The companion and client approached slowly on the sidewalk across the street and stopped almost opposite the clinic doors. They stood there just watching the protesters.
After a few minutes, I went across to them and found out immediately we had a slight language barrier. We managed to communicate enough to find out they were going to the abortion clinic, identify myself and explain the protester presence.
I let them know the clinic was not open yet, but there were other clients waiting by the door if they wanted to wait with them. We crossed the street and they joined the other clients waiting.
For about one minute they stood and listened to the protesters and then they let me know they were going to walk around to wait. The protesters attempted to talk to them as they walked away, but were not motivated to follow them.
The client and companion walked around the corner and stood waiting. I let them know when the doors opened. After signing the client in, the companion came out immediately and stood at the curb just watching the protesters. I was motioned over to talk.
The first questions, “Why are they here? I don’t understand. I am from another country; not American. I am a friend helping a friend. Why are they doing this?” I explained they were protesting abortion.
“This is legal. Why would they do that? What are they trying to do? They aren’t helping these women.” I answered honestly that the antis come to talk clients out of having an abortion and explained they came every day.
The shocked reply was, “Every day! That is not right. You come to help. I am here to help my friend. They are just hurting women. This is not right what they are doing. Why are they here?”
We had to cut our conversation short because another client was approaching the clinic, so I thanked him for being there for his friend.
The companion walked across the street and continued to watch the action of the antis; occasionally shaking his head and looking down.
I did not tell him, but I ask myself every morning when I am at the clinic the same questions he was asking.