by an anonymous guest blogger
I escort for myself. I have had three pregnancies in my life. All unplanned. Two ended in much wanted, much loved, much doted upon children. One ended in a miscarriage, for which I am incredibly grateful. Through sheer luck, both of my term pregnancies came at times when I could consider having a child. I recognize that it is luck, and I feel blessed to have been in the situation I was with both of those pregnancies. I also feel blessed that the third ended in a miscarriage, and that I didn’t have to abort. I escort to remind myself that not everyone has my good fortune.
I escort for my children. I have two children, a son and a daughter. But I don’t just escort for my daughter. The anti choice crowd is constantly attempting to chip away at our rights and liberties. They target women openly and aggressively because it is still socially acceptable to discriminate against and try to oppress women, but they won’t stop there. I escort because if I don’t stand up now for womens’ right to have agency over their own bodies in every way, if I sit quietly by while they place restrictions on birth control, abortion, birth options, IVF, etc., then by the time my daughter reaches reproductive age, she might not have control over her reproductive health (and therefore her life) at all. And I escort for my son, to show him that women are strong. That they don’t need to be “cared for”, but respected. That they are his equals. I escort to show both my children that some things are worth fighting for.
I escort for the clients, who represent all women. Some clients march into the clinic, heads high, unperturbed by the hateful, pushing, bullying antis. I escort for them. Some women, clearly upset by the chaos, cling to me. I hope that I am the calm, steady strength that they need me to be. I escort for them. Most women fall somewhere in between. I escort for them. My heart fills up for all of them. It fills with respect for them, that they have the wisdom and courage to make the decision about what is best for them. They are the ones who are doing the hard work. I escort because I want them to know that they don’t have to do that work alone. I also escort for future clients, with the fervent hope that one day, they won’t need us out there.
I escort for America. Because the Constitution and the rule of law still mean something to me. Because the right to be free in our persons (Fourth Amenmdent) is an inalienable right. The anti choice crowd likes to crow about America being a Christian nation, or that the framers never intended abortion to be a right, that’s why they didn’t specifically include it. Both of these are flat out lies. America is not, never was, and was not created to be a theocracy. And I escort so that it never will be.
I escort for all women. Because women should not be bullied. Because women deserve comprehensive health care. They deserve to go to a doctor, in their own town, and to be able to walk in the door without harassment and aggravation. They deserve to make their own health care choices, not have the government or a preacher or a husband or a boyfriend or a rapist decide for them. Women deserve the respect and acknowledgment, even from themselves, that they are smart enough to know when they can and cannot raise a child.
I escort for the antis. Because they need to see true compassion. They think they are modeling Christian love and morals, but they are not, and true Christians should be appalled at their claiming of the banner. I am a woman of faith, although my faith looks very different from theirs or yours. I know, in my soul, that there is no higher power in the universe that would condone what these people do. And my faith compels me to be a good person, to show compassion to people who need it. And I believe that by doing that, I can affect the change I want to see in the world.
I escort for women who say “I would never have an abortion.” Because there might come a day when they need an abortion. It’s well and good to say that you would never want to have an abortion. But here’s the catch – nobody says “I hope one day I get to have an abortion, because I really want one!” These women that I escort into the clinic, they didn’t grow up hoping to some day be walking into an abortion clinic, through all the madness and hatred. I would ask that all the women who say they would never have an abortion stop and think for a moment. What if it were a problem pregnancy that was killing you? Would you leave your loved ones behind? If you already have children, as most women who seek abortions do, would you leave your children behind? What if your pregnancy sunk you into such a deep depression that you couldn’t care for yourself or your kids? What if that depression made you have continuing thoughts of hurting yourself or someone you love? What if you are raped, and emergency contraception fails (or, thanks to the efforts of the anti’s, you can’t get it at your pharmacy or hospital)? What if your baby has no brain? No face? No heart? Do you know what you would do in all of those cases? I don’t. But I do know that there might come a day where I am faced with making a very difficult choice, and no one else has the right to make that choice for me.