We stood in the hallway making small talk for about 5 minutes, and then rang the other doorbell. This time my friend started talking immediately so I didnt even have to consider talking to the call box. "We are here to make an appointment," she told callbox 2.
"Ok, someone someone will let you through the other door in a minute" said callbox 2.
If my friend had not been gone to this place before, I would have concluded this was not actually a planned parenthood. Where was my feminist superhero there to be supportive and helpful and empowering and all that? Wasnt that why I had donated $5 per month for several years, even when I was in school and jobless?
I had heard about those fake planned parenthoods that right wingers set up to trick people, and this seemed like one of those. I wasnt expecting flowers and sunshine upon my arrival, but I thought it wouldnt be like... this.
Eventually, door next to callbox 2 buzzed angrily as if to say, "fine... I'm unlocking... but im not happy about it." And we went in. (Yes, I understand that personifying doors is not really sensible, but that is how it seemed.)
It was a small waiting room with a hanful of people reading magazines and a little counter with glass, like at a bank or a liquor store in the bad side of town.
After I stood there awkwardly waiting to be acknowledged for several minutes, I was handed a piece of paper to fill out. Fairly simple- name, check box labelled "new patient." I gave it back to her, and was told to have a seat. I reminded her that I just needed to maked an appointment and she uh-huhed.
So we sat. My 2 friends were sitting across from me and rolling their eyes in obvious disgust of what they were reading. I wanted to see it to, and they brought it over to show me. It was a pamphlet about how many babies had been killed by abortions between 1965 and 2006. It has lists of how many potential hairdressers, priests, and other various professionals we would have if not for abortion. It even said we would have had 2 more US presidents, which made me smile. I think they don't fully understand the political system. We read the 4 page pamphlet about the evils of abortion, including statistics about how many more "abortion mills" are found in low income communities to victimize them.
After about 45 minutes, my name was called. I went back to the window.
"Ok, what are you here for?" She asked.
"To make an appointment," I said.
She looked frustrated, and I bet she often has to work too hard and has to deal with many difficult people. But I still resented her for making this so difficult. "An appointment for what?" she said.
With an acute awareness that everyone in this small intimate waiting room was listening to our conversation, and thoroughly resenting that, I said, "for an abortion."

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