When most people hear the word "Fargo" these days, they might think about the dark comedy by the Coen brothers where a crook ends up in a wood-chipper. But when you think of getting an abortion in Fargo, you're supposed to think happy thoughts due to a feminist group called "Plants for Patients."
Stacy Trasancos at Lifenews.com reported on this group, devoted to comforting women who've had abortions by giving them a plant so they can "bring one life home."
P4P explains itself this way: "The program strives to begin breaking down the social stigmas perpetrated against women who undergo abortion care by leveraging the kindness of strangers to create a community of support."
The group claims to be neither pro-life or pro-abortion but their Facebook page easily gives away their tilt, marveling about how "We had the distinct pleasure of presenting on a panel about art, abortion, and activism at the National Women's Studies Association conference in Cincinnati alongside 4000 Years for Choice and GGBB Guerrilla Girls Broadband!"
Their Q&A includes this elaboration:
Why do you give plants inside abortion clinics?
In our culture, abortion is surrounded by social stigma, shame and secrecy. It's personal and most of the time it's very private. When you consider that medical records are confidential and that many women may never talk about their abortion experience, you begin to see that the only way to reach them, if only to offer them a gift, is by being with them in the clinic or hospital.
Do women actually take plants?
Yes! In fact, since we began offering planters in March 2012 over 1,000 planters have gone home with patients and 15 - 20% of patients have left some sort of feedback about the program or how it affected them. You can read their stories and thoughts about P4P on the What Women Are Saying page.
Here's how Trasancos explored the testimonials:
One woman wrote: “The ability to care for anything provides a woman with a sense of control and empowerment. It reminds me that I can be a kind and nurturing person.” Why didn’t someone tell her that motherhood is empowering and that she was the most important nurturing person to her child?
Another woman wrote, “I feel that the plant will keep me from wondering and that I can care and love the plant as mere memorial.” But a memorial is a symbol of wondering; the life growing in the delicate ceramic pot will be a reminder of the fragility of the life that was in her womb.
Another, “…even though one life may not be able to continue, you give the opportunity to bring one life home.” These are muffled pleas for love. “Perhaps to some, the plant is a tribute to the possibility of the life they decided against.”
....I wonder if the artists and donors ever thought about these women years later, sitting alone with a plant — a living, growing, but inanimate, unloving thing. Let’s work to inspire a love for the gift of life in pregnant mothers, before they become abortion patients.
The same message comes in share-able graphics on the P4P Facebook page: