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.
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?
Instead, they continued to tell her not to kill her already dead baby.
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.
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.
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.