The car pulled up and we gave directions to the companion for the parking lot across the street.
The antis were very aggressive this morning with words thrown at every client entering the clinic. There had already been one verbal confrontation between a companion and anti on the property line of the clinic. These confrontations always seem to bring the competitive spirit to the antis. They try to one-up the last words that had a reaction from the clients or companions.
When the companion parked the car in the pay lot, we asked them if they minded walking into the clinic separately to avoid delays for the client. This sounded like a good idea to them. One escort walked the client directly to the door while I helped the companion navigate the payment box.
E was waiting by the car as they exited and started talking to the companion right away. He followed us to the pay box, still talking. “Talk her out of this. You need to stand up for her.” The companion said, “I barely know her. I am a volunteer driver.”
Then E tried to convince the companion she could influence the client with conversation. “You can get her to come next door to A Woman’s Choice and have a free ultrasound. We can talk to her.”
At that point I said, “That is an anti-abortion clinic. He is a protester.” The companion told me thank you and we continued making change and feeding the payment box. The companion’s hands were shaking so bad from nervousness that we had a few fumbles and it took us a little longer than we would have liked.
When we started walking to the clinic, E trailed along after us saying the same things over and over. The companion turned to me and said, “This is the first time I have volunteered to drive someone to the clinic. I had no idea what women go through to get in the building. They have a hard enough time making their choice. They don’t need this.”
All I could do was agree.