Fewer Antis

The last weekend in January was a pretty calm one for abortion clinics around the country. The annual anti-abortion March for Life protest, normally held on the anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision, was moved to Friday the 25th. Most of our regular antis were in Washington or on the way home instead of harassing clients on the sidewalk in Louisville. We heard from other clinics around the country who saw the same thinning in the numbers of antis. One clinic even reported no one showed up to protest. Not one anti; the embodiment of wishes coming true.

The antis who were here in Louisville did their best to make up for their lack of numbers with volume. Standing by the door of the clinic, we had a small choral group singing hymns where the soapbox preachers usually set up. Who doesn’t want to hear an off-tune rendition of a hymn when they enter a medical facility?

We had three antis taking turns yelling at the door and window of the clinic.  “You cannot drown out the voice of God. He is calling you to stop and turn from this sin.” “We know this isn’t an easy thing. That’s why we are here. We want to care for you. We want to help you. We want to invite you into our homes.” “Everyone here today has sinned. We pray you see the light. If not, you are going to hell.” “What you are doing is murder. If you went down to the maternity ward of the local hospital and someone was going room to room cutting up babies, you would think that was awful. Well, that is what is going on here today.” What was going on at the clinic was shaming and harassment.

This is what it was like.*

.

Interesting things happen when there are fewer antis on the sidewalk. There is a competitive air among them to be the loudest and most sincere sounding. Any client arriving at the doors is instantly surrounded by a group. Sometimes this really works against them.

There was a faked intervention staged on the sidewalk. They took great pains to disguise their purpose, but the cameraman walking backwards and filming raised suspicions at least in the escorts. A woman walking to the clinic had a camera documenting her steps and interactions with the people on the sidewalk. With tears in her eyes, she allowed herself to be led away from the clinic door by a couple of antis. In fact, she had a whole group of antis surrounding her and pulling on her arms. There were no escorts around her. She had waved us away and we went. That competitive spirit of the antis to intervene undid a lot of the work put into faking the walk. We are not sure what they were trying to accomplish, but antis interfered with them so many times they were a slow moving crowd of people by the time the woman reached the entrance to the clinic. Escorts did not interfere and were just observing. It pretty well nullified the “evil escort” trope. Of course, with judicious editing it could be made to appear otherwise.

When she and the people with her were leaving, they told another escort they were making “just a film.” The escort took photos of them and gave the information to the clinic. Of course, when the escort took pictures they took pictures of the escort taking pictures of them. Photo standoffs are common on the sidewalk. It was definitely a photo opportunity day with many cameras and cell phones documenting both sides.

We didn’t have as many protesters out and few of the regular ones we write about all of the time, but it was far from just another Saturday. I found myself envious of the clinic with no antis present.

* Thank you to escort J for capturing this video.

14 thoughts on “Fewer Antis

  1. Again, you strike me with your perseverance, patience, and true compassion for those who need the servics that a clinic such as the one you work outside of need. It feels like such an alien concept to me at times, partially because there’s little to no of those kinds of idiots so far up North here and Canada and also because I’m a guy, so I won’t have to face this kind of personal choice myself.

    Still, that this happens and in 2013, that some people believe their rights trump the rights and health of women is sad and enraging. As much as I would like to help by being there on the sidewalk with you and the other escorts, I know it’s a good thing I’m not. My passions run very hot at times, and I would not have anywhere near the patience that you and your fellow escorts have.

    For example, I’d walk along with an industrial strength magnet and screw up all of those domestic terrorists’ cameras… they weight about 500 pounds but it’d be worth the trouble. ;p

    I hope you have some more peace and quiet down there, at least for a little while longer.

    • kazei5,

      The calm only lasted a couple of days. The antis were back out in force this week and feeling very empowered after their trip. We had to call on all of our reserves of patience and calm. I can only agree with you that it is incredible that this is happening in 2013. The way it is in Canada is the way it should be everywhere. It is something to dream about here. Your idea of a magnet made me smile. I can just picture the confusion it would cause, but we would have to have a group of escorts carrying it the two blocks to the clinic. Perhaps that wouldn’t be the best use of our resources, but it would be enjoyable.

      Thanks for the smile and comments,
      Servalbear

  2. I Have been lurking on this blog for over 2 weeks because i am scheduled to have a termination at this facility. I’m not a young girl anymore , I’m a mother many times over and that walk from my car to the door will I’m sure be the hardest journey i ever make in my life. The fact that strangers will call me out on a decision that i have agonized over for weeks makes me physically ill. This is not a choice that i want to make, its a choice that unfortunetly I have had to come to at this point in my life. While i have not even met any of you escorts i would like to say thank you for being amazing people. You all are willing to stand out in the dark inthe cold and take abuse for scared women that you don’t even know.

    • amazed80,

      We have a lot of readers who lurk and don’t comment. Thank you for your kind words. Standing in the dark, cold, rain, snow, and hearing the abusive words are all worth it when we receive comments from clients like you. We volunteer because we firmly believe abortion is a private decision and believe access to this legal medical procedure should not be blocked in any way. It is not always an easy decision, as you indicate yours is not. We will be there for you the day of your appointment. If you would like an advance tip on the closest places to park or any questions about arriving for your appointment, please send us an email to everysaturdaymorning@gmail.com. We will reply to you as soon as possible.

      Thank you,
      Servalbear

      • Now that I think about it, I’d bring a can of mace and shake it in clear view on the way up if I had to pass the freaks as close as the patients as this office do. Is that legal? Is that smart? Just shaking a rattling can of mace not saying anything at all, wearing earbuds and sunglasses? Would that work or would it cause problems? Pepper spray is legal in Jersey. Just shaking it and not threatening anyone…. hmmmm I wonder.

      • Lulubelle,

        That would be a step beyond needling. It wouldn’t be a good idea. The potential for adding to the chaos is pretty high. The goal when we escort is to minimize the chaos. If the canister ever misfired, you would be liable for assault charges. I will admit I chuckled with a vision of you in sunglasses, listening to music, keeping time by shaking a can but I really cannot endorse it. Pepper spray is legal in Kentucky as well. The thing is, the antis will move with complaints to the police for any perceived threat and/or aggression on the part of any of the escorts. It wouldn’t be worth the headaches it may cause.

        Thanks,
        Servalbear

  3. I would love more than anything to make my own fliers about women’s right to choose. Make my own graphic pictures of basement abortions before it was legal and all the women that died from illegal abortion. and my own reasons why god is not going to condemn you to hell for having an abortion. Park in front of the clinic doors and make them listen to me. I understand this is their right to do and again they are so passionate of what they believe but it is very one-sided. I would also love to loudly preach about women’s rights. I cannot believe its 2013 and women are still having to deal with this battle of the uterus.

  4. OMG. These people have little to no self awareness, do they? I am fascinated by subcultures. Evangelical Christians are an interesting subculture to begin with, they are mostly Anti-Reproductive rights, might sign an online petition, engage in an argument at a dinner party, ect. but these people who show up every weekend are the FRINGE of the the fringe….. There is a difference between being impassioned and being fanatical. They just don’t see themselves! I want to sit in a lawn chair and just observe. I guess I’m lucky. They don’t intimidate me. I have made the Doctor who preformed my procedure my GYN because I liked him, he a a top 30 tri state area OB/GYN (not a malpracticing grim reaper) and was written up in Philadelphia Magazine. I will undoubtly have more run ins with the freaks because I have some female issues (NOT AT ALL ASSOCIATED WITH MY TERMINATION, I am sure whoever is on the “anti” side reading this will jump to conclusions, how a termination can cause a prior existing ovarian cysts and c-section scar tissue issues is short of miraculous) that need attention. I am considering becoming an escort now, but I have a big mouth and would needle the antis purposely. I don’t think I have the self control. Watching them would be fun for an afternoon though.

    • Lulubelle,

      Dictionary.com defines fanatic as “a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.” It is that uncritical enthusiasm and belief they can dictate what everyone should believe that makes daily-present antis the fringe of the fringe. They have no awareness of how they are viewed by the rest of the world.

      Since you know you might needle the antis purposefully, escorting is probably not the best course to follow for you. Escorting requires so much self control and none of us are perfect masters at it, but it a goal we always strive towards. However, just going out to observe might be interesting. It might help the clinic in your area if you observed and documented some of the things you see, either in writing or in photos.

      I am pleased you have found a GYN you trust to help with your existing health problems. All abortion providers are OB/GYN physicians. This is often forgotten by the antis.

      Thank you,
      Servalbear

    • Longtail,

      Unfortunately, they are not soundproof. However, the sound is muffled inside the waiting room. The closer you sit to the windows the more you can hear. Sitting the farthest away from the windows, they sort of sound like Donald Duck.

      Thanks,
      Servalbear

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s