A pro choice meeting was held at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando(1901 East Robinson Street) to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the supreme court decision to legalize abortion in America. There were finger sandwiches and plenty of cake and cookies before the meeting. I must have downed about a dozen girl scout cookies. A sweet old lady names Shirley came up to me and introduced herself. She asked if I was a member of the church and she was warm and welcoming. A crowd of perhaps 30 or 40 people gathered and sat to listen to what speakers had to say. I found it interesting that there was a sign that read, "Republicans for Choice". When a speaker asked how many Republicans were in the room, the blond woman directly in front of me was the only person to raise a hand.
The most moving talk was given by Reverend Roberta of the First Unitarian Church. She relived an experience she had when she was in college. A friend of hers who had never taken a sex education class, ended up getting pregnant. The woman was devastated and decided she had to abort the baby. Back then abortion was illegal but was still being practiced in back alleys. She was told to wait for a car to pick her up at a specific location and she would be dropped off at the same place an hour later. Roberta was in the group of woman who picked the poor woman up. She had been told to only seek medical help if the bleeding became excessive. She was bleeding, but certainly didn't know how to define excessive. She also didn't want to go to doctors who would almost certainly figure out what had happened. Everyone in the car finally decided they had to get her to an emergency room. By this time there was no question that the woman was bleeding excessively. The friend lived but could have easily died that day.
Sue Idtensohn from Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando spoke about how right to life advocates keep chipping away at Roe v. Wade in any way they can. She said one way they found to deal with demonstrators was to have a lawn sprinkler system installed. She said the town tried to limit the days that the sprinklers are turned on. But if demonstrators are on the property, she still plans to turn on the sprinklers regardless. She feels women are entitled to proper sexual health care and advice and they should not have to walk through demonstrators to get it.