It was a weekday when there are usually many antis that come to harass clients. This day was no exception. The client had pulled into the public parking lot across the street about 30 minutes before the door opened.
When we went to talk to her, I explained the orange vests and let the client know there would be antis who would approach the car and try to talk or hand her literature.
Sure enough, there were 4 antis that spent the morning camped out in the lot. Every time I walked to the lot, I was greeted with, “Good morning,” from the antis. They were greeted with silence from me. I was thinking, “No, it would be a good morning if you were not here.”
The clinic opened and I walked the client to the door. As we were walking the client said, “You told me they would come to my car, but I didn’t expect them to keep coming. They tried to talk to me several times.” I replied, “Yes, they don’t understand the word no. They don’t give up.” We went on to talk about other things as we walked to the clinic door.
The meaning of “No” seems to be the hardest word to explain to the antis.
it was awful today 1/29/2013 i was told by my doctor to have an abortion a hard enough choice for me as well as for all the women who were waiting to get in. I do think it is great that the anti’s are so passionate and they are allowed to believe what they want just as i am free to be pro choice however they go about it the wrong way. i am going to write a letter to the mayor and whoever else will listen their needs to be distance they have the freedom of speech but they do not have the freedom of harassment. the girl trying to hand me stuff i am not a mean person but i told her to mind her own damn business. they try and scare you to not go in. I want everyone to know the only traumatizing part of my experience was the protesters. once i was inside i was not “herded like cattle” i was treated with compassion and respect for my tough day and tough decision. The Nurse who put me to sleep called me angel and was so sweet. women have the right to choose just as they have the right not to agree but you didn’t see me handing them literature or talking to them about the rights of my uterus. I wish i lived closer so i could help women into the clinic who have a tough day and decision ahead of them.
It is sad that the antis made it awful for you today. You quoted one of the comments we hear daily from the antis about herding. I am glad once you were inside the clinic it was a completely different story. There should be a way to honor freedom of speech without infringing on a person’s choice for abortion. There are other ways you can help besides escorting, like your letter writing plan. Our tab on How to Get Involved has some other suggestions too that don’t require a presence in Louisville. We hope by tomorrow morning you will begin to have better days. All our positive energy is being sent your way.
Thank you for sharing,
Someone who doesn’t take NO for an answer is an emotional rapist. Add to that the physical accosting they do and to be honest I am surprised that more of the clinic’s patients and their friends/family haven’t physically defended themselves against this kind of harassment.
My Planned Parenthood hires security guards who are ex police officers and ex military, they do not hesitate to call the police when a protestors steps over the line because of this our clinic/protestors dynamic and culture isn’t siege warfare like yours. Has security guards been considered for your clinic? Or a police presence of some kind?
No is such a simple word and it is so frequently disregarded. I’m surprised we do not have clients and companions react physically to the harassment, but I am grateful we do not see it often. It does happen.
Security guards have been tried a couple of times. The clinic hired them, but had to discontinue. Then the fake clinic hired them and they discontinued it too. When off-duty police officers were hired it became a political issue and a liability issue for the police officers. They were constantly breaking up “he said, she said” disputes and were accused of playing favorites by the antis when they actually enforced the law. We were grateful to have them, but it doesn’t appear to be in our future any time soon. On high volume protester days, such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the police will provide extra patrols at the clinic. It helps.
What we really need is a bubble/buffer zone area around the clinic. We need an enforceable distance protesters have to stand behind with a limit to how many feet they can come within a client. We are working on this public safety issue. Wish us luck.
There was a private armed guard at the door of my office. There were too doors, one you walked into, and one you had to be buzzed through. The guard had a list of names, and you had to be on that list. The set up of the office was such that they have their own large parking lot and private walk way. It is also in a very high end area, and I know the police would show up in a second to calm any shenigans, the fallout from a political brawl in the newspaper, in front of the Starbucks and Wegman’s would not look good for this town. I feel bad that other patients are not afforded these comforts.
We wish the clinic had a private parking lot. They do have a double entrance that everyone has to be approved to enter the clinic. I’m glad you had the level of security you were offered.
Thank you for your concern,