I work at an abortion clinic, and love my job.

Hey all,

I have not posted in a long, incredibly long time.  I guess posting thoughts online has not been something I’ve made time for as of late, but it seems like a good time to change that.  With recent events, the presidential race, and my overall state of mind, I felt that it was right to share my experiences…hopefully shed some light on a complex issue.  One, I hope, does not have to be complex one day.

I work at an abortion clinic in Colorado.  I’m not going to say which one, in what city, or any specific details because it truly does not matter.  I have been there for over one year now, and truly love waking up and going to work every day.  We have a small staff but a large clinic, and see many patients throughout the week.  Although about 90% of our clinic’s focus is on abortion care, we still have a smaller side of the clinic dedicated to contraceptive and family-planning care.  Needless to say we’re pretty busy.

But, why I’m bringing this up, and why I feel like it’s important to talk about, is that abortion has been attacked a lot more recently than in the past few years, and I really want to know why the hell, in 2016, it is still up for debate?  Why is it, that my job is always on the line of being available or nonexistent even though I’m just there to provide health care?  These are questions I would love for someone to answer for me, because regardless of whether you are against having an abortion yourself, or you think someone should have full access, what you believe should never interfere with the basic right of health care for other people.  Right?  Or is that too much of a considerate thought for humans to respect each other at a basic level?

Every single day, I have patients from all walks of life.  All ethnicities, all ages (of available fertility) from various different backgrounds, speaking different languages, and from multiple financial statuses…all coming in for the same appointment.  They all have different stories.  Some come from difficult backgrounds that don’t allow them to provide for raising a child, some pregnancies resulted from rape, some  from an abusive partner, or some patients are minors that can’t even drive yet.  Yes…there are definitely stories like that.  Those are always the stories people want to hear when they consider abortion as acceptable.  People want to hear a difficult story full of hardship, so as to make the abortion justified.  But what about everyone else?  Actually, to be more honest…what about the other 75% of people that do not have a difficult story, and really just do not want to be pregnant or be a parent right then?  Is that not..ok?

I learned, as I have been working at my clinic, that it really is ok to not have a meaningful story to explain your abortion.  I don’t care.  Whatever reason you made it to your appointment and are continuing with your decision, it doesn’t matter.  No one should ever need to compare your story with someone else’s to see if one is worthy of a procedure over the other.  I will never be able to fully understand the complexities of your life, nor should anyone try to.  And the reason you want to have an abortion is not the main concern – the only thing that matters is that having an abortion is the decision you made for yourself (of course, only for yourself and no one is forcing you to do this).  That’s it.  That is all I need to know.  Unfortunately that’s a fact that took me a little while to completely understand, but I’m glad I did.

Having an abortion is an extremely safe process, whether it is through medication or a suction procedure.  The in-clinic procedure takes about 5-10 minutes for first-trimester pregnancies, and maybe 20-25 minutes for second-trimester.  Our clinic cannot perform procedures past 19 weeks so I can’t comment on third-trimester abortions, but I would definitely check out the documentary “After Teller” if you want more information on that process.  It does not affect your fertility in the future.  You can get pregnant within 2 weeks of having an abortion.  Also, in the rare instances that there are complications, they are almost always solved quickly and safely.  These are facts that people do not know, whether because of ignorance or lack of education.  So please, understand the facts before drawing conclusions on outdated and skewed information.  It is simple, easy, minimal risks, and can be less invasive than most medical procedures people have every single day.

Now, recently there was a shooting in Colorado Springs at the Planned Parenthood clinic.  I know people that work there.  They were there that day.  I found out about the shooting as I was visiting my family for the holidays, finishing some last minute shopping with my mom.  That was one of the most shocking moments of my life.  Not that an active shooter as a possibility is a surprise, but that these attacks have become so close to home.  We have protestors almost every single day and, although for the first week it bothered me, it quickly became an ignorable nuisance.  However, for the past few months, there has always been a small underlying hesitation of…what if?

It is sad to think that people can justify killing abortion providers as a healthier alternative than abortions being practiced.  You’re the murderer, you are killing a life.  In the Colorado Springs case, three lives.

I’m wholeheartedly proud of my job, and love my coworkers that are just as passionate about patient care.  There is nothing anyone could ever do to change my desire to be a part of abortion care, hopefully for the rest of my future career.  It is a medical procedure that should be as accessible as a colonoscopy.  Yeah, no one ever wants to do a colonoscopy, just like no one wants to have an abortion.  But safety and availability is very important for the two.  So please, regardless of your personal opinions, let that be so.  I love my job, let me keep it.

Glamorized Jobs: the “Sexy Bartender”

coyote ugly

So I know I’ve explained earlier that I bartend, and have been doing it for about 3 years now (to some, I’m still an amateur, and I’m ok with that).  And based on my experience, although limited, I’ve seen the glamorization that comes with the job.  For some reason, bartenders are automatically really cool people.  The bartender handles alcohol, is knowledgeable about alcohol, and presents a welcoming personality for the crowd they are waiting on.  Along with all that, it is a customer service position, and it is usually a position filled by someone a bit more outgoing, experienced in life, and easily to talk to.  These are all traits that can obviously seem very attractive to the bar attendees.

However, I still find it very baffling that, regardless of the environment, the bartender comes off as far more alluring than that particular person would be if they were not tending bar.  And this could be alluring in a sexual manner, in a dangerous way, or just an exciting curiosity.  Nevertheless, the bartender is has suddenly elevated in a level of attraction.

I’ve bartended for bars, clubs, strip clubs, restaurants, and catering companies.  You can say I’ve been around a majority of different environments that bartenders would be present.  And, in every single situation, there was not a single shift that went by where I wasn’t talked to by someone with greater interest than is necessary.  This either led to a lengthy conversation about my background, an asking for my phone number, or a questioning of my relationship status.

Now…what leads people to do this?  I’m a moderately attractive woman, no Coyote Ugly chicka, but I have been hit on in random, daily situations on occasion.  But, this never happens nowhere near as often as while I’m working.  When I’m bartending, it’s as if suddenly I turned into Jennifer Lawrence and all eyes on me, when before I walked in the room unnoticed.

With all this, I guess it’s just being in a position of serving alcohol while trying to seem appealing to others.  All the while, working in a position that has been sexualized by media.  Look at receptionists, air stewards, housekeepers, and many others that have fallen in the same stereotype: a female in a position of service and willing to be taken advantage of.  (And, before I go further, I understand this pertains to men in the same situation, but I’m female, so that’s what I go with at first, sorry.)  This creates this allure of being open to anything and everything…at your service.

As much as I love bartending, and still enjoy most of the interactions I have with my customers and co-workers, this never-ending glamorization still bothers and confuses me.  It doesn’t help either that my cousin, a single, older male, wants to become a bartender to meet women, even though he’s had the same secure job for years.  Great, not like people do it for an actual living or anything.

Sex Ed. – Pros and…pros

Growing up and going to Catholic school in Northern Illinois didn’t lead me to the best sex education.  That’s pretty obvious though, it’s Catholic school.  Abstinence or nothing.

However, should that be an acceptable truth?

Now, unfortunately my knowledge of sex education throughout the country in the public school system is limited due to my zero experience.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t all know that the sex education program is either very small or virtually non-existent.

(By the way, this post isn’t going to include discussions with parents and their teenagers.  That’s a whole other animal)

With sex education not being a high priority for high school, even middle schools, people still wonder why there is still a high percentage of teenage pregnancies/abortions?  Contraception isn’t talked about, birth control still has a negative light (also still not covered entirely by insurance…that’s another post), and healthy sexual practices are not discussed to/by teenagers.

Mind you, there are probably some really awesome sex educators out there in the United States, and thank the universe for them.  But man, the experiences I’ve had were laughable.  So we need to do something about this.  Kids need to know what and how to use condoms, and that they are absolutely necessary.  STD’s!!  Holy shit, man.  It’s embarrassing sometimes to think how little people know about STDs and STIs.  Did you know that the majority of the human race carries the antibodies for Herpes? for HPV?  It’s information like this that needs to be getting out there to teenagers.  Also, information like masturbation.  I know it’s taboo to even think about, but hey it’s life.  Everyone does it.  Teenagers should be informed about it – the rights, the wrongs.

Here’s some links for extra info!:

Sex education and its association with teenage sexual activity, pregnancy and contraceptive use.

The most important thing teen girls should do but don’t: Masturbate

Genital Herpes Information

 

 

An interesting photo study on body image [nudity]

An interesting photo study on body image [nudity]

I read this article awhile back and it got me thinking, as was it supposed to.  It’s an eye-opening look into how women see themselves in terms of what they think is wrong with them.  Every single woman had something to complain about, whether it was their breasts, thighs, arms, eyes, what have you.  Not a single woman was completely comfortable in their own skin.  And can you blame them?  With the expectations in society (everyone knows about this, it is nothing new, but still around), and the requirements given for women to be considered beautiful, it’s no wonder they feel that way.  I think about if I were asked “What would you change about your body if given a choice?” and it’s scary how many things pop in my head.  These series of photos are important, and it’s worth reading about.

Also, that’s a pretty great website.