Over the past three months, nearly 150 people have donated to “The Choice,” a short film about abortion stigma. Each donation has brought us closer to our goal of producing a quality, thoughtful film about the choice that one in four women will exercise at least once in their lives.
One donor is an old friend from my days at Planned Parenthood. I would call him a former “co-worker,” but Bernie Klein wasn’t on the payroll. Often, protesters would convene near the property and try to heckle or shame patients. Bernie wouldn’t stand for it. He volunteered his time to escort abortion patients from the parking lot to the safe, welcoming space inside the health center. Over the years, he also recruited, trained, and scheduled all of the escorts.
He did it for nearly 30 years, in rain, sleet, snow and wind. In Michigan, you had to be made of something special to be out there even when the protesters were fainthearted (which was rare). He did it to defend the right to choose. He did it to protect women’s access to safe medical care. He did it to protect their dignity.
Two months ago, Bernie left his volunteer job. But soon after, he popped up again, as a donor to the film. I asked him why, after doing so much for so many women, he thought it was important to pitch in on this project. After all, at age 84, with his legs getting weak, he was certainly entitled to let others take up the mantle. Here’s what he said:
“I felt some guilt on leaving the escort job because I had the nagging thought that I was leaving the battlefield just as the battle was getting worse. I dismissed that thought after talking with my family and being reminded that I've already been defending choice in more ways than by being a health center escort.
“So, my contributions against the war on women`s rights will continue with my continued donations to Planned Parenthood and other organizations fighting on our side. I will go back to writing letters to the editors, commenting on internet articles on the subject, participating in rallies for the cause held locally, writing to my representatives in state and national governments and whatever else I can think of.
“At this stage in our history our side needs to fight, fight, fight, and of course VOTE! A woman’s right to birth control and abortion is in peril and I urge anyone reading this to join the fight. Our future depends on it!”
I’m so honored to have you and Bernie along for this fight. Thanks for your contributions to “The Choice!”
If you would like to know more about the film or donate, click this link . We’re only $4,000 away from our goal!