I pulled into the parking garage and felt that feeling. It was familiar. I walked into the front door of the hotel and got my name tag. I stared at the large doors that shielded the entrance to the ballroom. It was familiar, too. I walked to my assigned table and looked around the large room full of votive candles and white table linens. All familiar. I sat down at my table and heard the excited chatter around the room. Hugs are given, reminiscing about their families, talking about work. Yes, that is familiar. The event begins, dinner is served…chicken…unfortunately, that is very familiar. It is my time to give my keynote speech. I stand on the stage and look out at the crowd. This room…I have been here before.
Just four years ago, I sat in this room. I was listening to keynote speeches for the Planned Parenthood Annual Conference. I listened and cheered as we were given strategies to increase our abortion numbers. I cried as I listened to Dr. George Tiller recount story after story of how he has been threatened by “anti-choicers.” I clapped as awards were given. I felt a sense of pride as I watched abortion doctors present their strategies on abortion techniques. I was a part of this. I was a fighter…a fighter for women’s rights. A defender of women.