There is a danger when we spend a lot of time on the sidewalk in front of the clinic to view the dynamics of antis and escorts as “normal”. We will talk about a day not being a “bad day” if there are no flare ups of confrontations or violence. We have to keep reminding ourselves that this is anything but normal for the clients and their companions. It is their first time at the clinic. It is their first time experiencing the words and actions of the antis.

This was brought home to me again by a pedestrian the other day. They were walking by on a Saturday and stopped on the corner across the street from the clinic to talk to escorts.

This pedestrian was waiting for a bus and wanted to ask us questions. The first was, “Does this go on every day?” I replied, “It goes on every day Tuesday through Saturday when the clinic is open.”

He shook his head and said he walks by the clinic a couple of times a week to wait for the bus. “At first, I didn’t realize what was happening. I am from Seattle and this just doesn’t happen there. Well, almost never. Protesters came out one day and had fetuses in jars on display. I have been pro-choice since I saw that happening. No one who would do that is thinking about the women. They are just trying to shame them.”

We stood watching the protesters and escorts across the street. We talked a little about the graphic pictures, anti tactics to shame clients and abortion in general. When his bus arrived, he thanked us for being there.

I left thinking about the client in Seattle who went to a doctor’s appointment and was visually assaulted by signs, jars and the harmful words of the antis.

There is nothing normal about anti tactics in front of an abortion clinic.

9 thoughts on “Normal

  1. It isn’t like that everywhere. Even here in Fargo, ND, which is pretty conservative, most protesters content themselves with praying from an office across the street, or quietly holding signs. When an out-of-state group came in and made a big ruckus with their slogans and their shocking signs, the general reaction around town was disgust. Not to say that some protesters don’t try to shame women using the clinic, but the overall volume and intensity seems to be less here than in Louisville.

    I really admire the work that you and the other escorts do.

    • Rinna,

      We have heard from different locations around the country that it seems to be out-of-state groups who try to ramp up the local protesters by bringing the more graphic displays. I am glad the general reaction in Fargo was disgust at their actions. Louisville is very conservative and the local antis are very vocal and have some pretty terrible graphics. Your encouraging words are appreciated.

      Thank you for your input,

  2. I’m also a Seattleite. We’re pretty staunchly pro-choice around here. The Planned Parenthood I go to near me has full surgical capabilities and there rarely any protesters there. Sometimes you’ll get a small group out there, but they are usually pretty quiet. They wave their signs and might yell something and stick a flyer out, but they’re pretty easy to ignore and walk past.

    I hope that eventually becomes the same way for you guys. Keep fighting, guys.

    • Longtail,

      I am so glad you commented. It encourages me that it can be different. This area of the country is predominately anti-abortion. The ideal would be no protesters in front of any clinic anywhere, but we can wish for the situation you describe. It would be nice to not have to fight our gauntlet.

      Thank you for your input,

  3. I understand and appreciate the sentiment here. I do not, however appreciate the assumption that this is the first time that a client or companion has been to the sidewalk. Remember, words matter, and escorts try not to make assumptions. Lots of clients have been companions and vice versa. Also lots of folks are repeat companions or clients. I don’t want inadvertent shaming of repeat clients. Thanks

    • Wenches,

      That is a good point. There are several clients and companions who have been to the clinic before. There was no shaming of repeat clients intended.

      Thank you,

  4. You are correct, of course. What we become accustomed to is the very thing that spurred us to be escorts in the first place!
    I think a quote is apropos here:
    “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” – Morticia Adams.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s