At Ease With Themselves ~ by SharkSandwich

Do you ever come across someone and almost immediately you’re able to ascertain what kind of person they might be? In the case of vile people, the person in question wears such a thin, affected veil that it’s simply not possible to ignore the wolf’s fangs jutting out from underneath the ill-fitting sheep’s wool.

On Saturday, my second day volunteering as an escort, I had the occasion to get acquainted with such an individual. And by “acquainted,” I mean to say I was berated with raving projections of racism and sexism from an older male anti that were completely devoid of irony. Irony, after all, would denote some semblance of humanity and humor, and the man who verbally dug into me may have misplaced the remaining specks of his humanity quite some time ago.

It’s really a surreal experience to stand silently and withstand someone’s verbal abuse. To respond would be to validate it, and I don’t necessarily want to dignify this man with my attention. Simultaneously, though, it’s really goddamn difficult to simply absorb that abuse with complete grace. You practically need SEAL-level Psy Ops defense training to absorb the abuse without so much as flinching (or incredulously smirking, as it were). I am not so flawless in my disposition.

I had typed out a somewhat detailed account of my misguided interactions with “Gone” (as in, that’s where his marbles are), but I’ve already dignified his piggish remarks too much in my own thoughts, so I’m not going to publicize them here. Omitted, though, are Gone’s sexist and racist slobberings, Gone giving me his most spirited Yosemite Sam impression (minus the 50-gallon hat), his fetish for imagining the escorts as puppy-murderers and his smug fixation with calling me a “weasel” – whatever the fuck that means.

Although my interaction with Gone was brief, thankfully a fellow escort gently redirected me, suggesting that I maybe should refrain from responding to Gone because it just encouraged him. My fellow escort was right. Interacting with Gone was like dealing with a tantrum-happy 8-year-old, so I silenced myself for good. Of course, rabbits and pigeons inside of a Skinner box would probably have reached the extinction point of an unreinforced behavior sooner than Gone did, but whatever. Eventually, he left me alone so he could go harass other people.

Later, Gone sought me out again after I had moved to another location, where he resumed his verbal derision. More name-calling, more overtly cartoonish outbursts. It’s as if you could see that he wanted to actually use cuss words at us and shout really disgusting, profane things in our faces. However, him using such language could also run a risk of possibly being perceived by his fellow antis as a gutter-dwelling sinner like us escorts, and he wouldn’t dare do that. Appearances, as I’m quickly learning about antis, always trumps integrity.

Observing Gone – and in disturbingly close proximity – I was reminded of how racists will kind of just clam up whenever they really want to express their prejudices to people in public, but also are terrified of being alienated for being an unforgivable bigot. Instead of taking that risk, they keep the racism to themselves, and most people around them erroneously assume these closeted racists are actually decent people. The racist’s desperate need for social connection at least keeps the racist behavior at bay (for the most part).

(Hell, the way Gone expertly furrows his brow when he’s trying to provoke us with his dumb insults, I got the impression he’d feel right at home among a mob of white racists assaulting civil rights activists 60 years ago. He either rehearses that delivery in the bathroom mirror every morning, or he’s just been this hateful for a long time. Either way, that kind of hate is a well-polished hatred.)

After our escort work wrapped up that morning, I continued to think about Gone and the other antis I witnessed harassing people outside the clinic. Unsurprisingly, the men are almost always the loudest, as is the wont of men. But more than being loud and trying to infringe upon the space of women, it also became apparent to me that they likely enjoy yelling mean-spirited insults at women because this sidewalk is probably one of the few places these antis are guaranteed to not receive any swift retaliation for their misogyny. Because we escorts (ideally) refuse to interact with them, the escorts – along with the patients we escort – thereby become very available outlets for these anti men (and women, too) to openly unleash their misogyny without fear of punishment.

It’s one thing to call a cashier at Target a genocidal whore when you’re vulnerable to immediate public judgment – nobody’s going to put up with that bilious slander, you know? But here at the clinic sidewalk, it’s as if the antis know they’re mostly invulnerable to retaliation, and therefore have no hesitation saying these terrible things that they genuinely do believe.

In fact, I have a hard time believing they actually care about fetuses, children, or even abortion’s alleged health risks to women (despite their transparent doom-sayings to women as they walk into the clinic). I doubt they really even care about divine judgment. Of the few that may actually be protesting for truly religious reasons, they’re only here to save their own asses from the threat of damnation.

These people – and specifically, these men – are only interested in themselves and their shared hatred of women. They may arrive at that destination via different avenues, but the final conclusion is uniform. The antis even appear to delight in being able to no longer conceal their hatred of women. That they can openly use that hate to taunt the escorts outside of the clinic without repercussions must feel like a bonus Christmas morning to them.

For the antis, the sidewalk outside of the clinic becomes a space where they no longer need to bother with the sheep’s disguise so as to pass and be accepted by the public. They know the two consequences keeping their hateful inclinations at bay in the general world – being ostracized from society, physical harm from the immediately offended – have been temporarily removed, so what have they got to lose?

As a result, the sidewalk has become for them a place where they are comfortable being their true selves: not Christians, not conservatives, not voters, and not crusaders.

They’re just really, really mean people who care only about themselves.

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PSA for EMW Clients

If you see this sign, do not park in this lot

IMG_0001

It is the anti-parking lot.  

And it’s time for Pledge-a-Picketer!

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You know how it works, right? You pledge so much for each protester who shows up, we count the protesters, and the more of them there are, the more money we raise for escorts {vests, training costs, and other miscellany} and abortion access.

Make your pledge here.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xbxdKkjOSsfRnLlCBo86dIVqBHtyntmA-GKLW9QT_I4/viewform

 

The Adoption Fetish

The fetishization of adoption amongst middle class and upper class conservative christian whites first became apparent to me when I was attending high school. My school was strongly tied to a Southern Baptist church so much so that the head pastor’s children attended my school and his wife taught our bible class (which consisted of watching Veggie Tales((rather juvenile for sophomores in high school, right?))). The pastor and his wife adopted a Chinese baby from an orphanage in which children were abused via ignorance of their basic humans. The child has been left by the road upon her birth and would have most likely lead a terrible life without the rescue of these rich white americans.Why do I know all of this? Because of course,  it isn’t enough to add a member to your family out of love, you have to drive home the financial sacrifice you have made to adopt a hopeless and helpless child coming from an impoverished situation, otherwise your contribution isn’t public….and that isn’t any fun, is it? Following this adoption by the head pastor and the story of salvation of a little Chinese girl there was a rash of trendy adoption of African and Asian children within the church’s upper echelon of wealthy partitioners.  All of the horror stories of these children’s backgrounds were made publicly known, and yet none of us knew anything about the little girls (all of the children adopted were female) themselves. It was creepy, the fad of adoption.

Adoption is wonderful, people shouldn’t be mistreated, its terrible that orphanages like this exist. I agree.  Adopting children then spreading the story of their backgrounds and constantly reminding them of their “otherness” and how wonderful of a savior you and your family are is ALSO awful. That is not an addition to the family, its the addition of an accessory with a neat story, and that saddens me.

So when protestors say there are Christian families who would love to adopt the patient’s child, this often comes to mind. I will say no, not everyone who adopts is like this, not all christians are like this, not all christians who adopt children are like this. But the fact that this even EXISTS is problematic.

Threatening People Isn’t A Great Way To Win Them Over, Ya Know?

The antis on the sidewalk often approach escorts and clients with an attempt to intimidate by way of instilling fear. How? With clients and their companions there are threats of how “you’ll regret this because you’re killing your baby.” . To male companions of the clients, “ You’re not a real man! If you were a *real* man you would take her out of there.” , “you aren’t a real man if you let her do this, you’re a weasel.” The protestors trying oh so hard to instill fear of a loss of gender identity to men unless they physically stop the clients from entering the building. Its just strange that they would use such a tactless approach. I’ve come to feel that the protestors who use this are not there for the clients and to help them, but for personal gratification, otherwise they might become introspective about their methods.

Anyway. The escorts are threatened with jail, this morning two of us were verbally attacked by the same protestor. The protestor attempted to block physically block clients as they crossed the line on the sidewalk marking the area where the protestors couldn’t follow. The escorts did their best to stand in such a way which would keep the protestor from physically contacting or blocking the client at which point this protestor noted that the only way to draw attention to themselves was to feign some sort of physical altercation. The protestor backed up and started howling about how we almost knocked them over!” How dare you!”. The second altercation was quite similar, but instead of simply saying, “ how dare you”, she stood as close to the line as possible (as is her way) and said , “WE have FOUR cameras watching you. I’d hate to see you go to jail for doing this to me….” and on and on and on. My only response to this person has become, “Stop harassing me.”, this particular person is also well known to me for spouting her racism at me every time I’m present.

I’m just confused about what world the antis live in, they’re so amazingly narcissistic.

This morning though there were 14 clients, 10 Antis and 8 escorts. So at least there was a good number of escorts to watch out for each other and to witness the awful behavior of these people.

Edit/ P.S.

This protestor seeks some sort of hierarchy within the escorts, when they feel threatened this A* seeks out a specific escort ( I’ve witnessed this occurrence multiple times over my time of escorting) and tells the escort to control another one of us. There is no leadership here, no hierarchy and for that I am so grateful. Upon informing the A of this however, the A turned this into a weapon against the escort who is nothing if not kind and engaging with us, ” Well, you act like you’re in charge.” sarcastic and biting to be sure. I’m just amused at this pattern this A has when they don’t get a reaction out of the initial escort they’re threatening they approach this particular escort and badger them incessantly.

 

A*=Anti/ Protestor

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {9/30/13}

M decided to move her center of operations to a new area this morning. M has been hanging out on the corner of 1st and Market, but this day she decided to hang out behind the AWC parking lot. She was her usual aggressive self, but had a longer walk to harass clients and companions from this position.

Shoving a client as they crossed the property line, she ended up pushed up against me at the line. The plastic fetus doll she was holding was about two inches from my face; right under my nose. When the client was ignoring her after they crossed the property line, M turned her attention to me as I asked her to stop pushing on me.

“This is a baby. How can you help her murder her baby? See this? It’s a baby.” I replied, “No, it’s a plastic doll.” Of course, she got angry and told me it was a lifelike model of a 12 week baby. I replied, “No, it’s a plastic doll. Please get it out of my face.”

Another escort asked her about the Pope’s statement that there was too much emphasis on abortion in the Catholic Church, with the suggestion she should go home and think about what the Pope said. She got angrier and asked the escort for proof the Pope actually said to stop before she rushed off to harass another client.

Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves from saying something.

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {7/22/13}

There were several clients waiting by the door before the clinic opened. Of course, they were the focus of the antis’ attention for the entire time they were there. They were preached to, pleaded with, insulted and harassed while they waited. Offers of help with housing; offers to adopt their babies; offers to teach them the love of Jesus Christ were rapidly said by a series of antis from the property line.

R was there and said something I had never heard before. When I asked some of the long-term escorts about it they all said, “Oh yeah. I have heard him say that.”

“They are going to throw your baby in the garbage. Then they are going to send it to be burned up with all of the other trash. If you are going to kill your baby, bring it back out to me so I can give it a decent funeral. I will make sure it has a respectful service.” He repeated it twice to make sure they all heard him.

This is a step beyond offering to pay for their attorney fees for adoption. It was so very creepy. How would this really be accomplished? R and all of the antis are gone by 830a. Should the client just call R? Why would they entrust this to someone who has just been screaming at them about how evil they are?

What the antis don’t realize is that some women do have respectful services and make a time to say goodbye. We have had readers who have been kind enough to share their stories with us and have read articles about others.

It is an idea only an anti would come up with to say in an effort to upset clients as they wait by the door.

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {7/15/13} by Skeletor

Sometimes there is nothing to do but laugh at the doozies the antis come up with. Nevermind the faux science they like to quote, there are times when they really go off the rails with the things they shout at the clients.

D had one that stopped us in our tracks this week. Three escorts were standing at the front at the end of the morning, preparing to leave when she shouts, “Your babies will end up in the trash after they sell your babies’ brains for $1000!”

What?!

We’ve heard a lot about Gosnell lately; oh, boy, do the antis like to paint gory images of what happens in a clinic. But selling brains? Wow. Just, wow. Not sure where she came up with that one.

That’s a new one, to be sure, and a good example of the depths to which the antis will stoop.

Sidewalk Bingo ~ by Anonymous

One of our escorts developed this brilliant Bingo to be played while we are at the clinic. You can print out the pictures and play along wherever your clinic is, but with practice you can visualize the Bingo board in your mind and place your mental tokens while practicing your 1,000-yard stare. Have fun and don’t forget to yell “Bingo”! It will totally confuse the antis.

(We have written out the Bingo Legend cards at the end of the article for easier reading and hyperlinks.)

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Bingo Card

Bingo Worksheet 1 (650x841)

Bingo Worksheet 2

Bingo Worksheet 4

Bingo Worksheet 3

BINGO LEGEND

FREE SPACE – Any mention of god, because there will be; there will be.

Description: The use of god as a weapon is prevalent on the sidewalk. The protesters never seem to think that the people escorting or going to the clinic might worship a different god or no god at all. They can’t fathom that someone might worship the same god but interpret the writings in different ways, with different outcomes. No, their god is THE god and they know what angers him, they are right and you are wrong.

Example: “Blah, blah, blah GOD blah, blah blah.”

MONEY

Description: Mention of payment as proof that abortion is evil and the doctors are without compassion or ethics. Makes you wonder how upset they get about plastic surgeons.

Example: “Girls, they only care about your money, they don’t care about you.” “Did you know this clinic has made four million dollars?”

CHICKEN

Description: Use of the ever popular “are you chicken?” taunt. Most people grow out of this phase at the same time they outgrow recess and drinking juice boxes, which is probably why it’s so jarring when used by an adult.

Example: “Are you too afraid to look at me?” “Are you too afraid to look at [plastic fetus, abortion porn, etc.]?”

TRAP

Description: Protestors like to try to scare people entering the clinic. One popular way is to imply the building is a tinder box waiting to go up in flames, apparently with no fire suppression equipment or escape route. If they are that concerned about the clients well being maybe they should be urging their congressmen to reverse the TRAP laws that prevent the clinic from renovating or moving.

Example: “Did you know that they take you into the basement to perform the abortion? There are no windows or exits down there. If there is a fire there is no way out. You will die down there.”

CHOICE

Description: The protestors like to point out that the women can change their minds even after they’ve entered the clinic. They seem to believe no one has ever realized this. The escorts on the sidewalk just call that CHOICE and assume women will make the one that’s right for them.

Example: “The door didn’t lock behind you. You can leave at any time.” “Every one of you can walk right out that door.”

RACE

Description: The number of assumptions here are staggering: assuming the race of the female; assuming the race of the male; assuming either cares about racial purity; and assuming that a woman owes something (in this case the use of her uterus) to her race.

Example: “Don’t destroy your race today.” “You are participating in a holocaust of you race today.” “You obviously didn’t look up Margaret Sanger. S-A-N-G-E-R.”

HELL

Description: Talk goes from love to punishment & damnation quickly on the sidewalk. Protestors know exactly what incurs god’s wrath and will happily tell you what’s coming for you in the afterlife.

Example: “God will punish you for this.” “If you die tonight are you ready to face your creator knowing what you’ve done here today?”

PROTEST

Description: Protestors like to say they are “counselors” due to the negative connotations of the term protestor, but counselors usually spend most of their time listening, not condemning. And by the very definition of the word, yes, they are:

pro·test n.

1. A formal declaration of disapproval or objection issued by a concerned person, group, or organization.

2. An individual or collective gesture or display of disapproval.

Example: “I am not a protester.”

DEPRESSION

Description: Planting the FALSE seed that depression, regret and emotional/spiritual trauma is an absolute consequence and that any and all future issues are directly related to the abortion. From the American Psychological Association:

“The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy.”

This review [Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion] identified several factors that are predictive of more negative psychological responses following first-trimester abortion among women in the United States. Those factors included:

•Perceptions of stigma, need for secrecy, and low or anticipated social support for the abortion decision;

•A prior history of mental health problems;

•Personality factors such as low self-esteem and use of avoidance and denial coping strategies; and

•Characteristics of the particular pregnancy, including the extent to which the woman wanted and felt committed to it.

Example: “This will change you. You will never get over this.” “80% of all women who have abortions think about suicide and 20% attempt it.” “You will ALWAYS regret this; all women regret this.”

MISOGYNY

Description: Misogynistic statements implying a male companion has dominion over a female client, her body and her choices. The people who say this truly believe men have the right and the obligation to drag women out of the clinic and force them to give birth, with no thought to her wants, her needs, or her mental/physical/financial health. After all, a woman’s only role in life is to be a “helpmeet” to a man and mother to many children. The men who get upset and aggressive on the sidewalk seem angry that women are doing things without their consultation and against their wishes.

Example: “Men are supposed to take care of women. Don’t let her do this.” “Be a hero today and take her out of this place. Don’t be a wimp””

SPECIAL

Description: Attempting to sow the seeds of discontent by pointing out the clients were all told to be there at 7:15 for a 7:30 appointment. They don’t seem to realize this isn’t like changing your mind about lunch cause you don’t want to stand in a long line at the burger place. If you leave that line you don’t have a burger. If you leave this one you have many months of pregnancy, then labor, then a baby that’s dependent on you.

Example: “Girls, you think you’re special with your 7:30 appointment. You all have 7:30 appointments. You’re not special.”

EDUCATION

Description: The complete disregard for the importance of education in a person’s life and it’s impact on future success. This seems most insulting coming from a bunch of educated, middle-aged, financially secure white people.

“The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.” — Benjamin Franklin

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” — Brigham Young

Example: “Your education isn’t important. This baby is.” “Your degree won’t mean anything to you if you kill your baby.”

NAZIS

Description: Because all arguments wind up at Nazis. Godwin’s law = you lose.

Example: “You’re walking in to a death camp today.” “You’re like Nazis walking people into the gas chambers.” (to the escorts)

BIBLE

Description: Another popular weapon on the sidewalk, the Bible is THE trump card in all arguments.

Example: “It says in the Bible . . .” “In [book,chapter, verse] Jesus commanded us to . . . “

INNOCENT LIVES

Description: Touting god’s great sadness at the death of the innocent. Unless of course he’s doing the killing, he seems cool with that. Now that Noah’s ark has turned into a nursery decoration we forget it was floating over the corpses of millions of men, women and children. He hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he could show his might by killing all the first-born males in Egypt. In his anger he killed David and Bathsheba’s newborn son, but I guess it’s ok because he really liked their next son.

Example: “God hates the spilling of innocent blood”

CONSCIENCE

Description: Apparently if a client walks up looking nervous it’s not because she’s worried about having a medical procedure. It’s not due to stress because her pregnancy is putting her life at risk or because she may be recovering from rape. It’s definitely not because the client is scared of the protestors. It’s obviously the holy spirit whispering in her ear, if only she’d listen.

Example: “Listen to that voice inside you, it is telling you this is wrong.” “You’re crying because you don’t want to go in there and kill your baby.” “That’s god’s voice telling you this is wrong.”

SOAP BOX

Description: OK so it’s not a soap box, it’s a small step stool. Usually accompanied by loud men and occasionally loud men with microphones. Never women though, hmmmm.

Example: This one is visual, you’ll know it when you see it.

BABY KILLER

Description: The term “baby killer” is saved for the escorts; the clients and companions get a more manipulative appeal, but the idea is the same.

Example: “Please don’t kill your baby today.” “Mommy, don’t kill me.” “Why do you want her to kill her baby.” (said to an escort)

LIES

Description: Telling lies seems to come easy to the antis, but they also like to accuse escorts of lying or keeping the “truth” from clients/companions, even if all an escort is doing is walking quietly at client’s side. It doesn’t matter if the client/companion tells them to go away, it doesn’t matter if the escort is just giving directions to parking in the area. If the protestor doesn’t get to force his/her belief system on others they like to hurl this at the escorts.

Example: “Why don’t you want them to hear the truth?” “Don’t believe his lies.” (said when an escort informed someone of the cost of parking)

JESUS SAVES

Description: Apparently the human race sucked, so Jesus died for us. Because of that we’re supposed to do exactly what street preachers tell us Jesus wants us to do.

Example: “God sent his only son to die for us, even though we are not worthy of his mercy” “Jesus died for your sins and this is how you repay him?”

DOCTOR

Description: Protestors seem very concerned that clients have not met the OB/GYN who will be performing the abortion. Not sure if they feel the same way about an ER doctor, or a heart or brain surgeon. A lot fewer surgeries would be completed if everyone had to have a “getting to know you” dinner with the surgical staff beforehand.

Example: “Girls, you don’t even know the abortionist.” “Why don’t you go to a real doctor.

BREAST CANCER

Description: Spreading incorrect, out-dated data on the sidewalk is a biggie (see depression above). A popular one is about the link between breast cancer and abortion

From The American Cancer Society:

In February 2003, the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) held a workshop of more than 100 of the world’s leading experts who study pregnancy and breast cancer risk. The experts reviewed human and animal studies that looked at the link between pregnancy and breast cancer risk, including studies of induced and spontaneous abortions. Some of their findings were:

✴Breast cancer risk is increased for a short time after a full-term pregnancy (that is, a pregnancy that results in the birth of a living child).

✴Induced abortion is not linked to an increase in breast cancer risk.

✴Spontaneous abortion is not linked to an increase in breast cancer risk.

The level of scientific evidence for these findings was considered to be “well established” (the highest level).

Example: “Girls, your risk of breast cancer increases with an abortion.” “The younger you are the greater your risk of getting breast cancer if you go through with this abortion”

DEATHSCORT

Description: Escorts won’t get with the company line and call protestors counselors or “life escorts” so the next best thing is to call your enemy names.

Example: “Don’t listen to the deathscorts, they don’t care about you.” “The deathscorts won’t be here when you come out.”

FREE STUFF

Description: Protestors use the lure of free things to get clients into the CPC. They imply it will save them money and time, but the “few minutes” stretches into sixty, the counseling turns into preaching. They even have “hospital grade” pregnancy tests, a nicer stick to pee on one presumes?

Example: “Why don’t you come next door for a free ultrasound? It will only take a minute.” “If you change your mind we’ll refund the cost of your procedure.”

BAT-SHIT CRAZY

Description: Some things defy all categories.

Example: “Why do you want to kill my daughter.” (said to an escort while the protestor was shoving a two year old towards the escort)

“You were created in the image of god, not the image of. . . of . . .of a chicken”

“When I was pregnant . . .” (said by a male protestor)

“I just want to love on you.” (because ewwwwwwwww!!!!!!)

Various clients:

“The pregnancy is ectopic.”

“My daughter’s baby doesn’t have a brain.”

“The heart never formed.”

Protestor response:

“Are you sure? Have you seen a real doctor? Would you talk to a friend of mine, she had something like that and the baby’s fine.”

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {7/8/13}

There were only a few escorts this morning. Sometimes we aren’t able to reach clients as soon as we would like.

This client already had pulled into the parking lot behind the CPC when we met on the sidewalk. I let them know about the orange vest, the clinic wasn’t opened yet and they were parked in an anti-abortion lot. We discussed moving their car and directions to the $3 lot.

As they started to their car to move it T, one of the AWC staff, intercepted them and started talking to them. “You can park in our lot for free. We won’t tow you. Why don’t you come in to have a free ultrasound while you are waiting.” I quietly said, “That’s an anti-abortion clinic and she is a protester.” The client said, “Thank you,” and continued moving to the car. I let them know I would go across to the parking lot and guide them to it. Then I waited.

After about 5 minutes, the client pulled into the $3 lot. When I approached the car, they were shaking and started crying. “That was so horrible. She wouldn’t let me close my door. She blocked me from leaving the lot. She just kept talking and talking and saying horrible things.” We talked for awhile and I reassured the client to not take the things said personally because we hear the same things said to every client every day. “They don’t know you and your circumstances. They are just saying the things they have memorized to upset clients.”

When the client was a little calmer, I let them know I would come get them when the doors of the clinic opened. As we walked to the clinic, T’s parting yelled words to the client were, “Don’t believe the lies she is telling you. All of the escorts lie. They are not pro-choice. They are pro-death.”

Even though I know we will not change the antis’ minds on the sidewalk, I wish they would reflect upon the effect their words have on clients. I fail to see the compassion and practice of ‘We just want to help.’ The words always change once the client crosses the property line of the clinic. No matter how quiet the words on the sidewalk and in their parking lot, words are always shouted at the property line.

The last impression clients have of these antis is of anger and hate; not too conducive to fostering trust.

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {7/01/13}

Sometimes clients and/or companions really want to engage with the antis. These conversations usually start with an anti saying, ‘If you believe in Jesus, you shouldn’t go into this place.’ This morning a companion really wanted to talk theology with A.

The client and companion were waiting for the door to open and sitting just outside the doorway. The client had on headphones and was ignoring everyone and everything around them. The companion was ready to argue religion.

A is a frequent anti who always says, “I used to be a sinner like you. The word of God turned my life around. Let me talk to you about the Bible.” The companion answered him, “You need to reread the Bible and understand what you missed, like compassion and love.” The conversation between the two of them went on for about 15 minutes.

At one point, A reassured the companion he made his living by researching and studying the Bible. The companion replied, “That’s your problem. You are reading only religious documents. You need to read some secular documents to understand the entire history of the period and culture. Your information is all one-sided.”

During the discussion that we were listening to, the companion was able to ask questions A was not able to answer and to correct mistakes in A’s argument. They were both quoting Bible verses by number.

While the conversation was entertaining to bystanders, the point of protesting abortion is not “What would Jesus do?” It is always the need to force your beliefs and view of morality on another person; a stranger. It is the desire to dictate another person’s most personal choices about reproduction.

An amusing offshoot of this conversation was that A became offended when he was described as associated with the Baptist church instead of his sect of  Christianity; he quickly corrected the error in labels, even while during the conversation a Catholic anti became offended with A’s description of the gospel.

It doesn’t matter what label you put on your beliefs, they still should not be forced upon others.

Remember

Dr. George Tiller*

Dr. George Tiller*

This day four years ago Dr. George Tiller was murdered. He was murdered by an anti-abortion protester on May 31, 2009. He was murdered while ushering at church services on a Sunday morning.

Today we should remember his bravery and commitment for years to help women, even at great risk to himself. Today we should honor his life while mourning his loss. Today we should remember to “Trust Women.”

Trust Women

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*The photo of Dr. Tiller is included in a statement from Merle Hoffman, On The Issues Magazine, Spring 2009 edition. Please take a minute to read it.

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If you are interested in reading more about Dr. Tiller’s story, I highly recommend  ”The Wichita Divide: The Murder of Dr. George Tiller and the Battle over Abortion” by Stephen Singular, published by St. Martin’s Press, First Edition edition (April 12, 2011) It is available for purchase at bookstores and Amazon.com.