The first thing that dropped out of the Christmas card was a front page torn from The Flint (MI) Journal of September 5, 2013:
ABORTION CLINIC CLOSES; ONE REMAINS IN AREA read the banner headline at the top of the page.
My friends keep track of things for me. News and notes get saved — sometimes for three months — because holiday cards are still my generation’s catch-up communication of choice. Who went off to college, got married, landed a new job, took an exotic trip, (got sick or died) — news of the old year comes with good wishes for the new. This year’s news, for me, tended to focus on reproductive rights. Thus the clipping from The Flint Journal (on whose payroll Bud Johns appeared as a kid, and a young reporter.)
The story wasn’t one that would have made lasting news much beyond Genessee County, Michigan. An ugly report about a woman saying she was “forced” to have an abortion, a lawsuit, and that was the end of the Feminine Health Care Clinic.
It’s still possible to obtain an abortion in the area, though obviously now more difficult. The closing of FHCC brought the number of abortion-providing clinics in the area down from four not long ago to, currently, one. And that, according to Flint Area Right to Life Director Judy Climer who’s been leading this effort, “makes us feel we’re on the right track.” Climer’s track leads to total denial of abortion access. And the interesting point of the whole long, sad story is summed up later in the article:
Lori Lamerand, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan points out toward the end of the story that all of these things “were not done solely in the best interest of the patient.”
This week will bring more cards. Next week will bring a new year. If miracles happen — and isn’t this the season of miracles? — the new year will bring some sort of rational public dialog about protecting the patient, i.e. pregnant woman, while somehow respecting those who blindly hold that her fetus is all that matters.
Miracles do happen.