Saturday Stories {2/23/13}

IMG_2104What is that??  Is it… IMG_2103

Yes!  It’s a gift bag!  But – what is it doing on the ground on the corner of First and Market, apparently abandoned?

Thst’s what I was wondering, me and one of the other escorts.  I knew one of the antis had brought it – I’d seen it over her arm, like a purse, and thought maybe it was someone’s birthday.  But now –

– here it is – left on the corner.  So I’m mostly kidding when I say maybe we should call the police and report an unattended package.  Mostly kidding.

Besides, it’s in front of Dr. Bizer’s, not the clinic, and I’m pretty sure nobody’s planning on blowing up the eye doctor’s office.

Then there are some antis standing around – they don’t touch the bag, but they must have heard us chatting about it.   A few minutes later Paul – you remember Paul?  Big guy in the leather jacket, he was in the last video I posted.  Anyhow Paul comes up behind me and leans in close to say,

“It’s a gift.  For the baby.”

It takes a second for the words to register – a what? oh, yeah, and then he adds, speaking clearly and distinctly, almost in my ear, “She brings it for the baby.  It has a binky in it.”

I don’t respond to his words and wait til he moves back away to giggle.  Good grief.  A binky for the baby.  I may not be a medical professional, but i’m pretty sure fetuses don’t use “binkys.”  But whatever.

It was a fairly calm morning, down where I was anyhow.  There was only one incident that stands out – well, you know, aside from the gift for “the baby.”  {Which, btw, I don’t think she ever gives anyone – I think it’s just for show.}

But there was a couple who were headed for the clinic, the woman didn’t speak much English, and I don’t know if the companion did or not, cause he fell behind and started talking to one of the antis.  Then they stopped, and the woman and I stop and she turns around, looking for the companion.

The anti beside him says to me, “They’re going to walk with us the rest of the way, so you can just step back and leave them alone.  They want to see the ultrasound.  You just need to leave them alone and quit bothering them.  They’re walking in with us.”

I’m never sure what to do then.   Escorts and antis and the client and the companion ~ we’re all sort of bunched up together, and several people are talking at once, and of course I’m fine with them going to the anti-clinic as long as that’s what she wants to do, but she hasn’t indicated that’s what she wants, but the companion is leading her that way and of course the antis are watching me, and I don’t want her to go to the abortion clinic if she doesn’t want to but I’m not sure she understands what’s happening, or even if the companion does.  As they walk away, she turns back and looks at me, and I say,

“Did you want to go to the doctor today?”

And she says, very firmly, “Yes.”

I shake my head and I say, “That’s not the doctor.  They’re not taking you to the doctor.”

But the companion and the antis are moving on, and she follows, and all I can do is shrug.   Unlike the protesters, I won’t chase her down, not even to make sure she understands what’s happening.

The antis are thrilled, they’ll claim this as a victory, and I don’t care.  I don’t think they understand – I don’t WANT her to HAVE an abortion.  I want her to do what’s right for her, what she wants to do.

So all I can do is shrug – and hope.  Hope that she ends up being where she wants to be and doing what’s best for her, whatever that may be.

12 thoughts on “Saturday Stories {2/23/13}

  1. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did leave a bomb there one day… which makes me insanely scared and concerned for you, the staff inside, and the clients who need to undergo a medical procedure.

    You guys are incredibly brave, because from what I’ve heard that HAS happened before with some frequency in the US and a couple times up here in Canada as well, with one involving vandalism and a second time with a fire bomb.

    And I hope that client was able to come back later and get to her appointment. Lying and misleading clients are the anti-women’s number 1 weapon.

    • Hey, Kazel5,

      Yeah, I hope it never turns out to be a bomb!! It does happen, but not really very often – it’s a chilling thought though, isn’t it?

      Lying and misleading women are their first choice, aren’t they? I hope the woman got what she wanted too.

      Thanks for your support and for commenting!!

  2. Every time I think your protesters have reached the pinnacle of creepy, you come along with another story that just makes my flesh crawl with how far out of touch with reality these people are. The lights are on, there is nobody home, and there are boxes of plastic fetuses in the garage bat-guano kind of CRAZY.

    I really hope that woman is OK and she’s gotten the care she really needs right now.

    • Hey Longtail,

      They are really creepy, I agree. But I think it’s not so much “crazy” (whatever that means) as mean-spirited.

      I sure hope she’s ok too…

      Thanks, as always, for the support!

  3. I’m sure the sight of a binky might ‘change’ the mind of a few women but they are the one’s who were very unsure of their decision anyway. And if the sight of it could sway their opinion they obviously weren’t that sure about their choice in the first place and probably shouldn’t go into the clinic until they are sure that they want their abortion. But most women, they ones that are sure won’t bat an eye at a binky especially those who are already mothers and sure of their decision, they know exactly what a binky represents – anything mouth to feed, another child to sooth and 27,826 2am feedings.

    As for the lady who didn’t speak English and walking to the CPC did she ever come back? I would have a handy sign which translated a simple statement into 20 commonly used foreign languages in the US just for these situations. It’s a good idea to memorize some simple phrases in other languages but what if the escort who can speak those 2 sentences brokenly in that particular language isn’t there that day or is busy? It’s better to xerox copies for all the escorts to have, Just a suggestion.

    I hope they didn’t emotionally batter and bruise her soul too much at the CPC, it happened to me and 5 years later I still get enraged over what happened to me and fervently want to protect other women from it.

    • Hi, Oubli,

      I hope she wasn’t emotionally hurt at the CPC either – although her lack of English would probably have been a plus there, and I’m not sure they had someone who speaks her language readily available.

      I think we are working on some hand-outs – although, traditionally, we have carefully avoided hand-outs because it makes it harder to distinguish between us and the anti’s who are trying to force a variety of pamphlets on them.

      As for the binky – pfffft. There used to be a couple who came with cute little baby clothes that they’d display – that never stopped anyone. You can’t even see a binky in a gift bag, which totally makes it a non-factor. In addition to all the reasons you give as to why it’s a non-factor. It’s just a meanness.

      Thanks for the comment, Oubli, and the support!

    • Linda,

      They probably came back to get it later. The eye doctor’s is on the corner of the block and a lot of antis gather there to head off clients as they walk to the clinic.


  4. I don’t know what languages the non-English speaking clients use at EMW, but would it be helpful to have a few quick phrases memorized to quickly assess the clients intent? My spoken Spanish is pretty awful, but I’ve been able when escorting to quickly jumble the phrases necessary to assess whether or not the client wanted to have an abortion and inform her the other clinic was a fake. Not sure what other languages you have represented.

    It makes me so mad that the anti’s take advantage of the confusion and stress of the day- and when you are stressed even if you DO understand English (or whatever the non-native language being spoken) under typical conditions, being stressed and having people shouting at you can really disorient a person.

    And what a weird bag- if it’s a “baby” gift why not put it in “baby” wrapping paper? And why leave it on the ground like that in front of an eye doctor? And what the hell use is a binky (which are useless gifts anyway, speaking as someone with 2 kids) to a woman with a crisis pregnancy? Cloth diapers, a gift certificate for a crib, something tangible and useful and NECESSARY- but no they offer up NONessential cute junk. Like the offer of a 3 dollar item is all that is holding that woman back from continuing the pregnancy.

    • Hi, Sara,

      Yes, we do need to learn some phrases – we have a list that an old escort gave us a while back, but most of us have forgotten whatever we learned. 😦 That would actually be better than handouts, if more than a few of us took the time to learn them – and practice them! However, my best guess is that she didn’t speak Spanish… which makes it more complicated. Handouts might be the way to go.

      Yes, the whole trip down the sidewalk is disorienting.

      As for what they offer – some of them offer the world – a place to live, money, a college education – they offer to adopt your child, to “take you into our homes” – only it often all ends once the pregnancy’s over – at least, that’s what I’ve been told. But you’re so right, a gift bag with a binky is a joke. A cruel joke for a woman who’s carrying a dead fetus, right?

      Thanks for the comment, and the support!

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