40 Days of Respect-Day 8

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“EMW stands in the void left by the biased small minded legislature of this state. It is the only facility that gives people the opportunity to remain in control of their future.
I volunteered as an escort at EMW for 14 years until Covid sidelined me this spring out of concern for my own health. I saw the pain, confusion and conflict that clients and companions experienced after running the gauntlet of anti-choice terrorists. I saw the professional and empathetic way staff handled situations that would never occur in any other clinic in the state. I am in awe of these professionals who put their own joy and safety on the line 5 days a week.” – Clinic Escort and Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice board member.

40 Days of Respect – Day 3

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EMW Women’s Surgical Center is such a supportive work environment they have many employees who have been there for over 16-20 years. The Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (KRCRC) honored two of them in the spring of 2018.

The full article is below, but this quote really says everything about Anne Ahola, Director:

She handles all those pressures with grace and courage,
setting the tone for all the clinic staff. Counseling– “often
a short few minutes when I can approve, empower, be kind
and compassionate”– is the part of her job that she likes
best. She also appreciates the clinic’s physicians and staff,
and especially thanks the volunteers who escort patients
through the noisy mob of demonstrators into the clinic.
“I couldn’t be more grateful, to everyone who has helped
women and families have a choice in their family planning,”
she concludes.

Dona Wells is retired now, but this quote is one we try to follow:

Dona Wells is a woman of courage—a woman who even in
the face of hostility, hardship and danger works for the cause
she believes in. She has set an example for all of us, and we
must now continue her work.

This is a screen shot of the article, but please follow this link to the newsletter archives of KRCRC. They are valued supporters of EMW Women’s Surgical Center.

40 Days of Respect – Day 2

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The staff of EMW Women’s Surgical Center rely on volunteer clinic escorts to assist their clients into the clinic past protesters. Volunteer escorts are proud to wear their orange vests as they walk people past anti-choice protesters. They know the clinic staff all realize abortion is healthcare and once the client is in the door, they will be greeted by non-judgmental, empathetic staff who will treat them professionally.

One client shared this comment with us this year. Even though 4 years have passed, they still remember the kindness offered to them.

I went to EMW in May 2016, and I am forever grateful for the strength and support provided by the clinic escorts. I didn’t take my decision lightly, but if I had not had an abortion I would have brought a child into a life of poverty and instability. The protestors were horrible and insulting and they don’t seem to care about the circumstances of the woman going to the clinic. I have zero regrets for my decision, and I appreciate every single person who gives their time to protect the safety and freedom of any woman who makes the choice to go to EMW. Thank you

40 Days of Respect – Day 1

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For those who have been involved with Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Justice issues for many years, there is a twice a year event we never anticipate with anything except displeasure because of the stress it causes our clinic’s staff, volunteer agents, clients and their companions.

There is an organization named 40 Days for Life* who has their anti-abortion campaigns twice a year. There is one in the spring timed to end close to Easter Sunday. There is one in the fall timed to end close to November election days. Their organization is now worldwide, but only started in 2004. They only went nationwide in the US in 2007. Their twice a year campaigns are to send out “prayer warriors” to stand outside of abortion clinics 24 hours a day/7 days a week for 40 days. Since this was more than 30 years after Roe vs Wade was decided in 1974, it really makes me suspicious the origins of .these campaigns were politically motivated instead of motivated by firmly held religious beliefs.

They don’t seem too picky where they protest. If there isn’t an abortion clinic nearby, any women’s health clinic will do for their protests. If there isn’t a Planned Parenthood or other women’s health clinic nearby, a courthouse will do. The point isn’t to stop abortions, it is to shame women for taking any part in medical access for reproductive issues. Remember the birth control exemptions from ACA?

We have tried a lot of different ways to bring public awareness to the hypocrisy in their actions during these campaigns. We have had fundraisers during their campaigns. We have had counter protests during their campaigns. This fall, we have decided to take command of the dialogue. We will ignore their harassing presence on the sidewalk.

We are starting a campaign of 40 Days of Respect starting September 23 and ending November 1. Each day of the campaign we will be publishing an article about why we are volunteer agents for EMW Women’s Surgical Center. It is because of our respect for the ethical, compassionate, respectful care they provide for their clients every single day. We will also be highlighting some of the staff of EMW Women’s Surgical Center and the impact they have had on all those who come in contact with them. We will be including statements from organizations who work with the clinic, as well as patients of the clinic. The dedication to quality health care they bring to the community is appreciated by so many.

Today we are starting out our series with our admiration of Dr. Ernest Marshall. We are so honored to have Dr. Marshall as a provider in Louisville. In May 2019, the staff of EMW Women’s Surgical Center were awarded by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) their annual George R Tiller Award of “Attitude is Everything” Award for Excellence.

These annual awards are selected by nominations from all of the members of NAF. The selection is based on the nominations and according to the NAF board, “This award is given each year to one NAF member facility that emulates Dr. Tiller’s excellent and compassionate patient care, positive attitude, and staff cohesiveness.” This award is due to Dr. Marshall’s guidance and dedication over the years.There are two quotes associated with Dr. Tiller. The first one is “Trust Women.” They will know what is best for their lives and deserve respect. The second quote is, “Abortion is not a cerebral or reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart: for until one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all.” Dr. Marshall trusts, respects and understands the heart of a woman and has kept these things in mind over all the years he has provided compassionate medical care to the community. The recognition with this award is so well deserved.

Of course, this isn’t the only recognition Dr. Marshall has received. In December 2015 ACLU ran a series for their 60th Anniversary in Kentucky titled “Faces of Liberty.” Dr. Marshall and Dr. Eubanks of EMW Women’s Surgical Center were centered in one of the profile articles. This quote from Dr. Marshall began the article, “Part of my nature is that every child should have a mother or father that wants them. My mother has had 13 pregnancies…I call it pseudo-slavery through reproduction.”

Compassion for patients, trusting and respecting patients, understanding patients take different paths to their decisions, and believing no child should be unwanted are some of Dr. Marshall’s approach to abortion care. We are so lucky to have him in our city and state.

We hope you like this plan and if you would like to join in our 40 Days of Respect campaign. We are soliciting comments and articles for this series. Please send your ideas or comments to everysaturdaymorning@gmail.com All submissions can be anonymous.

We will not respond to any anti-abortion comments and will block any senders.

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**Links to anti-abortion websites not included intentionally.