Waiting for McCullen v Coakley ~ Co-Authored by Oubli

We write about the antis all of the time on our blog. We photograph them, take videos of them and recite things they say to clients. The post this week by fml got a lot of comments and views, which is always very appreciated. We love active discussions with our readers.

The videos in the article of Reboot captured the atmosphere of the sidewalk perfectly. It is chaos. It is full of people shoving and shouting to harass and shame clients going for a legal medical procedure. I have said many times, that if you were going to a dentist’s office and protesters showed up to demonstrate they were against fillings because they thought they were a communication device to the devil, those protesters would not be tolerated by the community. But because the medical procedure being accessed at EMW is abortion, it is tolerated by society as being the antis’ right to free speech. Just another political demonstration of their views.

It is not a harmless demonstration. It is not a way to help anyone. The Report of the  APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion* “found that the greater the number of antiabortion picketers and the more aggressive the picketing that women encountered when entering an abortion clinic (as coded by observers), and the more the women reported feeling upset by the demonstrators, the more depressed affect they reported right after their abortion.” In other words, the antis outside the clinic cause more harm to the patient than the actual procedure. States and individual cities have recognized the harm and potential for violence by enacting buffer and/or bubble zone laws to separate the antis from close proximity to patients, escorts, staff and the clinics themselves.

Frequently, we are asked in comments about why we don’t have a buffer zone. We would love one, but there has never been a political climate in Louisville to be able to get the votes for implementing a buffer zone here. There are several reasons why this is our reality. We have studied the risks and benefits of launching a campaign to give the citizens of Louisville and residents of Kentucky a safety zone around the abortion clinics in the state, but for now we are waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of McCullen v Coakley. This will be decided during their current session. This case could overturn all existing buffer laws; a frightening prospect.

Oubli is a valued reader, a frequent commenter and has authored articles on our blog. Oubli sent this information and the additional resource information below, to emphasize  the importance of this case to all of the existing and proposed buffer zones in the United States.

We need to keep an eye on McCullen v. Coakley because it will determine the constitutionality of clinic buffer zones.

This clinic is the flash point for the case.**

Planned Parenthood's clinic in Boston, MA. The yellow line on the sidewalk and street marks the 35-feet buffer zone.

Planned Parenthood’s clinic in Boston, MA. The yellow line on the sidewalk and street marks the 35-feet buffer zone.

Planned Parenthood's Springfield, MA clinic has white arcs painted on the street to represent the buffer zone.

Planned Parenthood’s Springfield, MA clinic has white arcs painted on the street to represent the buffer zone.

I think that buffer zones do not violate free speech. My analogy would be the equally distasteful but protected freedom of speech right to protest military funerals. Yes, they can protest but as long as their protest was far enough away from the grievers as to not cause distress.

I would really like to pause for a minute and ask you to scroll back up to the photos with their lovely white and yellow lines.

We desperately need this type of space at our clinic. Go back and watch the videos from Wednesday’s post, Saturday on the Sidewalk. On the first video, those white tennis shoes you see were worn by me. In the second video you can see how much shoving, pushing and up close and personal Reboot was to the escorts and the client. Personally, I would prefer to not be as up close and personal with someone screaming in my face. Any escort who has been on the sidewalk in Louisville one time would vote instantly for any buffer zone we could get. The current situation has a high potential for violence and does nothing except cause harm to the clients and their companions.

In the meantime, we wait for the decision in this case that could turn back the clock 20 years or pave the way to a safer experience for all abortion clinics around the country.

Borrowing a slogan from the Kentucky Road Rally for Reproductive Rights: “Kentucky families deserve better!”

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*American Psychological Association (APA) study. pg 84

Additional reading:

**Mike Blog: Law in Plain English McCullen v. Coakley (photographs source)

Policy Mic: McCullen v Coakley is Heading to the Supreme Court Again

Alliance Alert, Law Review: Balancing Public Safety and Freedom of Speech Outside Reproductive Healthcare Facilities-McCullen v Coakley

Cooperative Research: Profile: Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act

National Abortion Federation: Legal Remedies to Address Clinic Violence and Harassment. A Handbook for NAF Members.(Pdf)

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REMINDER:
We are standing up for reproductive rights on November 2. Are you coming with us? Can you contribute $5 or more to help make it happen?

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/KyRoadRally

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/158610191007342/

Website: http://kyroadrally.org/

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.

National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers

Sunday, March 10th is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. The dedication of providers and their staff make it possible for abortion to be accessible for those who need it.

Why March 10th?

  • The National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers is recognized every year on March 10th, which was the anniversary of the day in 1993 when David Gunn, MD, was murdered by an anti-choice extremist.
  • Dr. Gunn was the first to be killed in the United States for providing abortions. In 1996, pro-choice organizations designated March 10th as the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. Including Dr. Gunn, four physicians have been murdered since 1993 because they provided abortions, as well as one clinic escort, two receptionists, and one security guard. The total death toll is eight.

The National Abortion Federation has detailed information about clinic violence and the FACE Act signed into law in response to Dr. Gunn’s murder.

  • The abortion debate first turned deadly in 1993, when Dr. David Gunn was shot and killed by an anti-abortion zealot in Pensacola, FL. In addition, twelve arsons, one bombing, and 66 blockades were carried out against abortion clinics during that year.
  • In response to this unprecedented act of political assassination, and with the support of pro-choice groups, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. The bill was signed into law by President Clinton in May 1994.

Despite the FACE Act, clinic violence by anti-abortion protesters remains a reality. Imagine the stress of going to work every day by a different route to be sure you aren’t followed, checking your car for explosives every time you get into it, checking your work area for explosives, being trained to carefully open mail at work, screening phone calls for serious threats, and being alert to any person entering the clinic for potential violence.

Families of workers can be targeted for harassment. Voice of Choice was established in response to the bullying by anti-abortion extremists of the landlord of an abortion clinic in Maryland.

What can you do to let these abortion providers know you appreciate their sacrifices?

  • Send cards and letters of appreciation to your clinic
  • Send flowers or other small factory-sealed gifts to the staff of your clinic
  • Volunteer to be a clinic escort
  • Donate funds to help provide access to abortion. (Our “How to get involved” page lists some suggestions)
  • Raise your voice publicly by writing letters to the editor of your newspaper, writing your legislators and
  • Most importantly by voting for pro-access candidates in the elections.

Join us March 10th in thanking abortion providers for their dedication. 

Explaining Abortion Clinic Escorting

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Last month we were approached by one of the co-founders of the website Jobstr to participate in their listings to explain escorting. Their website is designed to “Ask people anything about their jobs.” When you participate, you write a brief explanation of what your job is. Then members of their website ask you questions and vote on your answers. Anyone can read the listings, but you have to join to comment or ask questions.

We looked over their website and discussed participating. The co-founder assured us, “it’s extremely low-maintenance.” I have to admit, I was reluctant. I was concerned we would have a lot of antis commenting or asking questions. Spending the day deleting “dead baby” posts wasn’t something I was eager to tackle. Despite the statement from the co-founder, “Our readers are an intellectually curious bunch who tend to ask great questions,” I was hesitant. In our research, we found most jobs had questions ranging in number from 20 to up to about 60 questions. How would the subject of abortion access change this?  It would be a way to add awareness of what escorts do out of the normal channels we reach, but I believed it would also be an attractant to antis too.

After weighing the pros and cons, we sent this answer to the invitation: “We want to thank you for the invitation to participate on your Q&A site. The subject of abortion is controversial, so any opportunity to dispel the myths and clarify what actually happens in front of clinics daily is an opportunity not to be missed. That is part.of the reason we write our blog. We will sign up to be a host today.”

This was the start of a very interesting project. I was so wrong and I am glad cooler heads prevailed. We participated and did not receive one negative comment or question from antis. The co-founder was correct, it was low-maintenance and we were able to answer questions as we had the time. There was no pressure to send an instant reply. The 19 questions we received were respectful and some of them made us think a lot about a clear answer. The reader voting also let us know what questions generated the most interest.

I am not going to recreate the web page for “Abortion Clinic Escort” in this article, but I would like to list the questions. You can read all of the questions and answers at this link.

Please let us know what you think of our answers. How would you answer these question differently?

Here is the list of questions we were asked in order of popularity votes:

  1. Have you ever met protesters who presented their position in a respectful manner such that, despite your conflicting beliefs, you still had respect for them? Or do both sides just assume “My way is the right way?”
  2. You say “Abortion is not a dirty word.” While I tend to agree, do you at least acknowledge that it’s a “heavy” word and appreciate why many people, even those who are pro-choice, have trouble throwing it around lightly?
  3. Are there protesters every day at every clinic you volunteer at? Is mainly picketing and shouting, or does it get violent?
  4. What are protesters allowed and not allowed, legally, to do? I assume they can yell whatever they want, but where’s the legal line to how far they can take harassment?
  5. What motivated your decision to volunteer?
  6. Do you ever feel like you’re in any real danger while on the job?
  7. Do you talk to or console the women you escort about their decision, or is your job simply to get them from car to clinic?
  8. Have you ever had a pro-life volunteer who simply didn’t think it was right for women to get harassed by exercising their legal right?
  9. Are there women who arrive at the clinic who insist that you *not* help them? Or do they all readily accept the offer?
  10. Do you do more than walk clients from their car to the clinic door? If they ask you questions about abortion or law or religion, are you allowed to answer them?
  11. Is your volunteer group comprised most of women who have had abortions themselves?
  12. Roughly what percentage of women arrive at the clinic alone?
  13. How many women show up for their scheduled abortion but then change their mind?
  14. Are most of the protesters doing so for religious reasons, or are there a lot of non religion-based pro-lifers involved?
  15. Have pro-life nuts ever tried to pass laws restricting clinic escorts, maybe thinking that might be an indirect way to make women less likely to get abortions?
  16. Do you have to get permission to act as ACE’s from the clinics you volunteer at? Or do you just show up?
  17. Have you ever turned down someone who wanted to be an escort? Would anything completely disqualify me?
  18. Do protesters bring their young kids to join in? As an American, do you respect their right to free speech, even when it’s abusive and insensitive?
  19. Do protesters taunt you guys too, or just the women going to get abortions?

In conclusion, we would like to thank Jobstr for inviting us to participate. This was out of our comfort zone, but a very rewarding experience.

Remembering Dr. George Tiller

Violence surrounding reproductive health services, especially abortion, is on my mind this week. There were two arsons at two different clinics in Georgia last week. There was another arson in New Orleans at Women With a Vision.

The National Abortion Federation has  a breakdown of the history of violence surrounding abortion and abortion providers.  It has not been updated to include the Florida arson in January nor the ones this past week, but it is a reminder to all of us the potential for violence at abortion clinics is always present.

Dr. George Tiller was murdered by an anti-abortion protester on May 31, 2009. Dr. Tiller was 67 years old when he was murdered. He could have retired, but he worked tirelessly for women’s reproductive choices. He faced years of death threats, protesters interfering with his work and even harassment by Phill Kline, the Attorney General of Kansas.

Imagine the commitment to go to work every day with the threat of violence. Would you want to go back for almost 15 years after you were shot five times because you were an abortion provider? Would you post a sign at your clinic after it was firebombed, saying “Hell no, we won’t go”? Dr. Tiller’s commitment to women was summed up in his motto: “Trust Women.”

I remember where I was when I heard the news of his murder. My shock at the news was spent in endless hours watching news coverage and reading articles. It also awakened in me a need to translate my commitment to abortion access for everyone, for any reason, into action. I know I do not have a tiny fraction of the courage Dr. Tiller had, but I had to honor his memory by continuing to speak out in support of women and their choices.

It is hard to believe it has been three years since Dr.Tiller’s murder. It is hard to believe the legislative landscape for abortion and even birth control is worse than three years ago.

Please hold Dr. George Tiller and his work in your thoughts tomorrow. Wear your “Trust Women” buttons and t-shirts proudly in honor of his commitment.

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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.

Martyrs and Saints

When we publish articles on Every Saturday Morning, we moderate all comments received. Our view on comments is spelled out on our Comments page. Even though it is spelled out clearly we will not post religious or anti-abortion comments, we frequently get comments from antis wanting to let us know the error of our ways.

One comment we deleted because it violated our comment policy got me thinking about the different types of motivations for antis who come out on the sidewalk regularly. It is part of my personal, never-ending quest to figure out why antis come out to harass strangers once a week. I especially do not understand those antis who come every day.

They all believe they are entitled to be there. They frequently tell us they are exercising their right to free speech. They tell us they see the truth and say we are Satan’s tools. They pray for escorts and clients. We frequently hear, “May there be a Holy Ghost intervention to stop you from entering this clinic,” “I will pray for you to see the truth,” “You know you will go to hell for what you are doing,” “If you died today, are you ready to be judged?”, directed at clients, companions and escorts.

If prayer isn’t answered fast enough, some antis block the way, pushing and shoving. We trip over them in our attempt to walk clients around them. They frequently provoke a reaction from clients, companions and sometimes escorts. When violence has been barely avoided or actually sparked, we have been told by this same comment-writing anti, ‘I am here to stop the killing of babies and would lose my life if necessary.’ This anti has been punched, shoved off the sidewalk and screamed at by clients and companions. Still E comes back every week.

This anti isn’t rare and we see the type each day on the sidewalk. I call these the Martyr and Saint protesters. These particular protesters go a little further in their actions. They appear to be eager and willing to put themselves in harm’s way as if to prove their devotion to their belief. A violent reaction seems to be one of the things they are seeking. Sometimes they do get violent responses. Then we hear them ask other protesters, “Did you see what they did to me?”

These antis are volatile and unpredictable. When we point out they are violating the FACE Act one of them replied with, “Federal law’s a joke. What about the law above?” It is not unusual to have these antis standing 3 inches from our faces screaming about how escorts are all liars, sinners and murderers. This sometimes gets an angry reaction in response.

M is one anti in this group we write about all of the time. The potential to provoke physical violence is present each time M is on the sidewalk. The reactions to M from companions and clients are always vocal repetitions of, ‘Leave me alone,’ in the words they choose to say to convey that message. Clients and companions have balled up their fists and swung, yelled and pushed, but M’s tactics have not changed.

D is there 5 days a week and is in this group. D is like postal delivery: neither rain, snow, sleet or any other obstacles will prevent the visit to the clinic daily. Imagine what benefit that kind of dedication would be able to do in a different setting. Feeding the poor? Helping the homeless? The possibilities are endless.

I realize the quest to understand these antis is never-ending for me and never to be fulfilled, but I know I will continue to explore the subject.

More Anger

Saturday started out so beautifully.  i rounded the corner to the clinic and saw a sea of orange vests, and no protesters.  It was lovely.

Of course, i was there half an hour early, so it didn’t last.  But it was a moment.

There were parking issues.  Marathon season has started, so there were runners in their jogging outfits, numbers on their chests, often in groups.   All those runners have to park somewhere.  So a bunch of us got to the clinic early and took up almost all the on-the-street parking.   Then, when clients started coming, we moved our cars to let them park.  It was pretty effective.

It also kept the man with the anti-choice billboard on a trailer from parking right in front on the clinic.  He found two spots across the street, but it still felt good.

I was down at the far corner again, and we walked quite a few clients up from that end.  It was all going about as well as it can.  Then ~

I was approaching the clinic and I could hear someone yelling about halfway up the block. As I got closer, I could see him.

He was shaking a fist in the air and yelling, “DO YOU KNOW THEY’RE KILLING BABIES IN THERE??  THEY’RE KILLING BABIES IN THERE!!  DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?”

As we got closer, he turned and looked directly at me.  “AND YOU – YOU’RE WALKING HER IN THERE!!”  He turned away, as if disgusted, but continued to yell, pacing back and forth.

The woman and her companion made it onto the clinic property ~ which always feels like “home free.”  I paused a minute.

Another escort said something to the super angry man ~ i’ll call him Sam ~ I think something about it not actually being babies.  He responded with a roar, going off into another tirade.

He was yelling in my direction, gesticulating, fists clenched, face contorted.  He was a little scary.

In some foolish moment of wanting to see if I could de-escalate him a little, I said softly, “Gosh, you’re really angry.”  Believe it or not, sometimes that helps.

But not today.  In fact, it seemed to make it worse, so I backed off and headed back down the sidewalk.

A little time went by ~ we walked another client or two up the walk ~ Sam was still there, ranting and pacing.  He seemed so volatile, it made me really nervous.

“You know,” K said, “He’s the person that threatened the clinic before.  Said he was going to blow it up.”

I shook my head.  “I think we should call the police.  He seems awfullly angry, and a little out of control.”

“Well, he’s not supposed to be here,’ said K.

So ~ long story short ~ when an officer drove by, K waved her down.  She and some other officers talked to Sam, but apparently the restraining order the clinic had taken out against him had already expired.

Sam calmed down to talk to the police.  When the officers left, he started yelling and ranting again.  The other protesters were happily supporting him, giving him hi-fives and agreeing with him, glaring at us.

I had just left another client at the door and was heading down the sidewalk, through the gauntlet of Catholics reciting the rosary.  Sam was standing at the end of the rows, directly across from a woman and her children, yelling and ranting.

K was talking to him, trying to get him to stop, I suppose.

The woman started yelling too, yelling that Sam was right, that they were killing babies in there.  Her children listened, wide-eyed.   Her face was contorted and angry too. And suddenly ~

I don’t know if I can really describe it ~

suddenly, I felt a heaviness in the air around me, as if their anger had weight.  As if it were actually touching me.

I was shaken, and a little afraid.

Usually, I don’t feel afraid at the clinic.   Most of the protesters have lives that matter to them and family and friends.  I think most of them would not be willing to risk what they have to bomb a clinic or hurt an escort.

But Sam feels out of control, like he might act on all that rage.   Like it might be worth anything to save those babies.  AND ~

It felt like the protesters wanted him to.  Like they wanted him to act out his rage.  Like they wouldn’t do it themselves, but they kinda wanted him to hurt someone.

To hurt me, maybe.

And in that moment, i had a flash of knowing ~ some archetypal memory ~ or things I’ve read ~ a moment of sensing the force that led to witches burnt and sinners stoned.

A little afraid, I moved on down the sidewalk.  Moved away.

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Back in the safety of my everyday, I ask myself if my anger rages like that, if the escorts share that kind of mob mentality.

Do we want someone else to act out our rage?  Do we secretly, points of unity cast aside, want to see a protester hurt?

I don’t want to be like that.  I don’t want to be part of a rosary wielding crowd, waiting for someone to throw the first stone.

And then I remember ~ with great relief ~ no, we’re not like that ~ we really don’t want anyone to get hurt.  We calm each other, try to calm companions when the anger starts to spill over, when violence threatens.   If one of us is in a rage, other escorts don’t cheer them on.  We don’t encourage them the way the protesters did with Sam.

For a moment Saturday, I felt the threat of a holy war.  The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem witch hunts, or Jihad… they all end badly for the non-believer.  I don’t care what people believe, I just want women to be able to keep their doctor appointments.

Sidewalk Snippet – {3/19/12} – by KpF

(Written by KpF about a day at the clinic not long ago.)

Did you folks see that guy get shot at the clinic this morning?

Yeah, me neither. Because F and K did a BADASS job of de-escalating.

How often do we not see the moments that what we do prevents violence and hatred from boiling over into chaos? I’m seriously pulling chest muscles patting myself on the back here but we were good this morning, DAMN GOOD. Companion showed up with a gun and an attitude and maybe a little high on uppers and we used words and support and consented touch and laughter and eye contact and compassion and our bodies making space and our bodies showing numbers and the client went to the doctor without any wounds other than harsh language spewed by jackasses unconcerned with folks’ situations.

This sunny, yet cold afternoon could have been so much more painful, tearful, regretful, hateful, mean and nasty. Instead it is lazy and nap full. Because we did what we do, really really well today.

Yay us!

Day 3 – Roe v Wade – Physical Aggression – by fml and servalbear

The aggression against abortion rights isn’t all legislative.   Anti-abortion violence has been directed towards doctors, clinic workers, escorts and clients. Over the 39 years, anti-abortion factions have committed acts of terrorism including murders, attempted murders, and fire bombings.  They have made countless threats and tirelessly harassed in their zeal to prevent abortions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence
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On New Year’s Day 2012 a homeless man set fire to the besieged clinic in Pensacola, FL. This act of terrorism was done because:
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  • Rogers said he had recently witnessed an anti-abortion protest near the clinic. “Rogers admitted to intentionally setting fire to the clinic due to his strong disbelief in abortion,” an affidavit stated, and “he stated (he) was further fueled when he recently witnessed a young female entering the clinic while he was sitting amongst anti-abortion protesters.” 
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The presence and aggression of anti-abortion protesters prevents access to abortion 39 years after Roe vs Wade. Some of our most impressionable citizens view their actions as implied consent to stop abortion any way possible. (Scott Roeder, Paul Hill, Bobby Joe Rogers) The presence of protesters in front of clinics is not an expression of free speech but an unwanted intrusion into the private medical decisions of clients.
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We get threats at our clinic.  One day a young man on a bicycle got in a verbal conflict with an escort.  He ended the argument by saying, “This is why I have guns at home,” and rode off.   This makes us stay on edge, watching for his return, the rest of the morning.
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Fortunately, he didn’t come back, and incidents like that don’t happen often.   Sometimes, people ask if escorting is dangerous.  Of course, it could be. There is always the potential. We never quite forget the illusion of safety could disappear in a second.
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Most people who are against abortion would not be willing to kill an already-born person even to prevent abortion.  However, some people actually believe it would be “justifiable homicide.”  Interesting values for the “pro-life” group.
 
 

Abortion Support in Kentucky is celebrating Roe vs Wade with their donation drive towards efforts to make abortion and reproductive healthcare more accessible in Kentucky. Please visit their website and contribute whatever you can.

 

I Do Not Apologize – on the sidewalk with FML

I prefer not to engage. 

I prefer not to talk to the protesters. 

I don’t believe they belong on the sidewalk. 

I don’t want to be their buddy. 

I don’t think I can change their minds about anything.

I believe in de-escalation. 

I want to be non-violent – I want to be calm, purposeful, and focused in all my interactions.

And today, I ranted and raved.

It started with the woman on the walker.  You know, I felt bad for her because the walker made her a slow-moving target for the chasers.  But beyond that – I don’t know her story.  I don’t know why she’s at the clinic, and I don’t need to know.

But I think it’s within the realm of possibillity that there could be some connection between her physical condition and her decision to have an abortion.  Assuming that’s even why she’s at the clinic.

So it enraged me – yeah, that’s the right word for it – when the chasers were preaching at her as we made our way up the sidewalk, through the gauntlet.  But I held my tongue.

Then -

the next couple I escorted – the woman was sobbing.  So distraught.  She grabbed the arm of the escort nearest her and held on all the way up the sidewalk. 

But at one point she turned to face her tormenters -

who were mouthing their usual – “don’t let your baby die – if you need money, we’ll give you money – we love you, we’ll do anything, anything, let someone adopt your baby, please, please, please…”

and she told them her baby was already dead

She told them, through sobs, that she carried one baby til it was born dead and she couldn’t do that again.

Wouldn’t you think they’d have shut up and left her alone?  In the face of her pain at having to go through this, wouldn’t you think they’d have backed off?

No.

Instead, they continued to tell her not to kill her already dead baby.

Really.

So, yeah.  I yelled at them.  I thought that even by their standards, trying to save the life of the unborn dead might be unreasonable.

I told them what I thought about them harrassing the woman on the walker without knowing her story, and I told them what I thought about them harassing the woman who’s already lost her child.

And when they tried to argue about it? 

I told them again.

I might even have told them again after that.  Just one more time.

The woman on the walker – no, we can’t assume that she wasn’t able to carry a pregnancy.  That’s right.  BUT I thought they might have considered that possibility.  Just given it a passing thought, and backed off a wee bit.  Taken a shot at compassion for the already born.

No way.

On the other hand, no one can accuse them of discriminating against her, right?  She got the same treatment as everyone else. 

Equal opportunity harassment.

The woman whose fetus had already died – they thought she was probably lying.  

Sigh.

Whatever.

I yelled at them because I needed to say it, and I’m not sorry.  I yelled because it wasn’t going to be a true discussion anyhow  – I wasn’t interested in their justifications,  really, I just wanted them to know what I thought of them.

It may not have looked calm, but it was purposeful and focused.  There weren’t any clients around.  I didn’t threaten them.  I didn’t get up in their space.  I didn’t even tell them they were going to burn in hell if they didn’t change their ways.

And finally, at the end, I was calm.  I thought, that’s ok.  They’re gonna keep being who they are.  I just needed to tell them what I thought.

I don’t apologize for that.