Yesterday Tom and I and dozens of volunteers from Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic joined 500 advocates for Lobby Day in Albany, our state capital. The day began with coffee, as we'd all started out before sunrise, many coming from Long Island and NYC despite the two feet of snow freshly laid down by Winter Storm Jonas, others coming further distances, from Buffalo, Rochester, all over the state.
But to me, as always, the most compelling way to talk about issues was with our stories. As we met with our legislators or their aides, we introduced ourselves by talking about what had drawn us to Planned Parenthood. And the stories, told by people we'd met just hours earlier, poured out. One man talked about deciding to join us at the last minute because he knew he had to make a strong statement to his daughters. One woman told us that her grandmother almost had died from a self-induced abortion. One told us of an acquaintance who hemorrhaged after a back alley abortion. And another told us about being pregnant at age 17 in the 70s; she said her parents would have put her on the street had they known she was pregnant, and she would have committed suicide. But she went to Planned Parenthood, had a safe, legal abortion, and went to Albany as an advocate 40 years later.