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.

10 thoughts on “I Do Not Apologize – on the sidewalk with FML

  1. Pingback: When “Pro-Life” is more meaningless than ever « Cubik's Rube

  2. I hadn’t actually realised until I read this that this was a thing. The organised volunteer escort effort, I mean. I’m sorry it has to exist, but I’m glad there are people like yourself keeping it up. There are so many heartbreaking stories like this one.

    • Thanks for the support. I think lots of people don’t realize the protesters are like they are either ~ I guess we hope that telling the story will be part of what brings about change. Thanks for commenting too!

  3. Pingback: Your religion breeds this shit » The Antichristian Phenomenon

  4. Seems the protestors believe they are following their conscience and obeying their God. Okay. I can see that part of it.

    Also seems they believe you have a conscience as long as it’s what they believe, so basically, they do not believe in an individual person’s right to follow their own conscience.

    Please tell me how that fits together, cuz I don’t get it.

    I’m glad you refused to speak to them (mostly). So do I (mostly). However, I’m thrilled you spoke up.

    Sometimes great evil must be named and pointed out, since the protestor sincerely wants to live according to their conscience.

    It’s clear from the push in many states to further limit access to abortion that the antichoicers are dead serious about making abortion completely illegal and unavailable. Everywhere.

    Which reminds me:

    “Abolition of a woman’s right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State.”
    – – Edward Abbey

  5. You were AWESOME this morning fml! Yes, you were demonstrative. Yes you were loud and forceful. Yes, you scolded them,. But all with intent and focused purpose.

    We may never change their minds, but I have had a few interactions lately that suggest these engagements DO make a difference.Shortly after this happened this morn, I talked to a couple of passive prayers who I have talked to in the past. Rather than spend time and energy on posters for the clinic protest, they spent that energy on pamphlets aimed at preventing unintended pregnancy. AND they even included birth control advice! (No condoms, but still, baby steps people, baby steps)

    While they may never admit that your interaction affected any change in their thinking, you can take it to the bank that that young man is researching the abortion restrictions he claimed didn’t exist this morning.

    And you ought to feel good about that.

  6. I agree with you. There is not a reason to apologize. Sometimes it is necessary to let go and spout the truth, even if you are casting pearls before swine.
    Thank you.

  7. This’s not the first time a woman grabs my arm, but it was the first time; she “stop” walking and told them why she was there. I espected for them to live her along, like allways I was wrong. I wanted to beat the living shit out of the protesters, but I remember what another escort told my a long time ago; walk away and cool off until you’re ready to came back. I did just that, but after 2+ years; I don’t think that I could be there every morning by myself. I’m not saying this because I’m scare of the protesters, I’m saying this because I’m scare of what I may do to them.

    • @womanchoice123 –

      I hear what you’re saying – it was a painful and emotional point of escorting this morning.

      And I want to be clear – I didn’t want to attack anyone physically or personally so much as I wanted them to recognize – at least to hear – that what they had just done was wrong. That it didn’t even make sense by their own warped standards. Also – I was not out of control. I wasn’t at risk of actually hurting anyone. I was just outraged.

      I am glad that you’re practicing control yourself, and certainly hope there’s never a need for you to be there alone.

      FML

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