mashable.com - 4 days ago
Virtual reality helps people empathize with women visiting Planned Parenthood
It's hard to understand what it feels like to be confronted or bullied outside a women's health center — until it happens to you.
I'd never had that experience until last year, while reporting on the Supreme Court case Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. Before visiting the Whole Woman's Health clinic in San Antonio, I expected some type of encounter. What I couldn't anticipate was the surge of adrenaline and mild panic I felt when, after I opened my car door, a middle-aged man wearing sunglasses thrust pamphlets at me and said, "There's a lot of killing that goes on in there." SEE ALSO: Joss Whedon gets real about losing Planned Parenthood in new short film I wasn't there for an abortion or any of the routine gynecological services offered by Whole Woman's Health, but I felt threatened and intimidated. I can only guess how the exchange might have affected me had I been a patient who lived nearby. We don't know how many people have this experience, but a 2013 survey of abortion clinic providers found that 92 percent were concerned about the safety of patients when they approached their facilities. And Planned Parenthood wants more of the public to understand it in a way it never has before.
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