Engaging Escorts

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Some mornings there are a lot of clients arriving at the abortion clinic. Some mornings there are only a few. The mornings there are only a few clients seem to be frustrating to the antis. They turn their attention towards the escorts.These attentions may be aggressive or have the appearance of friendliness.

When the antis feel their interactions with the clients have been thwarted in some way by an escort, they will yell at the escort. If there are no clients present, this frequently leads to the escort yelling back and a general escalation in the tension on the sidewalk. It usually ends with the escort walking away.

There have been cases where an escort has walked away and been followed by a screaming anti for over a block. The screams are always, ‘You are wrong; You are lying; I am going to call the police to report you; I am going to sue you,’ or variations on these themes.

“Stop following me. You are harassing me.” These phrases are ignored by the antis when they are following an escort on the sidewalk.

We had one anti who told us his name was Mark Truth. Mr. Truth began following two escorts around trying to get them into a discussion with him. He followed them down one block and up a second block. Then they all retraced their steps. He was told, “Leave us alone. I don’t want to talk to you. You are harassing us.” Finally, the escorts called the police and reported him for harassment. Mr. Truth listened to the call and said it was okay with him. He stated he knew he had every right to follow them and talk to them. It took the police 10 minutes to arrive. Mr. Truth had been gone for 9 minutes. He happened to get a call and told the escorts he had to leave for work.

New escorts receive special attention.

When there are no clients to coerce, new escorts are the next best thing. Anti men always approach the escort and stand close to them. They always start the conversation with, ‘Why are you here?’

They will try to get you into a long discussion so they can prove you are wrong for being pro-choice.  Bible scriptures are quoted. They are never prepared for counter quotes and theological arguments from the escorts. These discussions always involve determining the point when life and personhood begins. Eventually, “Thou Shalt Not Kill” enters into the discussion.

The anti women who target new escorts have a different approach. They target the female presenting new escorts with arguments of, ‘The greatest thing a woman can do is be a mother. Are you a mother? How can you support murdering babies? Aren’t you glad your mother didn’t abort you?’

When a new escort is a woman of color the argument is, ‘How can you support genocide? Slavery was legal once, but that doesn’t make it right. Now they are killing your race with abortion.’

All the antis have one goal in mind when they engage new escorts. They want to convince escorts not to come out any more.

Antis will start conversations if an escort has been on vacation from the sidewalk for awhile. When I was gone a few weeks, the starting comment was, “I thought you had changed your mind about escorting and I was glad. You are too nice to be out here.” This backhanded compliment is supposed to make the escort believe the anti cares about them.

I really think the antis get bored with nothing to do except standing there holding their signs. They came out to harass someone. If they cannot harass clients going to their doctor’s appointment, then the next best thing is to harass the escorts. Then the trip won’t be wasted for them.

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