An Exercise in Futility

Things were a bit ramped up here recently – an adult couple  arrived at the clinic with a young person.  One of the protesters – Ron – decided the young person must be a 10 year old girl who’d been raped.  Yes, he just made that up, but he was sure that was the story, because protesters know these things, right?

He decided that meant that we – the escorts – were protecting the perpetrator of the crime.  Yes, I know that’s an astounding leap outside the bounds of anything resembling logic, but there you go.  It went downhill from there.

From the comfort of my own home now, I can see that it might have been more helpful if I had ignored him, but he was all ramped up and raving and I might have gotten a bit ramped up myself.  So when Ponytail guy said it was probably one of the escorts who raped her – well, I might have said something a bit inappropriate.  Yep.  I did.

I know, it wasn’t helpful, just like it wasn’t helpful to ask Ron to explain how it would be better for a 10 year old to actually have to be pregnant and  have a baby.  He didn’t answer that, and I didn’t expect him to.  He just kept asking why we would protect the perpetrator.

Such nonsense.

I need to make sure I’m wearing my cloak of disengagement from now on.  I need to remember that Ron, and the other forced birthers, don’t have any actual power, which is why they spend their time trying to bully other people.

On the other hand, wasn’t there some state that tried to pass a law making it illegal for someone to help a minor who who was a rape victim get an abortion?  Some stuff about it “destroying the evidence?”  Good grief, do they not realize you can get DNA evidence from the aborted fetus if they needed to?  Oh, that’s right, science is not their strong suit.

Plus, as someone pointed out at breakfast, this is one more example of the way the antis distrust women.  It’s not enough for someone to say they were raped and name the person who raped them.  No, they need to have the rapist’s baby so we can make sure who did it.  Really.

Oh, but wait – if you get raped, you can’t even get pregnant, right????  Don’t we just “shut that whole thing down??”  Hmmm, this forced birther logic is so hard to follow!

Oik, enough of that, it’s not really funny, although we laughed about it a bit later.  At the time, it was ugly, and next time I’ll try to walk away sooner and ignore them harder.  Like Servalbear’s button suggests, I’ll ignore them so hard they’ll start to wonder if they exist.

Last week I posted the video of Chad preaching and said there was another video that gives a good perspective on what it can be like up by the door.  I transcribed it this week – actually the last couple of minutes are the same as last week’s videos so you don’t need to watch the whole thing.

There are three people talking/preaching at once, so I’ve used different type for each one – Chad is regular print, another preacher (I think he’s one whose nickname has the initials RFN, but I’m not sure) is in all-caps, and a third anti, a man in a red jacket, is in bold (which is ironic, because he’s talking really softly.)

Here’s the video:

And here’s the transcript:

IT IS YOUR CHILD

… that they may live.

AND YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE

That’s the book of Deuteronomy.

FOR THIS CHILD.

And not only does he want us to choose life,

NO MATTER WHAT YOU DECIDE TODAY YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THE MOTHER OF THIS CHILD

he has given us a way to choose life eternally, Eternally.

SIR THIS IS YOUR CHILD, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THE FATHER…

Jesus said he comes to bring life and life more abundantly.

I ENCOURAGE YOU THIS MORING TO CONSIDER THE FACTS. CONSIDER THE TRUTH TODAY.

DON’T BE DECEIVED. THIS IS A CHILD. YOU ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CHILD.

Jesus said that. Jesus said he comes to bring life and life more abundantly.
Not abundantly in the sense that you get to have riches and wine?

YOU MAY SAY, “WE’RE IN A TOUGH SPOT, WE CAN’T HAVE THIS CHILD”

Abundantly in the sense that you can live and worship him in eternity.

IF YOU CAN’T HAVE THIS CHILD, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO ADOPT IT, IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO CARE FOR IT

Live in the Glory of God, in the light of his son Jesus Christ for eternity.

AND YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ALLOW IT TO GROW AND DEVLOP AND THE ABILITY TO BE BORN. JUST LIKE YOUR PARENTS GAVE YOU THAT SAME ABILITY TO GROW AND DEVELOP AND BE BORN.

Folks, that’s good news, That’s what the gospel means. You and I deserve eternity in hell. Eternity in hell and the fires that will never quench. That’s real friends. It exists. It is real, more real than our existence right now.

MA’AM AS YOU WALK THROUGH THAT DOOR, PLEASE CONSIDER SIR YOU HAVE TO OPPORTUNITY TO EVEN STILL THIS MORNING.

Hell is real. Jesus preached about hell,

Do you want to make a thousand angels in heaven rejoice? (This is the man in the red jacket. He’s talking to some young people who are escorting today, particularly a couple of young women.)

Jesus warned us about hell more than he preached about the Kingdom of Heaven.

How do you get a thousand angels to rejoice? How do we get a thousand angels to rejoice?

So friends, be prepared,

Anybody wanna rejoice?

he wants us to avoid that place

you know how to do it?

and the way to do that is to repent and be saved. believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today. Believe on him. Put your faith and trust in the Lord who is worthy to save

All of the lambs who (something) is worthy to be saved

Who wants to get saved today?

Repent.

You’ll make the angels rejoice…

This is the lie you guys are believing.

(Can’t tell what Red Jacket is saying…)

This is what happens to those babies. Period.

A thousand angels will rejoice…
Sir, but that’s exactly what happens. a lot more children That’s what you’re supporting, you’re an accomplice to this. And that’s what you’ll stand and be accountable for on judgment day. Unless you repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ and your sins are washed away. That’s what you’re going to have to stand up and face. This is true. This is what abortion is. This is what (something)

It’s the murder of an unborn child. The massacre of babies and it looks just like that. I hope you’re happy about that, because that’s what happens.

you need to repent. You all need to turn from your sins and believe the truth about abortion. Here’s what it is- plain and simple – here’s what abortion is – here’s the truth of abortion – death destruction killing and destruction. That’s of satan that’s what god hates and he wants you to repent he wants you to turn from your sins – to choose life, he wants you to choose life so your children will live He commanded us to go forth and multiply and to fill the earth…

And that’s where the videos I posted last week start, so I won’t add those transcripts here.  I can’t promise I got all the wording right, but it’s close enough to give you the idea.

It’s interesting how their words overlap sometimes, as if they’re bouncing thoughts off each other, but really each person is intent on his own presentation.  Red Jacket is brand new to our sidewalk and I hope he won’t be back.  He really was only talking to the young female escorts who were standing on the property line.  Yep, just a bit creepy.

This week’s post is strictly a “for my own emotional well-being” one – I just needed to describe what it was like that particular Saturday morning at the clinic.  There’s no particular point – no point in trying to reason with Ron, no point in getting upset with Ponytail Guy, no point in lots of things happening on the sidewalk.

But the whole point is being there for the client.  That’s the point of escorting.  When I remember that, the rest of this really does fall away.  And I’m ready for another day on the sidewalk.

Thanks for listening…

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {11/11/13}

Escorts hear this a lot, but this morning was such a clear example of what the antis believe about choice I wanted to share.

The antis always come out armed with pamphlets to give to the clients and companions. When you go into the clinic lobby any morning, frequently these pamphlets that were thrust into their hands are scattered on the floor; left behind because they were unwanted.

This morning an escort followed a client inside of the lobby to answer a question. While they were there, the client handed them the pamphlet that had just been shoved towards them as they crossed the property line. Three antis were watching the escort and client from the property line as they talked. They were closely lined up to get a clear vision through the the glass door. D said, “I knew it. Did you see that?”

When the escort came out, they stood at the entrance and ripped the pamphlet up. Trainee (fully trained now) said, “You have just destroyed her opportunity to make a choice. You are not giving her a choice.”

Really? As if the choice wasn’t made and that one pamphlet was the key to making a decision? What about their choice to not have the pamphlet? If the client had wanted to read it, they would have kept it. If they hadn’t made their decision before reaching the sign-in window of the clinic, I’m sure one pamphlet wouldn’t have made up their mind either.

The antis constantly berate escorts about their definition of “choice.” They seem to have a different meaning for the word than we do.

Have Soapbox, Will Preach

“Soapbox:  A temporary platform used while making an impromptu or nonofficial public speech.”  (according to the Free Online Dictionary)

Last week, for the first time in quite a while, one of the preachers (we call him Chad – don’t know if that’s his real name or not) brought his step stool, and his microphone, and preached to us.  He preached to us for a full hour and fifteen minutes, leaving some of the other preachers on the sidelines.

I thought I’d share some of that pleasure with you.

Transcript:

…so your children may live.  He commanded us to go forth and multiply and fill the earth.  That’s what he commanded us to do from the very beginning – he told Adam and he told Noah to do the exact same thing.
Come on, people!  Come on!  We’re in America!  We don’t need to do this!  If someone said, “Well, I can’t have a  baby because I can’t do this or I can’t do that or I don’t have a job or whatever,” – there’s no excuse in this country today for doing this (waves his arm at the fetal porn)  There are adoption agencies – people waiting in line to adopt babies – there is someone – someone wants to help you in this situation.  If you don’t have a job, someone will find you a job.  If you don’t have a home somebody will find you a home.  If you need money, clothing, shelter, food, there are people in this country who will help you in an instant.  And they don’t even have to be Christian or religious.  There are secular groups that will help you in this country today.
You don’t need to do this!!  (Pointing at the fetal porn.)  This does not need to be done!!

Just a couple of comments – notice that “He told Adam and Noah to do the same thing” about going out and multiplying – no need to mention Eve and Mrs. Noah, right?

Servalbear says her favorite line is “Come on, people!  We’re in America!”  and I agree, that has a nice ring to it.  But I think my favorite line is in this one:

Transcript:

…so you can live the gangster rap life.  This is what murder is.  This is what happens.  We don’t need to do this in our country today.  There are people who want to help.  So the excuse, “I’ve got no other choice,” DOES NOT HOLD WATER!  Not with me.  Not in America.  I know what happens in this country.  There are people that wanna help.  Let them help you!!
Let them help you do something that’s right!  Let them help you find a home for your baby!  Let them help you find a job!  Let them help you find a way to do something that’s right instead of doing something that’s wrong.
And THIS is wrong!  THIS is wrong!  (Pointing to the fetal porn)   Turn from your wickedness and turn from your sins today.  Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  And if you don’t…

Ok, it’s kind of repetitive, but worth it for the line “…so you can live the gangster rap life.”  Really, Chad?   That’s classic.

Unfortunately, I didn’t capture the part where he says “there are no intellectual arguments that support evolution…” and “…there are no scientific facts that supports feminism, evolution or abortion. They are all sins against god.”  No intellectual arguments – no scientific facts- good grief.

We do have a longer video of him and other things going on at the same time that gives a really good picture of what it’s like in front of the clinic, but it’s tough to transcribe.  I may work on it though.  It’s such a lovely cacophony – Chad and another preacher both preaching at the same time, and red-jacket guy wandering over to some young escorts to talk ask if they “want to delight a thousand angels…”  Yeah, I may have to work on it.

But I post this today to highlight the privilege and the arrogance that the antis bring to the sidewalk.  I think Chad says it all when he proclaims that “your excuses DON’T HOLD WATER.”  You need to know that your “excuses” for your life decisions don’t hold water with Chad.

Doesn’t that kind of say it all?

That Morning ~ by RMM

Since I’ve been really little, conversations concerning pro-life and pro-choice have been big topics. My mom has always been pro-choice and would always share her opinion, but more importantly, she always told me that the choice was mine. That she would tell me many things throughout my childhood, but in no way did I have to follow in her footsteps.

Volunteering at the clinic all started because a girl at my school had put up a status on Facebook talking about this coming weekend being a big weekend because it was Easter Sunday, and that the more volunteers they had, the more smoothly the process would go for women trying to make it to the clinic. I had never volunteered before, heck I never even knew where the clinic was at.  (Even though I passed it almost every day to go to my bus stop after school). So, I convinced my mom (and more importantly myself) to wake up on a summer morning at 5 am and catch a cab down to the clinic.

This experience was a while ago, but I can say I will never forget how it went. I remember getting down there and everyone was so nice. My friend had told me all you had to do was look for the people in the orange vests and they were the people to talk to. It all started with me and my mom explaining that we had never done this before, but that I had for a long time been interested in helping out (also the idea of breakfast after was a plus too.)

A woman gave us two of her vests and told us to take our place at the side of the clinic. I remember it wasn’t even 6 am and protesters already started lining up. Some that I remember the most was an older gentlemen that had a cross statue. Now the funny thing to me was that the base for holding the cross was larger than the actual cross. I also remember a woman that had a flag of the Virgin Mary hanging from a frame she had made from PVC pipe. And of course, the most prominent person I remember was a woman that stood right at the front against the volunteers preaching from her Bible; so loud that the women already inside the doors could hear her.

Now don’t take what I’m saying as a bashing of Christians, Catholics, any religion for that matter. I’ve always been a strong supporter of respecting all religions, even if I don’t personally believe them. But I would say I definitely wasn’t prepared for the amount of protesters. While mentally I can’t understand how another woman will tell another woman that she doesn’t have the right over her own body, that’s my opinion. I would also say that the experience was a definite eye opener for me. I can’t even imagine the stress and fear that the women coming to that clinic feel. Being yelled at by people that they are killing their baby or sinning in the eyes of God. For all of you know, the women walking through those doors could be Catholic or Christian themselves. And it kills them to be doing something that their religion tells them is wrong and will send them to hell.

I’m glad that I came, and I really hope that I can do it again, although over the school year the weekend is my time to sleep, not wake up at 5 am. But you will be seeing me again, and I hope the next time I’ll learn something new.

Bad People

We talk once in awhile about how the antis will bring their children out as props. This morning we had a family group of grandparents and two grandchildren under the age of four.

It was one of the cooler mornings we have had this fall, with the temperature around 42 degrees. Of course, it is usually colder on the sidewalk in front of the clinic because of the taller buildings, proximity to the riverfront and all of that concrete.

The grandparents parked halfway down the block and walked the children to the clinic doors wrapped in blankets. One of them was carrying a babydoll wrapped in the blanket with them.

As they passed the clinic entrance the grandfather pointed out the escorts to the older child and said, “These are all bad people.” The child’s eyes got large as they watched us when walking past.

They continued on towards AWC where the other antis greeted them and talked to the children. They are the good people, evidently.

A short time later, the grandfather walked back holding the older child’s hand and stood facing me from about one foot away; trying to stare me down for Jesus I guess because he didn’t say a word to me.  After a minute, the child looked up and saw me. She said, “Uh oh. She’s bad,” while pulling away from her grandfather. He led her away; point made.

They lingered a little while longer until the children got tired and started sitting on the planter box of the clinic.

My heart went out to the child who was frightened by the “bad people.”

Just another day of observing the teaching of intolerance and hatred on the sidewalk.

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REMINDER:
We are standing up for reproductive rights on November 2. That’s one week from today! 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/

It’s Not a Contest

Recently, I was up near the clinic doors when a woman and her companion came rushing out, looking distressed.  As they pass me, I say “Want some company going back?” thinking that they’re headed to their car.

The woman says, “I just need a test to prove I’m pregnant!!  That’s all!  Just a test to prove I’m pregnant!”

That makes me laugh, and I point them toward the right place… but notice how I, once again, refrain from trying to talk her out of going through with the pregnancy?   Just like I don’t go to Babies R Us and approach people to ask if they’ve “considered having an abortion instead.”  Nope, I just don’t do it.

Donna and Angela meet the non-client at the door to the anti-clinic and welcome her as if she has just escaped the bowels of hell, which cracks me up too.  You would think we had escort-chasers trying to talk her out of leaving.

But I think that’s how the protesters see it.  For sure, they consider it a victory anytime someone comes out of the clinic – and that makes sense.   Well, unless the person leaving never intended to get an abortion.  Or they discovered they didn’t have their ID’s and had to reschedule.  I’m not sure the antis “get points” for that, but in their minds they do, and that’s fine.

But it annoys me that the protesters seem to think the escorts are disappointed when somoene leaves the clinic.  The antis are welcome to think that means they’ve “won one,” but we have not “lost one.”

Of course, if you’re pro-access, you already knew that.  You already know it’s not about wanting women to get abortions – it’s about wanting people to make the decision that’s right for them.

More importantly, the real *contest* is not on the sidewalk outside the clinic.  It’s in the state legislature.  That’s what counts.

And it’s not just about abortion.   Reproductive rights include the right to have children, to not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.

In Kentucky, we have an opportunity to express our support for reproductive rights now.  We don’t want to wait until onerous new laws have been passed or beneficial new laws not considered.  On Saturday, November 2nd, we will rally in Frankfort to let our legislators know what we want.

That morning, Saturday, November 2nd, reproductive rights supporters from across the state will meet in their locales to decorate cars for the rolling rally, traveling as a caravan into Frankfort to meetup with like-minded Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth. Following the rally, there will be a tailgating celebration where rally participants can learn more about supporting organizations, like the Kentucky Religous Coalition for Reproductive Choice (KRCRC), the ACLU of Kentucky, The A Fund, and the Louisville Clinic Escorts.

We have four points of focus:

  • Comprehensive Sex Education

In Kentucky, bills mandating that public schools teach comprehensive sexual education that is medically accurate and age appropriate have been introduced in 2010, 2011, and 2012, but did not get out of committee.  Our kids deserve accurate information.

  • Contraception Access

In Kentucky, a bill to allow pharmacists to refuse to provide birth control was introduced in 2013, but did not get a committee hearing.  However, recent  hospital mergers have made  family planning services more difficult, as many hospitals are now Catholic-affiliated, particularly impacting rural areas that are already underserved.  Our families deserve access to family planning.

  • Access to Abortion Services

In Kentucky, bills that would require transvaginal ultrasounds and 24 hour in person counseling have been introduced every year for the last five years, but have not passed.   Only two of the 120 counties have an abortion provider, and 77% of Kentucky women live outside those two counties..  Kentuckians deserve access to a full range of reproductive health care.

  • Family Support Services

The Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP) is just one of many programs that provide support to families facing economic challenges.  Support for programs such as this one is essential because Kentucky families deserve support to raise healthy children in a supportive environment.

So we’re all getting excited about the rally – and I thought I’d show you some of our preparations.

(transcript at end of article)

And one of the escorts has already got some posters ready:

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And they asked me to emcee the rally!  So I’m working on a (short) “Welcome to the rally” speech, trying not to be nervous, and hoping to see you there!

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Are you coming with us? Head over to the Events page or the website to sign up.  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/

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Transcript of video:

I’m Sassy. And I’m a feminist. And no gynotician is going to tell me what to do with my vagina.

Vagina. Vagina. Vagina.

That’s why I’m going to the Kentucky Road Rally for Reproductive Rights on November 2nd.

I’m going to make signs.

I’m going to decorate my car.

And I’m going to tell those Frankfort politicians – stick to your day jobs.

Hi, I’m Temperence, Sassy’s twin sister. In preparation for the Kentucky Road Rally for Reproductive Rights, I agreed to make some cute little signs, and I wanted to share my tips with you.

First, you’ll need some posterboard. You’ll want to get the crispest, cleanest  posterboard you can find so that your message will be more easily read by the politicians who are overreaching their bounds.

Secondly, round up some paint, markers, crayons, stickers, glitter…anything you think you may need to create your message of maintaining reproductive freedoms in the Commonwealth.

Brainstorm what you might want your poster to say. There are some great suggestions on the FAQ page of the Kentucky Road Rally’s website; go to kyroadrally.org.

Once you’ve settled on a message, take a moment to consider how it will best fit on your posterboard.

Then, carefully write your message on your posterboard, taking time to add special embellishments.

Once you’re done, you’re ready to roll out to Frankfort to tell our elected officials:

Kentucky families deserve better..

I’m Temperence, and I’ll see you on the Capitol steps, November 2nd.

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {10/21/13}

We frequently see clients and companions respond to the words spoken by the antis. Sometimes they respond with politeness to the questions the antis ask them. Sometimes they respond with their own biblical quotes to counter what the anti is saying. Sometimes they respond with well-thought out responses for the questions the antis bring up. Sometimes they respond with emotional pleas to just listen to them. Sometimes they respond with anger. Sometimes they respond with tears. Sometimes they respond with sarcasm. Frequently, it is a combination of several of these approaches.

One morning we had a client who responded with all of these approaches. The client had been to the clinic earlier in the week and heard all of the things the antis normally say. D particularly gave them a hard time. This time they had thought about their responses and were ready and eager to confront the antis, especially D.

The client and their companions arrived about 30 minutes before the doors of the clinic opened. They went immediately to the door because the client wanted to talk to D. The next 30 minutes in front of the clinic were confrontational, chaotic, sad and upsetting. Some of the words and actions of the client were purposely shocking even to escorts. After all, she had a couple of days to think about what they had said to her before. The client’s words and actions served the purpose of causing all but one anti to back away from her and leave her alone. D retreated early, but was still talking about it to other antis 3 days afterwards.

Two things stand out in my mind from the morning.

One was the client’s response to, “Have you considered adoption?” The reply was, “What? Do you want me to spend the rest of my life asking every child I pass on the street, “Are you my baby? Are you?” I don’t think so.”

The other thing that stands out was the waves of hurt and anger in equal parts coming from the client. She was vocal about being angry and hurt for being judged and shamed by the antis without knowing her or her story.

An escort spoke to her after she went into the clinic to make sure she was okay. She was pleased she was able to speak up for herself, but was still upset the antis even thought they had a right to question her and her decision, let alone film her as she waited by the door. The escort explained the policy of public sidewalks and filming, but it still isn’t right to invade her privacy so completely.

I’ll be thinking about this client for a long time.

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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/

Good Cop vs Bad Cop ~ by Eeyore

Recently I was standing by the door at the clinic when Tim arrived. He cupped his hands to his face, as he is wont to do, and stood for a few moments before starting his spiel (sometimes he’ll stand like that for over a minute – I’ve timed him – with his hands at his face not speaking, I guess waiting for divine inspiration. It’s creepy, like he just turns off for a bit). It went pretty much along these lines . . .

“Mothers, we aren’t here to judge you, we are here to help you. We can help with your bills, we have a beautiful maternity home that you can stay in for three years for free. And men who are in there, you are sitting next to a murderer. You are with a woman who is going to murder her baby.”

Did you notice that subtle shift in message? Yeah, me too. Part of me wanted to walk up and tell him that just because he addressed the last bit to men doesn’t mean women’s ears stopped working. Or maybe he thinks saying men switches everything to a masculine frequency that women can’t hear. Sorry Tim, that’s not how ears work. The woman you wanted to trust in this offer of loving, non-judgmental kindness just heard you call her a murderer in literally the next sentence. See, right there, that’s you judging her. So now she knows you’re a liar and rarely do people look to liars for counsel.

It’s not an uncommon experience on the sidewalk. If a client approaches from a distance and a protestor gloms on, they will often start with the “we are here to help, we just want to love you, god loves you” rhetoric. About half way to the clinic the talk turns to a pleading whimper saying “don’t murder your baby, you know it’s wrong, mommy don’t kill me”. As the client turns the corner to enter the clinic the anti’s frustration breaks and the damnation and shaming spews forth “don’t do this, god will punish you in the fires of hell, don’t make this baby pay for your mistakes”.

The thing is, you can’t play both sides by yourself. That’s why in TV shows where they’re doing the good cop/bad cop routine there’s always TWO cops. Working alone would make a person look insincere at best. The person being questioned by good/bad cop won’t trust him, the audience won’t trust him. All of his words and deeds have become suspect.

I’ve often been amazed that the anti’s don’t see something so obvious and focus on one message at a time.Why not just stick with playing the good cop routine? It would probably have better results. I think that in their minds, though, they’re never playing bad cop. Love and punishment, help and judgment, sex and shame all go hand in hand. To them it’s all the same message.

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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/

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {10/14/13}~by KYCat

It had been a fairly quiet weekday morning. There was the usual quietly hissed insults to the various escorts that morning from the regular antis, but no episodes of loud screaming and chasing of clients; just the trailing, waving pamphlets and pleading.

I was standing on the corner about three minutes after eight; chatting with two of the other escorts; catching up on plans for the upcoming rally on November 2nd.

Further down the sidewalk I spotted a confident yet concerned woman heading towards us. She had two companions following her lead as she strode up to us.

“Can I ask you a question” she directed at me. “Sure,” I replied, hoping it was not going to be something that I did not know, like where the nearest good coffeehouse was or any of the other things I have been asked while standing around looking official in my orange vest.

She said, “I have been told that the ultrasound costs 300 dollars and that I could get a free one here.” pointing to the CPC on the corner. She held tightly to her purse and the tension in her voice and hands were obvious when she said, “I only have enough money for the procedure. I don’t have an extra 300 dollars.”

I quickly realized that she had spoken with someone at the CPC. Fearing that she did not have sufficient funds for the total procedure, she wanted to get further confirmation before turning the corner and drawing the attention of the antis still gathered at the door of the clinic.

“No,” I replied. “The ultrasound is included in the cost of the procedure at the clinic.” I added that even if she thought she could save some of the cost by getting a free one, the CPC was not a medical facility and it would not be accepted by EMW if she did decide to go through with the abortion.

It is a deceptive scare tactic, I explained. They know that you have had to make many arrangements to get here today; sometimes at great expense and time traveled for patients. They have been known to delay women so long that mistakenly go there first, they miss the check-in time for their scheduled appointment. This puts yet another burden on the clients once they realize they have been deceived as they have to reschedule and take yet more time and expense to obtain their abortion.

She looked at us and a huge smile broke out across her face and she let out a big sigh. “Then I dò have enough money.  I was worried that I would not be able to have this today. They lied.”

I asked if she would like us to walk with them. “Yes.” she replied and took the lead with a renewed  purpose in her stride, seemingly knowing that anything further spoken to her by the antis would just be more of the same.

It was a good way to end the morning. Walking with a client that made the decision that was best for her with plain old facts; no guilt, no shame, no personal questions. Just factual answers to her questions.

I am beginning to think some of these antis must be avid fishermen on the days they don’t come to the sidewalk to harass clients. They sure do tell some big fish tales.

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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/

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/