January 24, 2009 by andy
Protesters: maybe 30
It was in the low 30s this morning, not too bad over all. And for the most part it was a regular morning, with pushing and yelling. Mary was wound up and being extra preachy at the escorts. She accused us of thinking we know everything. This allegation is silly since it is the escorts that recognize that we do not have enough information to make informed decisions regarding anyone’s choice to obtain an abortion. She is the one that thinks diapers and computer classes will fix every problem pregnancy.
But over all it was nothing special and we had way more escorts than we could have really put to good use. Thanks for coming out everybody. After last week we wanted some back up and we got it in spades.
I am going to write about this week in another post, because I have more to say about last week.
I would like to say again that we got our collective asses run all over the place by the protesters. They were physically aggressive and very intent on impeding the ability of clients to enter the clinic. Mary, Mary2, some semi-regular prayer, both Angelas (Catholic and Pentecostal) and the fake clinic staff were all up in the mix. We had no police support until the very end, and then he escalated the problem.
In the same scrum I wrote about last week, there was another side to the story that I did not tell.
The semi-regular prayer, we’ll call him “Buck”, got his panties twisted into knots so tight he began flailing at clients.
Over my back, around the other escorts, thrusting lit at the client in a manner that can only be described as threatening.
The client’s boyfriend (?) was trying to make space through the mob of Mary and the other 4 or 5 protesters, who were surrounding us and really making the trip from parking lot to door cumbersome.
The father was trying to keep the family together and holding onto the client as we walked.
We finally got across the street and onto the sidewalk, where the cop was standing watching.
As Towanda was being stepped on by Buck, she yelled to the cop “Are you going to do anything about this?” and his response was to hook her by the shoulder, headed in the opposite direction dragging her out from under the protester and away from the pack. He then motioned for Buck to follow. They all went across the street and were lectured.
Buck was shamed pretty well, the cop said that he looked like an upstanding citizen and that he should know better than to act like “that” (an over grown bully).
He told Towanda that she was the problem, that she should not respond to the protesters aggression and that she is too emotionally involved (because the thugs for a loving jesus are paragons of rationality and even tempers).
He threatened to arrest everyone if there was more pushing.
Again we see the status quo perpetuated; women are not entitled to be free from harassment if they are having an abortion. This is a charged issue, we must let the protesters speak their mind, and clients should understand that it is going to be like this.
Access means more than just being able to get in the door. Access includes being free from judgment and harassment as one handles ones own business. Access includes being treated as a whole person with feelings, thoughts, hopes and wishes as complex and valid as those of the protesters. To be free from intimidation and coercion regardless of the choice being made.
We as a society do not stigmatize anyone as thoroughly as we do people who have abortions. We think there are two types of women, those who have abortions and those who have babies. This is just not the case. The Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that “about 60% of women having abortions have one or more children”; and that about one third of all American women will have an abortion in their lifetime.
With this in mind I contend that abortion is a normal part of our reproductive lives. We as female bodied people are empowered to care for ourselves and our families and we must not tolerate this kind of moralistic fervor. We must stand up for ourselves and acknowledge the realities of our live.
So make some noise.
Take a radical stance.
Empower yourself and others.
Trust each other.