Martyrs and Saints

When we publish articles on Every Saturday Morning, we moderate all comments received. Our view on comments is spelled out on our Comments page. Even though it is spelled out clearly we will not post religious or anti-abortion comments, we frequently get comments from antis wanting to let us know the error of our ways.

One comment we deleted because it violated our comment policy got me thinking about the different types of motivations for antis who come out on the sidewalk regularly. It is part of my personal, never-ending quest to figure out why antis come out to harass strangers once a week. I especially do not understand those antis who come every day.

They all believe they are entitled to be there. They frequently tell us they are exercising their right to free speech. They tell us they see the truth and say we are Satan’s tools. They pray for escorts and clients. We frequently hear, “May there be a Holy Ghost intervention to stop you from entering this clinic,” “I will pray for you to see the truth,” “You know you will go to hell for what you are doing,” “If you died today, are you ready to be judged?”, directed at clients, companions and escorts.

If prayer isn’t answered fast enough, some antis block the way, pushing and shoving. We trip over them in our attempt to walk clients around them. They frequently provoke a reaction from clients, companions and sometimes escorts. When violence has been barely avoided or actually sparked, we have been told by this same comment-writing anti, ‘I am here to stop the killing of babies and would lose my life if necessary.’ This anti has been punched, shoved off the sidewalk and screamed at by clients and companions. Still E comes back every week.

This anti isn’t rare and we see the type each day on the sidewalk. I call these the Martyr and Saint protesters. These particular protesters go a little further in their actions. They appear to be eager and willing to put themselves in harm’s way as if to prove their devotion to their belief. A violent reaction seems to be one of the things they are seeking. Sometimes they do get violent responses. Then we hear them ask other protesters, “Did you see what they did to me?”

These antis are volatile and unpredictable. When we point out they are violating the FACE Act one of them replied with, “Federal law’s a joke. What about the law above?” It is not unusual to have these antis standing 3 inches from our faces screaming about how escorts are all liars, sinners and murderers. This sometimes gets an angry reaction in response.

M is one anti in this group we write about all of the time. The potential to provoke physical violence is present each time M is on the sidewalk. The reactions to M from companions and clients are always vocal repetitions of, ‘Leave me alone,’ in the words they choose to say to convey that message. Clients and companions have balled up their fists and swung, yelled and pushed, but M’s tactics have not changed.

D is there 5 days a week and is in this group. D is like postal delivery: neither rain, snow, sleet or any other obstacles will prevent the visit to the clinic daily. Imagine what benefit that kind of dedication would be able to do in a different setting. Feeding the poor? Helping the homeless? The possibilities are endless.

I realize the quest to understand these antis is never-ending for me and never to be fulfilled, but I know I will continue to explore the subject.

12 thoughts on “Martyrs and Saints

  1. One thing from the 40 days newsletter that can be posted I thought was neat was this:

    “the 40 Days for Life vigil in Montreal seems to have
    struck a nerve. Brian in Montreal said about two dozen
    university students showed up, “banner and noise-makers
    in hand … parking themselves directly in front of our
    banner. They stayed nearly three hours, spending this
    time chanting and enjoying the support from pro-choice

    As they left, he said, “they swarmed our banner,
    plastering it with stickers. Fortunately, there wasn’t
    any damage.”

  2. I honestly think some anti-choicers are mothers who can’t process their resentment over how having children changed/limited their lives. For whatever reason, abortion or not having kids wasn’t a possibility for them, so they don’t think it’s fair for other people to do it either. I’ll admit this is purely an intuitive theory for me & not rooted in research, but it does feel right, for some of the antis I’ve met.

    • Laura,

      The reason my search for understanding will be never-ending is because there so many different reasons for the antis. Your theory is valid for some of them, even though unscientific. Combination reasons of patriarchal domination and peer approval are others. I think I keep searching for understanding in the mistaken belief that THEN I could reason with them based upon logical answers to their positions.


  3. To be fair, it isn’t only anti’s comments that are not approved for publication. I recently had a diatribe deleted.

    And I am glad F and P deleted that comment because it would have given the anti’s ammunition in this psychological warfare. Their goal, we all know, is to elevate the chaos, ramp up the volume, and make the atmosphere outside the clinic as volatile as possible. Anything they can do to make the sidewalk as difficult as possible, they will do.

    And the last thing we need to be doing is letting them know what works.

    • Kescort,

      Thank you for understanding about the unapproved comment. We think you are a great escort and value your input, but we also need to be aware we have a diverse reading audience who are not all pro-access.

      See you on the sidewalk,

  4. I think your statements towards the end are what really get to me. Imagine the greater good they could do if they put just a portion of that energy into helping those that really need it. The entire anti-choice movement…they could honestly change the entire situation if they would work towards helping kids that are already here that need so much help and helping families get on their feet when they need it.

    • Grace,

      It is one of the things that really gets to me too. There is a saying about pro-life that they are pro-life until birth, then you are on your own.

      Thank you,

  5. You are so right. Imagine what that dedication could do to actually help humanity or the planet. Why are they so damn eager to be there and harass? They are egged on by people they trust. Interestingly, right above your e-mail was the newsletter from Shawn Carney from the 40 days for life campaign. I am going to copy his letter here, and if you go to the links, you will see even more drivel. They spew lies and concern, telling their followers this is a war for the soul of our nation. The antis are gullible and refuse to believe anyone but those who have been feeding them the lies. Carney and 40 days for life are doing what the other organizations do, which is to whip up frenzy by telling that God is on their side, yada yada yada. THIS is one motivator:

    Dear kitty,

    Some inspiring stories and great pictures today …
    from 40 Days for Life campaigns from Miami to Manassas
    to Montreal!

    (all 40 Days for Life messages deleted by Servalbear)

    • Kittybrat,

      My apologies. I edited your comment to delete the 40 Days for Life messages. I just cannot violate our comment policy by posting them to our blog, nor posting links to their site. I hope you understand. While they are interesting in a perverse way, people will have to search for the information without our assistance.

      I agree with you, the 40 Days Campaigns whip up the antis to a point of escalation daily. We have seen it this campaign as in others. This morning was no exception. You are right, they prey on the gullible with their misinformation.

      We always appreciate your input so much.

      Thank you,

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