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As my first diary stated, I spent 12 years as a Planned Parenthood employee. My lily pad has been rocking due to the ongoing clatter from the Republican's and their stance on women and their subsequent rights.

This topic has been discussed, diaries are always written with this subject matter and I am no exception.

The difference is that lately I began to see that I have been taking it very personally.

I believed in what I was doing.  How many of us can say that and truly mean it?  I believe that we always need to help or contribute to those basic human rights.  I contributed with my blood, my sweat and my tears.  

Cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other clinics that seek to improve the health care of women?  How dare you GOP!  How dare you Paul Ryan align yourself with someone who probably never had to use a condom cause we know you didn't!

Twelve years!  Twelve years of my life dedicated to assisting women in their choices and in educating them! I croak it again, twelve years.  Yet what really brought me to write this was the memory of a nurse named Anita.

Anita was an older woman when I met her.  She was the patient services coordinator for a Planned Parenthood in Ohio. I worked by her side for those many years and none of the employees including the Executive Director knew just exactly how old she was.

Anita was a registered nurse who also was a retired Colonel from the Air Force.  Once retired and still wanting to serve she landed her wings at Planned Parenthood.  Anita would always say how the young women need our help.  Anita would pat the hand of young women and then in a military fashion she would give them a lecture, teach them on how to take their birth control and wish them well while giving them a follow-up appointment.  In other words she was working the ranks with the rest of us.  She did not sit in an office and review things.  In fact, she did her reading and charting late in the day after working the clinic.

Countless of times and I do mean countless Anita would be on the phone with a patient who couldn't make it to the clinic.  Anita understood the plight of finding transportation and trying to get to the clinic.  Anita would wait at the clinic.  Doors locked and everyone gone for the day, except a few such as myself she would wait for the woman to come, unlock the door, and then into a counseling room they would go.  Imagine if you can someone who looked like your garden variety grandmother talking to you about something so personal as your body.  Imagine having such a nurse, wearing a scrub nursing dress (do they even make these anymore?) calling you dear heart and then asking if you had a way to get back home.  Every one that I happen to see on those late evenings left giving Anita a hug.  

Anita's style of management was military in fashion and then reciting her standard remarks.  You had to do what she asked.  Hell, you looked at her and saw that she could out work any of us. Her favorite thing to say was that many hands make light work.  She left her mark in many a person's heart and she left her mark on Planned Parenthood.

When she passed away years after she finally decided to retire and many of us had moved on either personally or professionally I was called.  Informed of her death and the details regarding her funeral I made my way to the service.  What did I see other than her remaining family?  I saw rows and rows of Planned Parenthood nurses, lab techs, counselors and physicians coming to pay their final respects to a woman who believed in what she was doing.

How dare you GOP for even suggesting and flaunting this issue.  It makes a mockery of those who worked and lived and breathed for the right of all women to have good reproductive health care.  It belittles progress and humanity.  Perhaps if you would have met Anita you just may have opened up your eyes to what is truly right.

Ribit- I dedicate my croaking song to Anita and to Planned Parenthood.  You made a difference in countless of lives and I will keep croaking your praises!

Originally posted to toad718 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 05:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by Personal Storytellers.

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