Looking for Lincoln: A Portrait of America at a Crossroads || Episode 4

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Looking for Lincoln: A Portrait of America at a Crossroads || Episode 4” – below is their description.

    In episode 4 of “Looking for Lincoln: A Portrait of America at a Crossroads,” Frank Barry drives his RV to an abortion clinic volunteer in South Bend, Indiana as he continues his RV journey across the U.S. In South Bend, Indiana, I meet April Lidinsky, a volunteer at Whole Woman’s Health on the Lincoln Highway, a few miles from campus and the only local abortion provider. Opening the clinic was a years-long struggle against groups that tried to block it, and it remains in litigation with the state of Indiana. Today, a handful of protesters, young and old, women and men, stand outside protesting, or attempting to speak with the women leaving the clinic. April’s role as a volunteer is to help patients enter and exit the facility feeling safe and secure. She’s a professor of women and gender studies at Indiana University South Bend, and a mother of two daughters. “We know that women have terminated pregnancies from the beginning of recorded time, we know that it will continue. Our task is to provide a social context in which women can exert the control that they need to determine the course of their life.” The clinic is there not to push abortion, but “to help a woman reflect. And they want people to feel empowered by the decision that they have made.” When April helped organize the 2017 South Bend women’s march, some pro-life women in the community asked if they could attend. “And I said, ‘Absolutely. This is our march. You want to be part of it, show up.’ So they did.” Afterward, she invited two of the women to her house. “They were very gracious and we had this wonderful conversation. I came in with all sorts of assumptions and said some version of, ‘Well, surely we all agree that South Bend would be better if fewer abortions were needed, [and] we know that means access to birth control and ramped-up sex ed.’ And they were both like, ‘Oh, April, honey.’ It did not occur to me that very well-educated women would not believe in birth control.” She realized: “They are not interested in fewer abortions, they are interested in abolition in the same way [that] I feel about the death penalty. Nobody’s going to say, ‘Let’s get together and make it slightly less terrible.’ No, I’m opposed. It is immoral, it’s unethical to me. And so that’s where I try to understand them. They do believe it’s murder, and I mean … I don’t think it’s killing a baby, but it is stopping a life process certainly the way miscarriages do all the time.” They learned that they had “very little common ground except that we enjoyed each other a lot” — and that was enough to write an op-ed together for the local newspaper describing their experience, and encouraging more people to join them: “Meeting face to face, we must listen carefully, prioritizing the relationship above the message. … This activism involves personal risk; it requires openness to admitting gaps in our knowledge, and our need for self-education. However, it can benefit every area of politics, regarding every difficult and deeply felt issue facing us today. We recommend this work, which is full of pleasure and rich with possibility.”

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