Bad People

We talk once in awhile about how the antis will bring their children out as props. This morning we had a family group of grandparents and two grandchildren under the age of four.

It was one of the cooler mornings we have had this fall, with the temperature around 42 degrees. Of course, it is usually colder on the sidewalk in front of the clinic because of the taller buildings, proximity to the riverfront and all of that concrete.

The grandparents parked halfway down the block and walked the children to the clinic doors wrapped in blankets. One of them was carrying a babydoll wrapped in the blanket with them.

As they passed the clinic entrance the grandfather pointed out the escorts to the older child and said, “These are all bad people.” The child’s eyes got large as they watched us when walking past.

They continued on towards AWC where the other antis greeted them and talked to the children. They are the good people, evidently.

A short time later, the grandfather walked back holding the older child’s hand and stood facing me from about one foot away; trying to stare me down for Jesus I guess because he didn’t say a word to me.  After a minute, the child looked up and saw me. She said, “Uh oh. She’s bad,” while pulling away from her grandfather. He led her away; point made.

They lingered a little while longer until the children got tired and started sitting on the planter box of the clinic.

My heart went out to the child who was frightened by the “bad people.”

Just another day of observing the teaching of intolerance and hatred on the sidewalk.


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28 thoughts on “Bad People

  1. This just makes me think of my childhood. I was anti-choice until I went to college where I was allowed to think for myself. I went to Catholic school for most of my education so they could shove their ideology at us all they wanted with no room for challenge. We were shown so much propaganda and were carted out too rallies at the state capitol. It was no wonder that I called myself pro-life for my first 18 years. People weren’t telling me the truth or telling me why women have abortions. If someone says, “hey they kill babies” then of course you’re going to be really upset and fight that. I was barely given proper sex-ed outside abstinence-only, let alone much education about fetal development. Only through education can we teach people that “killing babies” is such an over-simplification.

    • Stacie,

      I’m glad you were able to find out their are nuances in abortion issues. It is not a simple subject that can be boiled down to slogans. A lot of people have written articles about how they have moved from anti-abortion to pro-access after they graduated from high school and ventured further into the world.

      Thank you,

  2. Yesterday at our clinic I was a bit late arriving and as I walked down the sidewalk encountered an Asian woman with two children, a boy and a girl. The other escorts told me that she had announced that she brought her grandchildren so they could see what this was about and something about her daughter being sick or having died and she had adopted the grandchildren. After the “church service,” they had the woman (who brought her grandchildren beside her) spoke to the crowd telling her story about being kidnapped at a very young age, held captive, becoming pregnant and being forced into an abortion. She later married and had a child — at which time I became busy with other things and was no longer listening to her story. I thought, how very sad and inappropriate for her grandchildren to be there. Ther was another family with 5 children who come regularly. I am so very sad when I see children there where they hear from the people around that we are murderers and that babies are being murdered in the clinic. One woman shoved her son toward me and said, “This is what they grow up to be.” Another woman tried a staredown with me and kept pushing her daughter toward me, smiling, basically giving the message of how sweet the child was. That little girl finally ended up crying. I felt so incredibly bad for the little girl. I never did see that woman again. Hopefully she learned that it was not an appropriate place to bring her children. We wonder what damage they are doing to these young children.

    Our clinic group doesn’t allow anyone under the age of 14. My granddaughter told me the other night (she will be 20 in December) that she wants to sit with us next time she visits and hold a sign that says, “I am pregnant and I am pro choice.” She made a choice and I support that choice and would have supported her choice if she had decided to have an abortion, no questions asked.

    • Josie,

      Thank you so much for sharing these stories. We always get distressed when children are brought out by the antis as props. It is so cruel to frighten them, let alone expose them to the cold or rain. We have groups of people who also regularly bring children ranging in age of infants in arms up to teenagers. We are like you and restrict the age of those people who join us escorting. We generally ask that anyone wanting to escort who is under 18 be accompanied by an adult and I don’t know of anyone under 14 who has come out. It is too intense an atmosphere for children. Some of the most painful encounters are when the young teenagers are brought out to preach to escorts. They approach us in pairs and whisper, “Why are you here?” or “Do you believe in Jesus?” I haven’t the heart to be really mean to them, but I politely tell them I am not there to talk to them. One of our heavy anti days recently a family group came out and spread 3 children under 8 across the sidewalk. I was afraid of them getting trampled since they were blocking the sidewalk and went up quietly to the mother and expressed my concern and asked her to move them more to the edge for their safety. One child jumped up immediately and started moving. The father pushed them down again with a “Don’t you move.” Evil escorts can’t be concerned about safety of their children. Sigh.

      Thank you,

      • So very sad. The family with the 5 children usually don’t stay long. Another woman brings her children and basically ignores them as they play in the parking lot and landscaping of the building across the street. Fortunately the parking lot is empty. I’m sure you heard of the time when a number of young people were brought to the clinic last year who sang “Happy Birthday Dead Baby.” While the song itself was bad enough, a couple happened to be there at just that time whose baby, very wanted, had died in utero. Fortunately that was the only time that song was sung. Children are not pawns to be used in cases like this.

      • Josie,

        I had heard about the song being sung. Just appalling. Children are not pawns and yet they are used as them.


      • pseudopserious,

        We used to have a couple that came with their adopted children in backpacks they carried on the front with the babies facing forward. Dangerous and sad. How do we know they were adopted? They told everyone of course. These children are now old enough to be too old and heavy to be carried this way. They still come once in awhile walking beside their parents, but we don’t see them as often since their usefulness as props have been lessened. Sigh.


  3. the bad people are the people who turn their backs on those in need.

    women might seek an abortion for any number of reasons.

    if we antis were so serious about saving babies, we would focus on saving the women and help them to overcome the barriers that they face.

    i think we need to stfu and listen to these women about why they choose to abort.

    how can one offer “help” when one doesn’t know what help is needed?

    tossing a pack of diapers at someone and marveling at how they are white like jesus is not very helpful.

    and we need to offer that “help” regardless of the choice she makes. if a woman is in an abusive marriage and is terrified to bring another baby into a violent home, the abortion doesn’t eliminate the fact that she is being abused. the clinics are only equipped to offer certain services, but private citizens would be equipped to handle others if we chose to be so.

    and sometimes, a woman neither wants nor needs to be helped or saved. she wants to not be pregnant. her reason is just as important to her as the woman whose pregnancy will kill her is to her.

    we antis need to actually be productive and stop casting stones.

    • rogelio,

      You sound very pro-access to be a self-described anti. A lot of the things you say in your comment could be said by me. I think the thing that disturbs me the most about the anti-abortion protesters at our clinic is they never really listen to a client. Never. You have to really hear the reasons why a women has made her decision. Throwing a pack of diapers, or more commonly a pacifier, at a women entering the clinic will not change their life nor their decision. It is just insulting.

      Thank you,

      • >>>will not change their life nor their decision<<<


        why is the anti-choice movement been putting so much effort into changing laws, when we should be focusing on changing lives?

        it pisses a lot of the other antis off when i point that out.

    • You need to start an anti-anti movement! I will never be against abortion for a woman who wants it, but I would admire the heck out of an organization who helps women find help they need even if they are anti. As long as lying CPC’s and ridiculous, provocative and self-serving people and groups like Operation Rescue, Jill Stanek, Abby Johnson and Lila Rose are the heros of the anti movement most women will not take offers of help seriously. Shaming and intimidation doesn’t work or help. The people who need to be shamed are the bullies. Antis really interested in helping women need to clean up those on their own side first.

      • KyBorn,

        Wouldn’t that be lovely! I have heard a lot of talk lately about Christians needing to speak out against what the antis do in the name of Christianity. No one is pro-abortion. We all want to have the individual choice to be made by the individual. It would be nice to refer people to resources that do not lie. Backline does a great job of giving counseling on parenting options without having to resort to lies or misdirection. It shouldn’t be hard to do on a local basis.


  4. This was EXACTLY why I had vowed to not use my child as a pawn for the pro-choice movement, she will CHOOSE when she is old enough to be educated if she wants to be a reproductive rights advocate.

    This was all well and good until it came time to protest SB5 down in our state’s capitol Austin, all of a sudden my baby sitter bailed on me, and my best friend I had to take her with us. Through out it all we were very careful not disparage our opponents as they were here to exercise their right to freedom of speech as well as us. I did get many strange looks from the anti’s that were there as if pro-choicers do not have families and aren’t fighting for their daughter’s reproductive rights as well.

    But I will say this did teach me something – that I shouldn’t completely exclude my daughter from exercising of our civil rights and civic duties. It was a learning experience for me and her, I needed to learn how to explain to a 5 year old that we all entitled to our opinions and we have to fight for what we believe is right, that we may disagree but we can do it without shaming, insulting, name calling etc. My daughter’s presence made me a better pro-choicer, I had to give thoughtful explanations to her instead of jocularly belittling my opponents opinions.

    This post is exactly what I want to avoid teaching my child but I have learned that I do not have to exclude her completely, that sometimes her presence is a boon and has the impetus of making me rise above and be a better mum and pro-choicer.

    My daughter, my best friend and I at a Planned Parenthood rally where we heard Wendy Davis speak!

  5. Gotta say I really respect your self restraint. I’ve considered coming out to be an escort.. but I know I’d just get into a shouting match with an anti.. which wouldn’t help anyone that I was supposed to be helping..

    • Adam,

      It is hard to not engage, but you are right it doesn’t help the clients if we let loose on the antis. It’s good you recognize you wouldn’t be able to hold back. There are other ways you can show support. One way is reading and commenting on this blog. 🙂


  6. Hell, Louis CK, I think, had an excellent quote about how racism is learned… you could apply it here as well to this, just switch out racism for bigotry.

  7. We encounter this too. It’s despicable the hate-filled brainwashing that begins early. Of course, it should be noted, the kids, if left to their own discernment, would clearly see the opposite is true, which is why they are brainwashed.

    When I encounter this, as I have said before, I get the biggest smile and best kid friendly sing-songy voice and say, “a baby’s not a baby ’till it comes out, that’s what birthdays are all about”, and over and over and over, because that is what the child will remember. A smiling, friendly rhyme! 🙂

    • kittybrat,

      I actually thought of your song that day. I usually try to give big smiles and be friendly to the children that are brought out, but this little girl was so terrified of me it didn’t make a difference.


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