My Right to Health, Freedom of Speech and my gyno appointment

So, this blog has mainly been around running, working out and my journey to adopting a healthier lifestyle. What is normally left out of most healthy lifestyle blogs is a large issue – women’s health.

This is not me getting on my soap box and telling you that you need to be either pro-life or pro-choice. This is me getting on my soap box, writing about the jarring and scary experience I just had walking into my annual gyno appointment. This is going to be long – so feel free to skip this post if you want!

The gyno that I know and trust is a physician at Planned Parenthood in Boston. I’ve been going to her since I left Boston University – the first time because I was uninsured, and have continued going back because I believe in the organization. I believe in giving EVERYONE the right to be healthy, have access to a clean and safe health facility, and the right to be seen by a doctor. 

Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down the barrier law – which required protesters to stand 35 feet away from the entrances of Planned Parenthood facilities. Mind you, this was due to physical violence that had taken place around the entrances of these facilities, including a few deaths.

No one should be worried about being shot or accosted while on their way to put their feet in stirrups and have someone peer inside their nether regions.

My appointment was this morning. I had read on the news that this was a win for “Freedom of Speech” and made a mental note to prepare myself for something I hadn’t really dealt with before.

In my mind, I talked a big game – I would snap pictures, take video, talk back to anyone who started getting sassy.

That all changed. 

On my way in, I got out of the taxi a block away from the entrance of the facility. I stopped, to take a picture of the small crowd of protesters. image

There were 7 people outside this facility at 8:45am… defiantly standing inside the yellow line. I thought I would walk in there with my head held high, sashay a little and head right on in.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

When I started crossing the crosswalk, they all started to turn around and look at me. They first started walking towards me slowly, and then when they realized that I was planning on going in the doors, things escalated.

They started getting close to me, and making their way to the doorway.

The lady in pink yelled, “You don’t have to go in there.”

The man in the plaid said “The devil lives in there.”

The main in the center of the photo said “There are other ways. We can offer you freedom of consciousness, happiness and a healing.”

I couldn’t open the door fast enough. It wasn’t until I was going through the standard Planned Parenthood metal detector, that I noticed I was shaking.

The security guard noticed I was a little shaken up. He said that they had been out there since 6am, and also had bothered staff members. 

Here’s the thing about this – everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but that doesn’t give you the right to be an asshole and expect to come out of it with no consequences.

These people are BULLIES. I have the right to see my doctor. I have the right to go and get my lady parts checked out, without some old man telling me I’m going to go to hell. I don’t stand outside their doctors office and bother them when they are getting their annual check up. 

You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to keep my body healthy. We all should have the right to live in peace without being harassed. 

When I left, I actually hesitated before I opened the door to go back outside. I peered out the small window in the door, and noticed these two gentleman (in the bottom half of this picture).


The guy with the fetus sign started yelling. There was a woman who was crossing the same crosswalk I had earlier in the morning. From the door, this was all I could see.

When I opened the door, these two guys started shouting at me: “The Devil is in you now” (um creepy much?), and as I turned to make a left, there were about 10 other protesters, now flanked by reporters, 3 Boston policemen and a lady with a vest on. She must have seen my shock, and told me that she was the “escort” – and she walked me past the protesters and said good bye.

My head was down, shoulders up, sunglasses on.

Then I got angry.

How dare these people make me feel bad about myself. How dare they make me feel uncomfortable going to a damned doctors. You do not have the right to yell at me for not doing anything to you.

You have freedom of speech, not the freedom to be an asshole without consequence. 

The Devil does not live inside me – for right now, nothing actually lives inside of me except some natural occurring bacteria.

For the most part, I’m a pretty decent human being, and I try to live by the “Golden Rule” that you all seem to have forgotten:

“Do to others what you would want them to do to you”

I hope that no one – pro life or pro choice – has to go through what I went through. You have the right to your opinion, not the right to bully. 

So here I am, standing up for what I believe in… and standing up for those who have been accosted, shamed and bullied for simply going to a doctor. 

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