We hear so many things from antis while we are on the sidewalk. There is the shame, blame and hurtful words flung at the clients. There are myths about the dangers of abortion. There are outright untruthful things said about the clinic, clinic staff and medical procedures. There are also a lot of myths repeatedly heard about escorts.
Today I would like to focus on some of the myths told about escorts, repeatedly and loudly said.
Escorts Always Lie
“They have already lied to you.” This is heard a lot as we walk clients to the door of the clinic. It is usually said by one of the AWC volunteers.
T says it every day to every client. T just stands by the clinic doors while we have approached the client and walked down the sidewalk. What we are supposedly lying about is never specified, probably because the conversation was not overheard. This always strikes me as ironic coming from the anti-abortion clinic volunteers.
We don’t talk about the misrepresentations of abortion, EMW, and AWC said by the antis. Even when antis are walking with us, we ignore them and don’t respond to even the most outrageous lies they tell. It does not benefit the client nor minimize the chaos if we get into a verbal altercation with an anti over things they say.
I always wonder what lies they think we are telling the clients, but I am not interested enough to engage by asking, “What lies did we tell?”
Escorts Are Pro-Abortion
This is another case of the antis setting the definition of words and phrases. I for one refuse to accept this term. Escorts are pro-abortion access for those who make the decision. We support everyone’s right to decide what is best for them concerning a pregnancy. That is a far cry from being pro-abortion.
Escorts believe in reducing unplanned pregnancies through making contraception readily available and through accurate age-appropriate sex education. We also believe abortion should be a readily available medical procedure.
There isn’t anyone I know who is pro-abortion. There may be someone, somewhere who believes everyone should have abortions, but I have personally not come across any such person.
Escorts Celebrate Whenever a Client Turns Away from the CPC to Enter the EMW Women’s Surgical Center
One of the sidewalk preachers always says, “The escorts are giving high-fives to each other because a woman walked into the abortionist’s clinic instead of A Woman’s Choice.”
There has not been a time I have seen escorts exchange high-fives or give a cheer when a client walks out of the CPC and into the abortion clinic; not once. We support a client’s choice to make the decision to enter whichever clinic they choose. We have escorted clients to the door of the CPC. We have stood aside and not interrupted when a client wants to talk to the antis. Escorts support clients in whatever decision the client feels is best for them.
We do not keep score or celebrate a “win” each time a client enters the EMW clinic. It really isn’t a sport where points are won based upon numbers. The antis are the ones with a handheld tally counter.
Each day D clicks her hand tally whenever a client enters EMW and reports the count to the staff of A Woman’s Choice before leaving for the day. They compare notes as to how many clients entered their clinic instead of EMW. These are counted as “saved” pregnancies, even though many of the clients entering AWC are also seen coming back and entering EMW the next day for the medical procedure.
Escorts Do Not Care About the Clients
This is always said, “These escorts don’t care about you,” to the clients. We care. I would not get up early three or four mornings a week if I didn’t care. It is because we care that we are out on the sidewalk.
Escorts Do Not Like Babies
We are aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers to a lot of babies. We celebrate like any other family when babies are added to the family circle. Personally, I love babies and smile at them always.
This myth may have a foothold in the antis minds because a lot of escorts do not feel the chaos in front of the clinic is a place for babies or children.
Some antis carry their babies held high in front of clients while walking backwards, or in front-carriers with the baby facing outwards so it can be seen better by clients. It seems to many of us the babies serve the purpose of props to shame clients instead of being an exhibit of genuine concern for babies.
Escorts Do Not Believe in God
Some of us do and some of us don’t believe in God. We come from all religious backgrounds. One of the differences between escorts and antis is escorts do not talk about their religion to clients or on the sidewalk. We do not thrust our beliefs upon others.
Not talking about a belief is not the same as not holding one.
Escorts Are All The Same
When we hear, “All of the escorts are the same,” said by antis to a client I fight not to laugh. This is probably my favorite myth.
Whenever you get two escorts together you will find two different opinions on almost any subject. Whenever you get four escorts together, you will probably find four different opinions. Sometimes we do agree, but there are nuances in our approach to escorting that make it always an individual experience.
We all take away different things to internalize when we escort. It is as individual an experience for escorts as it is for clients. Each day and each client teach us more about ourselves and the experience. If we are the same in any way, it is that we all examine how what we do and say can make the experience less stressful for the clients.