Angela Misbehaving

This is an account of occurrences this morning at the clinic by one of our escorts who witnessed the happenings. I have done a bit of editing as it took quite a bit of space to get it all down, however the events of the morning I have left in tact and in their own words.

Angela blocking dude from closing his door

Angela blocking dude from closing his door

This morning, as the escorts were leaving, Angela followed the partner of a client from the clinic door. He had a determined look and fast-paced walk as he made his way to the car. So the escorts continued to leave and I got into my truck. As I was waiting for to pull out, I noticed the man walking back towards the clinic, with Angela and her husband crowding him. She jumped in front of him, trying to slow him down, walking backwards in front of him. He kept walking like normal, just like any of the escorts would do, and ended up stepping on her foot. She got all tripped up, flailing her arms as she fell into the fence.

That’s when I jumped out of my truck and ran to try to help, at least to be a presence for him and the protesters, both (since we normally believe that at least our presence helps somewhat, right?…). So I get in next to the man and Angela bounces right back in front, along with her husband, both of them trying to block our way.Finally we pushed through and got into the clinic.

I told the intake staff what happened, and she went to make a note of it.

The man had returned to the clinic to retrieve his forgotten key and then had to walk back to his car.  He said he’d be fine, so I returned to my truck and watched as he went back toward the car, Angela yapping at him again like before.

... but when Angela showed up, he stepped down for a minute. Note the sorrow (or annoyance?) on his face. Poor guy.

... but when Angela showed up, he stepped down for a minute. Note the sorrow (or annoyance?) on his face. Poor guy.

And again, I was just about to pull out of the parking lot when I noticed her flailing her arms at the car. I realized that he was trying to open the driver side door, but every time he got it a few inches open, she slammed it shut with her fat ass. He looked in my direction, and I got out of my truck, just in time to see her bible flying across the car to the sidewalk. I was the only escort there, and figured I should get help rather than try to split them up myself. As I ran back to the clinic, I passed Donna, who was watching everything from her post at the door, and she said, “That’s none of your business!” I know that to an extent she was right, it’s between the client and the protester, but somebody needed to know what was going on out there. So I ignored her and went inside and told the people at the desk there were issues outside, and a man in glasses wearing a red button-down shirt and tie came out to talk to them or something, but was pretty much useless.

Angela was running around with the strap of her messenger bag held out for all to see claiming the man had spit on her. I told her she deserved whatever she got and she can’t go around blocking people’s way.

Luckily (or so I thought), the biker cops that had come by earlier in the morning asked if everything was ok. Meanwhile, Angela had taken off again back to the man at his car, so I said to the cops, “No, that woman with the white shirt is blocking that man from getting into his car.” So they rode up to the man and Angela and started talking to them.

I walked up to see if they needed me at all, since I was the only one out there who’d seen everything exactly as it happened and wasn’t trying to twist everything around like the Jesus Freaks do. The cops sent me away. I went back to my truck, boiling with anger and frustration, and just sat there for a minute to cool off enough to drive home. I watched the cops say whatever useless things they were going to say and ride off again, and Angela came running back to Donna and her husband, carrying some little piece of notebook paper (it didn’t look like a ticket, but I’m not sure. I hope it was a ticket..){editor’s note, probably the paper she was holding was the personal information from the dude, I am sure Angela asked the cop for it so she can file some sort of charge against him} telling Donna to get a picture of the man’s spit on the strap of her bag, acting like HE was wrong to spit on her when SHE wouldn’t even let him in his own car. Finally, I just had to get away.

I felt so helpless. I was the only one that saw everything, the only one that would truly be on the client’s side, but the cops sent me away. I had yelled at both Angela and Donna, but they didn’t listen. They never listen. Angela just kept babbling away with her prayers like the psycho she is and making the huge ordeal over having been spit on. And the cops didn’t do anything. No one in the clinic could do anything. I couldn’t do anything. I could only sit in my truck and watch as Angela got a little slap on the wrist and was sent on her merry little way. It made me sick. I was completely helpless, and powerless, and utterly defeated. It was the worst I think I’ve ever felt. I think I need a day off…

However, I’m glad I was there today. If I hadn’t been there, no one else would have seen it. No one else would know. I really think the reason Angela went so berserk was because the escorts had left. There was no one to watch her, or tell her to stop; no one to distract her or discourage her. So she thought she could do whatever she wanted. But I really feel that if anyone is able to stay a little later, especially on weekdays when Angela is there, they should. Not just one person, because I was useless by myself, but if there are at least 2 people who can stay a little later, I think it might help. Of course, if there were a cop there every day that would probably help more than anything, but maybe that’s too much to hope for…

I absolutely agree with the author of this peice, the reason Angela behaves this way is because she thinks she can. This is the reason that cities like Pittsburgh PA, Oakland CA and Buffalo NY as well as others have buffer zone laws. The 9th circuit just ruled that Oakland’s law (http://www.prochoice.org/blog/labels/buffer%20zone%20laws.html)  is constitutional, just like all the other court cases brought against buffer zones laws. And ongoing moments like the one described above are the reason.

What happens in the free speech vs harassment argument is that we, as a society hold the First Amendment in highest esteem. But there is more to this argument than the right to say what ever you want regardless of how vile it may be. The type of behavior displayed by Angela is intended to be disempowering. She wants the people she interacts with to feel like she knows best. Her behavior clearly indicates that she has little concern for the thoughts, feeling and desires of the client and their companions. As she NEVER stops talking long enough for anyone to get a word in edge wise, there is no chance she might hear what someone might have to say for themselves.

And really, she doesn’t care.

Her whole reason for being there is to assuage the guilt she feels for her own TWO abortions.

She’s had TWO abortions?! you say, why yes.

Her angle for talking to people on the sidewalk is that she knows what they are going through. That she has been there and done that. And in so knowing all that she knows, it is up to her to stop every client that crosses her path from making the same mistakes. And she believes that the ends justify the means. What ever it takes to deter a person from exercising their own autonomy, the anti-choicers will do; including lying to and harassing clients, assaulting anyone attempting to or providing access for reproductive health care.

Another escort wrote this today about an experience a client had at the fake clinic, “A Woman’s Choice Resource Center”:

i ended up talking to a client who had an experience at the fake clinic that surprised me and I thought i should share. she was confused about which clinic to go into and went into the wrong one, the receptionist pretended her name was on the appointment list and brought her to the back. She told them she needed the pill to remove pregnancy and they told her they had that, so she thought she was in the right place. they then counceled her and tried to tell her why she should keep the baby. she left with a bag of diapers and maternity clothes, confused about why it was such a process. they gave her their card so on several occasions she called to tell them that she really couldn’t have the baby and needed the pill, but all they did was talk to her about choosing life. eventually she lost the card and found the original number for the correct clinic and they told her that she never showed up for her appointment. it wasn’t until then that she realized that she had been dealing with the wrong place, but it was weeks later so of course the pill wouldn’t work and she came in today for an abortion. i don’t know if this is news to anyone, but i didn’t realize how willing they were to trick people and lie. the fakeness of the clinic is more dramatic than i realized.

Free speech protects the right of people to bold face lie to others. Free speech protects the rights of people to misinform, denigrate, shame and verbally bully people up and down the sidewalk (please see the national debate on health care) .

What free speech doesn’t cover is verbal and emotional abuse, physically barring someone from leaving a place in which they are being harassed. What the protesters don’t get is that every person that walks down the street has a history of their own; a family to take care of, an abusive relationship they are trying to get out of, a health concern, or maybe they just do not want to have a baby.

No one person can know what another is going through and it is not okay for people like Angela to bully and intimidate, lie and manipulate others into parenthood just because she never found love and acceptance regarding her own history. Maybe if she had had the opportunity to speak with a group like Exhale, she might have learned to be at peace with the very difficult decisions that comprise the journey towards an abortion.

Research shows that the people most likely to feel distress after an abortion are people with religious backgrounds where abortion is stigmatized and demonized. We know that when people are supported through tough times in their lives and use active coping mechanisms to deal with stressful stimuli, they report more positive outcomes in the end.

What this means in the street is, the more you empower people to say this is hard, but I am making an informed decision based on my life situation, and I will be okay. The better off people actually are in the long run. Emotionally berating people doesn’t ever improve the end result.

blocking the door

blocking the door

So I say, we need to trust people. Give them the tools they need to make knowledgeable (this means real scientific data, not the bull shit the fake clinic spouts off) decisions in their lives and quit dropping emotionally manipulative garbage all over the place.

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3 thoughts on “Angela Misbehaving

  1. BTW, I’m the Bullywatch009 Blogger for Allentown Womens Center in Allentown PA.

    Thanks for keeping up with your blog and “may the force be with you”
    In sisterhood, dr k8

  2. I’m amazed at the level of aggression. Have you seen the videos from Cleveland, OH; Austin TX; Charlotte NC? They all point out how badly the protesters behave and how very little the city and police intervene—deliberate indifference. See the videos on ACN’s Enough Basta Cause site.

    We need to let Louisville and the world see how women are treated.

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