Every day escorts are at the clinic, pedestrians and bicyclists passing by say something to us. They have questions about what they are seeing or they just want to tell us they are glad we are there. Passing cars will sometimes honk and give us a thumbs up.
On Saturday mornings I usually stand across the street from the clinic to direct clients into a private parking lot they can use. When all of the clients are in, I stand on the corner within sight of the clinic doors to wait for late arrivals. Three Saturdays in a row I have had pedestrians crossing at the light talk to me about what they are seeing.
The reactions range from shock at what they are witnessing to, “Thank you for being here.” A few have wanted long conversations about why escorts and protesters are there. They had no idea all of this drama was going on in downtown Louisville.
One bicycle rider stopped and said, “I want to come out to help you, but I don’t think I could keep from yelling at the people harassing these women.” We both agreed yelling wouldn’t be helpful, but also agreed it was hard to listen to some of the things being said.
One pedestrian stopped and talked to me through three changes of the traffic light saying, “I can’t understand why all of these people are out here. They are just trying to shame.” We talked about abortion in general and the dynamics on the sidewalk.
Since it was near the anniversary of Dr. George Tiller’s murder, we talked about him and about how the need for late-term abortions was not understood by everyone. We agreed in our admiration for Dr. Tiller and regret for the violence inspired by abortion protesters. Our conversation ended with a, “Thank you for what you do,” from the pedestrian and “Have a nice day,” from both of us.
These conversations and thank yous are always nice. They make my day lighter irregardless of what the antis are doing.
We have many allies in our community and are grateful for all of the questions, thoughtful conversations and kind words.