From a Patient of EMW Women’s Surgical Center.I was at the clinic recently as a patient. I was the first patient to arrive. My mother came with me. The escorts were very helpful and warned us ahead of time about the protesters..We sat on the little brick part of the building and then the protesters started their rants. My mother went and talked to an escort about volunteering while I sat on the brick and played games on my phone while the protesters ranted. When she came back we just laughed and started having our own conversations about how silly they were..They were obviously bothered by our laughter and responses and moved on to their next victims. The second to arrive was an Indian family. You could tell they weren’t sure how to handle everything; eventually they quickly ran across the street to escape the protesters..Then as girls started to arrive my mother and I told the girls to sit down and made room on the bench for all the girls. My mother and I sat at the front part of the bench closest to the protesters so the other girls who were bothered by the protesters could be more comfortable. We told the girls jokes, told them to ignore them and talked to them..One protester knelt praying the whole time while others kept trying to get the other girls to go with them for a free ultrasound. And others calling us abominations. And yelling “The abortionist doesn’t care about you, none of them do.”.An older gentleman who was an escort stood in front of all of us and told us to ignore them. He made some comments to the protesters and kept standing in front of us. He was very helpful..When the doors were opened my mother and I were the first to go in. A protester screamed at my mother,” Grandma why are you letting her do this!” And then some others were yelling “Girls don’t do this!” I understand freedom of speech but it hurts me that this is all allowed..My being a patient I understand how hard the process is inside. Filling out paperwork, waiting, giving urine and blood samples, getting weighed, waiting, ultrasound, waiting, watching a video, waiting, counseling, and more waiting..While I was in the waiting room with these girls only two were upset. Several talked about how lucky I was that my mom was so supportive and there with me and how most of their families didn’t even know they were there. Several of us other girls talked to them and helped them. Myself and another girl got all the girls talking about anything we could. We weren’t all alone..As for me, I was past 12 weeks and didn’t know I was that far along. I went through the excruciating pain of getting my cervix dilated and having to wait two hours with two seaweed bars and gauze inside me. And then everyone lies in a bed while you get your IV and wait till it’s your turn..The staff inside did care. While I was crying from the pain of getting my cervix dilated one of the three women in the room got tissues and wiped my face and said, ”It’s ok baby, it’s ok, just breathe, I’m so sorry baby.” When I had first met her, when she was taking my blood at the beginning of the day, she seemed less friendly than the others. I was wrong. She was so kind and nice to me and seemed genuinely sorry I was in so much pain. She petted on me and stayed right beside me till it was done and the other two women kept saying that everything was okay and that it was almost over..The counselor, a woman in her late 50’s or so, asked me why I chose this and I told her it was because I never wanted to have children and being young no one will tie my tubes yet. She told me it was okay and she understood and that just because I’m a woman with the equipment to make children doesn’t mean I have to. And that it’s ok to not want to..Then while I was getting my IV the young woman who was also a redhead said,” Since you’re a redhead your veins are probably as tricky as mine.” She tried twice with the IV and said,” I’m not going to keep putting you in pain baby girl. I’ll get the anesthesiologist.” When the anesthesiologists came back she said “Well angel let’s see if I can make it work.” Usually needles really hurt me but both women were very good at their jobs and I barely felt it. The anesthesiologist got it in one try..That’s when I thought about the protesters words, “None of them care about you.” These women all called me pet names, petted on me and were so sweet to me. All the protesters did, was try to get in the girls faces, call us names, and say the same lines over and over..When I got home I learned from my mother that the Indian woman’s husband had been sitting out in the waiting room crying while his wife was inside. And all I could think about was how the protesters made them run into the street and away from the clinic for a while. I felt awful for that family’s whole experience. The whole thing was hard enough and for that to happen was terrible..After I told my mother about the day she said she was definitely going to volunteer when she could. I also want to volunteer. I KNOW what you go through inside that clinic..The protesters words did not bother or upset me. I actually laughed a lot at them and their ignorance. I’ve gone through a lot in my life and a silly protester’s words weren’t going to make my day harder than it already would be. But I did feel bad for the other girls who were visibly upset and uncomfortable by the protesters, outside and inside the clinic. We tried our best to help even though I was about to go through the same thing as the other patients. And I was glad to get the girls at least a little bit away from them and to make some of them laugh and smile. My mother was amazing with these girls..The protesters shouldn’t be that close to patients. I will be volunteering and encouraging others to do so, so there are more escorts to help these girls and keep these protesters from running more people into the street..
REMINDER: If you are interested in escorting, don’t forget the training on September 8th at 9A. Training is not required, but it’s helpful. Please see our Trainings for Escorts page or email us for additional information.