Friday, May 13, 2011

Bomb Threat: Do You Tell Your Kids?

Dear Parents/Parents-to-Be/People Involved in Little People’s Lives, etc:

Remember when you could go wherever you wanted on a whim? Go out with whoever you wanted, whenever you wanted? Remember when you got a bomb threat at work and felt the only person you had to protect was yourself? Yeah…me, too!

Bomb threats and other security issues make things a little more complicated at work when you’re a sassy daddy or yummy mummy. It used to be that you just had to consider whether to tell your BFF, your partner, or your family. Now you have to wonder if you should tell your kids or not. Or maybe the neighbors or your kids’ teachers. Yeah, it’s complicated. And I often think about Dr. Tiller and others and wonder how they talked about it as a family (or did) and if they had to make contingency plans and how they handled it and how their kids felt.

Our doctor is pregnant. It’s her first child and we recently had a series of bomb threats at work. Fun, I know. So, obviously, a lot of us have been on edge. Our doctor has definitely kept her cool, but since I’m a parent too, I just couldn’t help but be curious about what’s been going on in her head. We had a nice chat during lunch yesterday and she admitted that it’s been sobering to put her now ill-fitting bullet proof jacket on while looking at her growing tummy. We’re not best friends, so I was expecting her to tell me her deepest thoughts or anything, but I was grateful for her frankness and though regular staff don’t have to wear bullet proof jackets, some of us have been more reluctant to drop off our kids at school in the morning…

I haven’t told my kids anything and I haven’t figured out yet when or if I will. I don’t know what the line is for me (but I know I need to figure it out). Some of my co-workers have told their children and most of those kids seem concerned. Some are begging their parents not to go to work. Though I think it’s a very personal decision when and who to tell, I think the severity of the threat might help warrant when to tell your kids. If it’s on the news or you’ve got police/Federal Marshal protection going on, then it’s probably smart to tell your family. At the same time, hopefully parents have devised a plan on how to support their kids, answer their questions, and allow some kind of outlet for them to talk (maybe agree on your kid being able to talk to at least one other person outside the family). It’s already stressful for us abortioneers and knowing others’ feelings about it – though important – can make it more stressful. Especially if there is pressure to quit. One of my co-workers did just do that. She’s a new mom and just was simply not willing to risk her safety or that of her family. I’d be lying if the thought hasn’t crossed my mind, either.

All I know is that we need to be better at supporting abortioneers duing security threats. They’re fucking scary and they can scare the shit out of families. I feel like I have to be strong and not act scared or worried (at work AND at home) and that’s not easy. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I can’t show any vulnerability or else it will look like I’m not a big enough abortioneer…that I’m not ‘down with the cause’ enough …and that if I voiced my worries, I’d look like a traitor. Or, I’d look like someone who is “just a worried mom” and “overreacting.” Maybe if we parents could talk more freely about how it is scary to get bomb threats, we’d help break some kind of stigma about what it takes to be a “good” abortioneer. Or maybe I’m just being a sensitive mom….

...What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I dunno! I don't have kids yet, but it sounds like pretty scary territory. If only Dr. Tiller had written a book....

    It's hard enough as it is on kids when mom or dad has to leave for work, but when you add the burden of knowing that something bad might happen it's got to be heartbreaking for the parent. Whatever you decide, bless you for the courage to protect your babies the best way you know how.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.