WAWC clinic defenders provide support to patients

The Crimson White

October 17, 2019

Annabeth Mellon, a senior majoring in gender and media studies and creative media and president of Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity UA (URGE), was a clinic defender for over two years. She said that although the protestors have a physical line they’re not allowed to cross, their proximity to the building can still be distressing for patients.

“If I could tell a patient, ‘I know they’re yelling at you, but I promise you they cannot cross that line. I am here to make sure they do not cross that line, and you are going to be safe,’ it felt really good,” Mellon said. “It felt like I was taking this issue from one that I felt really strongly about in an ideological sense and turning it into something real, into concrete action.”

Mellon didn’t always feel strongly about reproductive rights advocacy. Going into high school, she said, she was anti-abortion rights. When Mellon moved out of her parents’ house, that was when her mindset began to change.

“When I moved out, I was able to come out as bi,” Mellon said. “As soon as I became OK with that, it became a matter of, ‘OK, if my parents were wrong about this, what else were they wrong about?’ If they [were] wrong about being gay being a sin, then what else is not a sin that I was told was a sin?”…