by Ericka Stephens-Rennie
I step into the elevator exhausted and press the button for the ground floor. The elevator is slow and creaks as it begins to move. I turn to check my hair and make-up in the mirror on the back wall. My hair is a mess; I quickly redo the loosely tied bun.
Groan, clink, clink. The door opens. I step into the lobby of the Morgenthaler Building and it is then that I see them. How could I not see them?
There are about twenty of them. A random collection of individuals, some as young as a few years, others old. Mostly women. And mostly white.
The signs are also white. White with black letters. Big. Pray for Abortion. Bold. Abortion Kills a Living Baby. Black. It’s a Sin! Letters
I take a breath.
Then I push against the door and exit the building. As I leave, one of the women raises her sign and averts her eyes from my face.
And I think, What would it be like to exit this building if I had just had an abortion? I have just spent the last forty-five minutes in a gym on the second floor of the Morgenthaler Building – a building that also, on the third and fourth floors, houses the Morgenthaler Clinic which offers abortion services.
Walking away, I feel sick. I feel judged. I feel as though I want to run across the street and show them my gym bag, prove that my messy hair and exhausted look is due to exercise.
I want to pray for them.
I want to pray with them.
I want to pray for the women I sometimes meet in the elevator who push the button for the third floor.