Last September, “NBC Left Field” covered a story about a woman who used to protest against abortions, to working in a clinic that provides them.
The story covered the woman’s journey and how she ended up changing her views.
Growing up Sarah Haeder was indoctrinated into a very religious family. Her grandparents would take her along to campaign against abortion clinics.
Haeder said, “I thought I was doing the right thing.” She recalled, “I remember sitting on panels at church camp, telling everyone women don’t deserve a choice. And now here I am, helping them make the decision.”
Haeder, who is currently pregnant, is now a nurse at Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, North Dakota. There she supports women who want to terminate their pregnancies legally.
Abortion is legal in all the states, however, it’s still a controversial issue in the US. Families have been torn apart and the fight against it has even led to murder.
Haeder recalled how Dr. George Tiller was killed in 2009. He was a well-known doctor who conducted late-term abortions in Kansas.
His death made Haeder question her beliefs for the first time and in college, she started questioning her anti-abortion upbringing. In her mid-20s she found herself needing to terminate a pregnancy after her contraceptives didn’t work.
She used the same clinic she now works for. Haeder never regretted her decision and eventually left her full-time job to work at the North Dakota clinic once a week.
She studied to become a nurse to be able to assist women with their own abortions. The Red River Women’s Clinic is the only abortion clinic for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies in North Dakota.
Haeder’s relationship with her grandmother became tense because of her job until around two years ago when Alzheimer’s brought the two together. Her grandmother’s condition meant she would forget what her granddaughter does for a living and the two could have simple conversations about other things.
Haeder noted that even if terminating pregnancies becomes illegal, “Women are still going to have abortions.” She added, “We just have to decide whether America is going to continue to care, love and respect us by allowing abortion to be safe and accessible.”
Last year, in the UK it was reported that anti-abortion campaigners were accused of harassing women outside abortion clinics. One council had to make the decision of whether to ban them or not.
Lisa Jones is one of the women who is still haunted by protesters' behavior. She recalled, "They said I was a murderer... that I was killing something with a heartbeat."
Jones was harassed a few years ago by anti-abortion protesters surrounding the entrance to an abortion clinic in Ealing, west London. She stated, "The words still live with me today, still haunt me today."
It seems anti-abortion protestors have done more harm than good with their words without giving a thought to the reason behind a woman’s choice to abort.