Welcome to the Family Planning Association of Maine’s new blog — On the Front Lines. The launch of OTFL on this date is not a random occurrence. We have consciously chosen to start our new blog in conjunction with the “40 Days” event that was launched today just outside the front gates of our Augusta Family Planning Health Center.
Starting today, for the next 40 days, the usual twice-a-week protests will become a daily reality for FPA patients and staff. For the next forty days, each time any of us come into or leave the building, we will be the targets of angry shouts and sign waving by anti-choice protesters.
Experienced FPA staff members tell me that dealing with the harassment on a daily basis, for forty days, is very different than facing it just twice a week. You see, this will be my first experience working at a family planning health center during the siege that I like to call 40 Days of Lies.
Over the next forty days, I’ll be sharing stories and reflections with you through On the Front Lines. I’ll probably share some of what’s happening outside our front gates but mainly I want to share what happens inside the walls here at the Augusta Family Planning Health Center. That’s the story worth telling — it’s the story of real people, doing their very best under difficult circumstances.
Because, as I mentioned, I’m the newbie here at the FPA, I’ll be relying on the expertise and experience of other staff and of our medical providers. Some of them will write as guest bloggers while others will give me tidbits to include in my own entries. I know you will find their stories and reflections moving and inspiring.
Today, we also launch our Pledge-a-Picketer campaign. This campaign gives our supporters a chance to take their frustration at the “40 Days of Lies” protest and turn that frustration into tangible support for reproductive health care services in Maine. You can learn more and become involved at Defend the Truth.