New Faces and New Ideas

Our daily lives are so immersed in abortion discussion as escorts. Every day we read blogs and news articles concerning reproductive rights. Sometimes we forget the abortion battles are not a high priority to everyone.
Another escort and I had the pleasure of seeing a screening of the HBO Documentary “12th and Delaware” recently.
The documentary film objectively presents both sides of the abortion issue through filming in Ft. Pierce, FL. It includes interviews with staff of a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) across the street from an abortion clinic and then interviews with the staff of the abortion clinic. Throughout there are personal conversations with clients at both facilities, protesters against abortion and a priest opposing abortion. The film moves seamlessly along telling the stories without a narrator or on-screen explanations. The people of the documentary tell their stories in their own words and by their actions.
The audience for this film were a group of high school students.  They are volunteers for reproductive health issues. The presenters gave the information objectively for both sides of the abortion issue. The audience asked some very good questions after the film.
There are several things I took away from the presentation and questions asked after the film.
Among escorts we talk about CPCs all of the time. There are two on the same street as the Louisville abortion clinic; one right next door. The term and function of a CPC had to be explained to the audience before viewing the film. It was hard to phrase our answers to questions in diplomatic terms concerning A Woman’s Choice and our interactions with their staff. We constantly had to remind ourselves this particular audience was just being introduced to the issues we feel so strongly about.
The film itself was interesting in several places from our perspective as escorts. We heard the same words said by protesters we hear in Louisville. “You don’t have to work here.” “I will go to the bank and give you all the money you need to take care of this baby.” We heard the same words said by the counselor at the CPC as we hear in Louisville. ‘You risk breast cancer by having an abortion. The abortion procedure is dangerous to a woman and you could die.’ We saw the same tactics by the staff of the CPC delaying clients by leaving them in the room alone with reading material they had placed there and even buying one woman lunch.
After the film, some of the lies told by CPCs were discussed and correct information was presented. The point was made the protesters and staff of the CPC are acting on their convictions that abortion is wrong in all cases. They believe abortion is a greater wrong than lying; the end justifies the means. The end objective for them is to stop an abortion by whatever means works.
A part of the film I found shocking was the filming of the priest associated with the CPC talking about the evil at the abortion clinic. There was mention of demons, pure evil and a verbal confrontation directed by the priest at one of the owner’s of the abortion clinic. The sermon was inflammatory. The confrontation was disturbing. I thought it was more over the line than we hear every Saturday with our sidewalk preachers. Maybe I am just used to being called a sinner in a different venue?
We were able to pass around our business cards. We talked briefly about the resources of facts from different groups posted on our blog site and encouraged them to visit the site. There was only one young man who refused to take our card. He stated abortion is “just wrong.”
The presenters asked hard and clear questions of the group when the film finished. I admired their presentation of a balanced picture.
The main takeaway I have from the group is hope. Their curiosity brought them there to watch the film. They displayed willingness to understand by asking questions and really listening to the answers. They were willing to learn more about the subject. There is cause for hope that among them will be some of the next wave of pro-access activists.

2 thoughts on “New Faces and New Ideas

  1. Thank you for your run down on this screening. It is great to know that young people are interested, and it is fabulous that you were able to reign in the emotion when answering questions about the CPCs. These young people ARE going to be the ones who are in the communities in the future, so it is imperative the stereotype of evil demonic escorts and clinic staff be debunked by reasonable measured answers and conduct. Obviously the inflammatory rhetoric and bad behavior is glaring from the anti crowd, and they do a great job of just letting their actions speak for themselves.

    I would like to know who is screening this movie. Are they going to college campuses? We surely could use a screening here, as we are very close to one college campus and only ten minutes or so away from another.

    Thank you for your inspiring blog, now I am off to escort!

    • Kittybrat,

      The film is screened by different groups in different cities. Apologies that I cannot be more specific than that statement. It depends on where you are and where reproductive justice groups are active. The link to Sundance 2010 in today’s blog has a list of screening dates and venues. HBO does rerun it sometimes as well. You can purchase a copy of the DVD for $15.00 from Democracy Now, but it does not appear to be the entire video. The original video is 80 minutes and the DVD from Democracy Now is only 59 minutes. also has it available for about $20. You might want to check with the nearest Planned Parenthood office to see if they have a copy and plans for screening and/or lending it.


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