Just Another Day…

We keep notes on some of the things that happen at the clinic.  It’s helpful as a de-stressing strategy, and we end up with many little vignettes of day-to-day events.

Some of them are dramatic – the police are called, a companion wants to kill a protester and an escort intervenes – but those are unusual.  More often they’re just little events.  Some of my favorite stories are from K.  Back in June, he wrote:

“Something else f***ed up I heard on the sidewalk this morning:

Stacey asked a client, “Can you tell me why you are having an abortion today?”

I looked at the client, her mouth agape. her eyes wide, and asked “Please tell me the most intimate details of your personal life.”

She chuckled a little, “Right?”

Sometimes, the stories are surprising.  A little later in the summer, K writes:

“A couple approached the clinic and I introduced myself as a volunteer escort and asked permission to walk with them. She said yes, he said no. So I walked with her.

Mary (one of the protesters) was with us by now. The client said she was having second thoughts and wanted to talk to someone.

I offered her Backline which I have open on my iPhone most mornings. She rejected that and preferred to go to AWC .

I walked with her up to AWC’s property line and said “Take Care.”

He goes on to talk about his feelings about it, and I won’t share that here because that’s his story to tell.  But it’s fascinating to see how we grow and learn from our experience on the sidewalk.

More recently, K said:

{We}  escorted about 25 clients through Donna, Bobbi, Teresa  the navy hat dude that films, his wife, and the 40dayer with the cool doc martin boots. George showed up late and mostly hung out with Donna. Guido and Donny Ray provided a little sound track from G’s new fender guitar.

We had some very empowered folks this morning that really appreciated us being there but glided through the anti’s as if they were not even there.

I received the greatest compliment and thanks I have ever heard from a client. As we stood by their car, unbothered by the protesters, I told them who was out this morning and what to expect – some ugly posters, some intrusion into their space, but nothing we don’t see every day.

The client locked eyes with me, touched my hand and thanked me, saying, “You guys make this a whole lot less scary than I felt when I drove up and saw them.”

I thought about that last week when i was walking with a woman who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent.  I confess,  I noticed her shoes, being a shoe person myself;  they were probably 4 inch heels, very nice, and she seemed to have no trouble walking the long block and a half from their car to the clinic.

But she was moving a little bit slower than her male companion, so he was a little bit ahead of her, leaving space for one of the chasers, Stephanie, to get in close, stepping directly in my path.

i don’t even remember what Stephanie was saying, and the woman wasn’t responding.  Sometimes i chatter away and it’s a distraction, but the woman seemed disengaged from me too, so i was talking less then i might otherwise.

As Stephanie got closer to her, and more vehement, the woman took a couple of quick steps to catch up with her companion, grabbed his arm and buried her face in his shoulder.

And here’s where it gets interesting – Stephanie’s interpretation of this is that the woman was crying because she was going to have an abortion.  i guess Stephanie thinks her words (which i’m not convinced the woman understood) had touched the woman’s heart and made her realize the error of her ways?

I think the woman was crying because she was scared by the scene around her.  Stephanie’s vehemence, the lines of protesters on either side of her, even me, the strange woman in the orange vest – I think she was overwhelmed and intimidated by them and us and the chaos and confusion.

And for real, of course I don’t know why she was crying.  I’m just sorry she had to go through that mess to get to her doctor’s appointment.

2 thoughts on “Just Another Day…

  1. And for real, of course I don’t know why she was crying. I’m just sorry she had to go through that mess to get to her doctor’s appointment.

    I wish the protesters would get that. They don’t know why she’s crying, and they don’t know why she’s doing this. It’s not their business anyway.

  2. Those moments – when we are as much of the problem as the protesters – crush me! I feel ya, sister!

    Mostly, we have to be like Hippocrates – Do no Harm!

    It sounds like you did that. As crappy as it is, sometimes, the situation just sucks and nothing you do, short of firing up the flux capacitor in the DeLorean, is going to do any good.

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