Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Not How It's Going to Go Down

When I moved Mothersville to Cooper Young a few years ago, I knew I was moving into a neighborhood that embraced the values my business supported. These days the store is owned by my best friend, and she recently became very excited about the idea of moving into the larger double bay on the corner of her current building at 806 S. Cooper and sharing the space with Trillium Woman Care. The new space and the partnership with the midwives would help Mothersville serve the community of mothers and support them in their desire to embrace motherhood and survive its challenges.

Unfortunately, it now seems that the space at 806 S. Cooper is to be leased to Life Choices. This is one of those despicable anti-choice organizations that masquerades as a resource to support pregnant women, when in fact its goal is to intimidate and horrify women in crisis into having babies they may rightfully believe they are not equipped to carry and raise. Their website presents marriage as an alternative to abortion. They also encourage men to stop their sexual partners from aborting, no doubt through any means necessary.

When I was pregnant with Genevieve, a crazy woman came up to me once and went on and on about how she "volunteers" to "educate" pregnant women by standing outside abortion clinics and yelling at them. She felt that I would appreciate this because, since I was pregnant, I must share her belief that if I can do it, anyone can. I do not share this belief. She looked at my giant belly and said "Well, I just look at you and think 'if she can do it, why can't they?'" I told her I doubt that most of the scared women and girls coming into those clinics are thirty-something, happily-married mothers of three who drive minivans and have good-paying jobs.

I just happened to receive an email from Planned Parenthood about Life Choices the other day. Here's the part I found especially onerous:

Anti-choice Commercial Appeal columnist Marilyn Loeffel advocates for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in her April 8 column. As a board member of a local CPC, she encourages women facing unplanned pregnancies to visit her facility for "nonjudgmental" education of the "full facts that you need to make an informed decision".
Unfortunately, Life Choices, the CPC Loeffel endorses, neither provides accurate information nor enables women to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Life Choices does not offer birth control or sexually transmitted disease testing or treatment. Instead, it preaches abstinence to women who find themselves already pregnant.
Worse, Life Choices deceives women about the dangers of abortion. Women seeking the full range of options are warned, falsely, of "post-abortion syndrome," despite the American Psychological Association's insistence that no such condition exists.

Marilyn Loeffel is the same idiot who made a stink about the large public art installation at the main library because it included, among hundreds of quotations from a wide range of literature engraved on the sidewalk out front, the words "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." She also snarked that one of the columns included in the installation was "already broken," when in fact the object to which she was referring was a representation of a broken column from a ruin. Not the sharpest crayon in the box, to say the very least. The fact that she is on the board of Life Choices makes me more certain than anything that this place has Got. To. Go.

Life Choices does not serve women and it does not represent the values of the midtown community. I ask you to join me in letting the leasing agents know that Life Choices is not a good fit for Cooper Young. Write to the building owner, Joe Canepari, at 360 Roseland Pl Memphis, TN 38111, and let him know that leasing to Life Choices is going to bring controversy and disruption to his property that will likely lead to Life Choices being run out on a rail and breaking their lease after all the very expensive build-out they are requesting. Contact Life Choices at the link above and let them know they can take it someplace else. Join me in raising nine kinds of hell to keep these people at bay.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sassy,

44-year-old guy here, wife + 2 kids + minivan. Also happen to serve on the board of Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region. Many thanks for your insightful words regarding Life Choices and Marilyn Loeffel!

Melissa said...

Thanks for having the brass to say what we've been thinking but not blogging about.

Rita.the.bookworm said...

Ugh. Good luck with that. We have our own local battle here. Last summer there was a campaign to boycott the shops around the area of our local Planned Parenthood in an attempt to drive them out. So, those of us who support PP shopped more frequently at those particular stores, wearing buttons saying that we were supporters of PP. It's just insane, isn't it? Why can't people just let women take care of their own bodies.

Chip said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip said...

Those folks need to take themselves to Collierville. Maybe the population there would share their views.

warren said...

Good post. I do hope the case is that the building owner doesn't have a clue who these freaks---errr fine folks--really are, and once he becomes informed, will deny them. I think Life Choices know exactly what they are doing setting up shop in CY. These people thrive from all the attention (it motivates their own base) and they have nothing better to do than agitate normal people.

Are the other business owners/organizations in the neighborhood aware of this?

Kristy said...

Based on the way the building owner has dragged this out, I believe he knows and supports what they do. And Lewis and Raspberry certainly know. So much for ethical business practices! In addition to intentionally keeping Mothersville in the dark while keeping them on the hook in case LC fell through, they are knowingly moving the wolf in among the sheep.

I wonder if they will still want that ten year lease a year into a Democratic presidency when their unconstitutional funding gets cut.

Anonymous said...

Sorry y'all are probably realize this but I wouldn't want customers (existing and potential) to get offended by any stance even remotely perceived as being the store's/owner's stance on a controversial issue.

Kristy said...

I can see your point, Laura. However, if basic separation of church and state is still considered "controversial" to some people, and if there are people out there who think that deceiving and emotionally brutalizing women and girls in crisis are acceptable practices, I don't think they would find the store to be their kind of place anyway. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - And see I'm neither intimately familiar with LC's tactics nor PP's. Kudos for shoutin' out though...and, fyi, I'm a college buddy of Melissa' I'm not a total random...and I *will* continue to shop at the store! : )

Anonymous said...

whendy says she knows some lady who started that place (from her past evangelical roots) and that they are coming to CY precisely because they know the views. It is a ministry to them. just curious... Is planned parenthood tax funded too?