Do You Know That Woman? ~ by KYBorn

So, the Supreme Court has just ruled that antis have a right to engage in activities that would otherwise be harassment. I’m not thrilled, but life goes on.There are so many things I wonder these days. I wonder how the Supreme Court can’t tell the difference between harassment or stalking and free speech. I wonder how our country can still remain so backward while most of the world wants to march forward. I wonder how people can’t see that the debate over abortion doesn’t happen on the sidewalk in front of a clinic. It happens in courts, governments, families and in the minds of women who choose abortion.

I have so many questions I want to ask antis who “counsel” outside clinics but could never do so without causing further chaos for the patient, who is my main concern. I do have many different questions though, after both escorting and taking friends for appointments.

The main one I always wanted to ask is where I got the title for this post.

Do you know that woman? I doubt it. If you knew her you wouldn’t have to stand on a certain street to discern her reproductive choices. She would have told you what they were if she wanted you to know.

Do you know she is both a rape victim and a survivor of childhood molestation? Of course not, to you she is nothing but a fetus container. The fact that she still screams every night from night terrors doesn’t matter to you anyway. Do you know the person who raped her was an intimate partner that she would have trusted with her life until a week ago? Of course you don’t. You are on a mission to save the embryo. It doesn’t matter what she says.

Did you know her name is Jeanna? Did you know she was 8 when her mama committed suicide?

I know her. That’s why I am at the clinic with her.

Did you know she has already been to your CPC before? She was the one who left crying and humiliated because she asked for help with a baby bed. What she got was a lecture and a few coupons.

Did you know I had to buy her child that baby bed because she had no money or help? She has just gotten on her feet after that one. How do you propose she pay for the embryo she carries now?

It must be nice to wrap yourself in that blanket of righteousness when you spend a few hours at your local CPC, while totally denying the real facts and the real, live, living, feeling, breathing women who come to you and you have no real answers.

I guess “just have the baby” and some stuff about Jesus is supposed to make problems about rent, bills that are 2 months late, a car that just had the engine blow and not having a paid maternity leave make it all better.

Did you know she wept on the phone for an hour when that second line showed up? Remarkably, it did not take an hour and a guilt trip to get her results at home. They were no less accurate.

Do you know about her medical history? No, and it is unlikely you care. She is not allowed to get care for herself now that she is a sacred fetus container. She should empty all concerns about making a life, living her dreams or even paying the rent next month in the category of “unimportant things that were never meant to happen.”

Do you know that by having six or more men surround her screaming about her decision makes her flashback to the rape? In case number one, she told a man no and he used her body in a way she didn’t want that got her pregnant. To go see a doctor, she has told a group of men who encircled her and wanted to stop her ability to walk into a clinic to go away. They won’t go away either. They are using her in a way that makes them feel superior by supposedly saving babies.

Do you know that surrounding this fragile woman, calling her a murderer and invading her space called up horrible memories she would rather forget? Of course not, you are all about saving “babies” and the woman is to be used as a vehicle towards this goal; willing or not.

Did you know that the car you used your preteen children to block wasn’t hers? It was mine. When you screamed at her that if she could afford a car like that she could afford another baby, it showed so much ignorance. Her only, unattractive old car won’t even start now.

Did you know that we drove around the block at least 3 times because you compassionate “sidewalk counselors” scared her beyond belief? She doesn’t want to talk to you before you even approach her. She didn’t want your counsel or literature.

Do you know that the decision was already made before she came to the clinic? I know, because I was there on the long, long night she looked up every possible option including abortion regret, adoption regret and motherhood regret on my internet because she couldn’t afford her own.

Do you know she ran faster than ever that day to get away from you compassionate and loving sidewalk counselors? Probably not. There was a ring of them following her and the rest were on to the next big thing.

Do you know we talked about this right on into the morning before we walked in the clinic? I am not even a terribly close friend, but she came to me because I wouldn’t judge or pressure her to do anything. I’m sure you see me here, with the dark circles under my eyes, praying I don’t flop to the pavement having a seizure from lack of sleep. You seem more concerned about my non-existent embryo and the type of car I drive than me.

Did you know when you were yelling at me, the woman you are yelling at to take responsibility and get 5 gazillion jobs to support a baby isn’t even pregnant? Nope. I wish you would have remembered that just because a woman goes into a doctor’s office doesn’t mean she is pregnant.

Do you know she wept in my arms for over 2 hours last night? She was mostly over the decision to terminate the pregnancy. She was more concerned that she wouldn’t be able to withstand the protestors.

Did you know all the “literature” that you mailed to my house did no damage or changed no minds? I doubt it. You clearly got it illegally from writing down my license plate. I’m not messing with filing charges because my husband knew and supported where I was, so the “dead baby” via US mail could be explained. How did you know that the license plates didn’t belong to a woman abused, whose husband would have killed her if she had a baby or an abortion, who just needed a little time to get out? You didn’t. You just didn’t care.

Do you wonder why people felt threatened enough to want a small zone around their clinic where nobody could stalk, harass or threaten them? Put away your photo-shopped images and actually talk to women if that is what you want.

Go away when she tells you that she doesn’t want to talk to you.

Life is simple when everything is black and white or good and evil. That is a safe place we go to when we are children, or a place we stay as adults because we are too afraid to look at anything beyond our own safe little world.

So I will go ahead and answer my own question. The protestors don’t know her or me; whoever that her or me may be. They just know that they know best, even though they don’t know a dang thing about her. They also know that there is nothing easier to love than an embryo that will have no impact on their lives and will be out of their sphere of influence in less than 30 seconds.

Maybe, just maybe, people lining the sidewalks should leave the decision up to women, rather than CPCs, legislatures and random strangers. How can people who have never met a person think they can solve all the problems in their life in 7 seconds?

That is a question I can’t answer and neither can anti-choice protestors.

13 thoughts on “Do You Know That Woman? ~ by KYBorn

  1. Extremely moving piece and it’s a heart-breaking read.

    Anti’s don’t want to get to know your friend as a person. It harshes their self-righteousness buzz if they have to see her as a real human being with serious problems. They’re just like all the trolls you see on the internet…except they are in person. They think they are perfectly justified in their behavior because they are better than her…because after all, no matter how bad things get, at least THEY never killed a “baby.”

    Well, they won’t admit it, anyway, unless they are doing some sort of dog-and-pony gig about how they were lost and now they are Saved or whatever. The rest just quietly live with their hypocrisy, telling themselves over and over that they are the ONLY women in history that need a “justifiable” abortion.

    They aren’t there to care. They are there to stop what they want to believe is murder of babies and put on a show for God and each other about who is the most self-righteous for Jesus. That’s it. They care only about their own entry into heaven through their brand of dogma, and they are getting off on feeling like they are better than every “slut” going to the doctor.

    I believe there is only ONE truly “pro-life” stance, and that is “I believe abortion is murder, but stealing somebody’s right to make decisions about their health and body is not an acceptable solution.” Yes, that’s also a pro-choice stance at the same time.

    If they don’t believe that, they aren’t pro-life, they are just anti-choice and deserve no tolerance, no respect, and no quarter…not that they deserve it anyway due to their amoral and abhorrent behavior.

    But, we are making headway…where I live, we have multiple clinics within an hour driving distance that offer abortion services. I put my name out to volunteer to escort in my area and…I’m not needed! It’s not just that big of an issue in this area and women needing abortions in this region have steadily been dropping over the last 20 years (though it spiked again when the economy crashed).

    So do not give up. It’s discouraging right now with the SCOTUS’s majority is made up of money-grabbing corporate prostitutes instead of thoughtful and caring human beings…but it’s not hopeless at all. There ARE areas where sanity prevails, where women can go to the doctor without harassment, and it’s thanks to you and all of us who are in this fight together.

    What we are forging now is going down in history, and I truly believe that today’s toddlers will have a much easier time having access to reproductive health care by the time they reach sexual maturity because of us.

    Keep calm and carry on, as the famous WWII poster says.

    • My favorites are the ones who stand around gossiping and giggling until a person they think is a patient approaches. Then they begin loudly saying the rosary or other prayer, weeping and calling out to God to save the babies. Then, back to the gossip. So they are pretty much hypocrites. Nothing in the Bible about abortion. There is plenty to be said against praying loudly in public so other people will notice and gossiping.

  2. Thank you for this moving story. It is so on point. One of our escorts told about an incident at our clinic recently. We valet park after patients pull into our small parking lot. Our escort approached the car to tell them that the lot was full. The young woman patient sat timidly in the passenger seat. When the driver rolled down the window the young woman said, “Please don’t yell at me.” The escort told her, “Of course I won’t yell at you.” As she escorted her from the car into the clinic the young woman was visibly trembling. She told our escort that she had been there a few days prior when we weren’t there and people were yelling at her and scared her horribly..

    Our clinic had to close their doors at the close of business last Friday. Yesterday the antis held a “memorial service” across the street from the closed clinic. We were there on our permitted sidewalk in front of the clinic to actively counter protest their hate and harassment. Our clinic owner has purchase another facility that will conform (once a few minor modifications are made) to the TRAP laws that were passed in our state. He had to surrender his license and apply for a new license at the new location. We are hopeful and confident that he will get his new license and again be there to provide reproductive care for women in North Alabama and neighboring states who have utilized services at our clinic.

    • Josie,
      I’m glad you were able to be there for her, and for all the patients. You would think that human decency would cause people to not behave like that or that at least they would figure out what they are doing isnt working.
      KyBorn

  3. kittybrat,
    I agree with you fully. I would bet most of the symptoms of “Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome” aren’t from the abortion but from the problems and shame related to access and funding. Who else besides a bunch of anti-choicers would be upset at laws that force them to post services they actually provide or upset at search engines that refuse to display deceptive ads

    KyBorn

  4. I am so proud of you for walking that woman through it all. I love what you’ve written and wish it was required reading for every judge, governor, senator, representative, mayor and especially, every single protester. I hope you know how huge it is that you do this work. We Shall Overcome Someday.

    • Thank you lisajane13,
      However, I didn’t do anything any decent person wouldn’t do. In fact, decent people wouldn’t be out there screaming at strangers that they have no idea about. If nothing else, it is gross and rude!

      KyBorn

  5. Thank you for writing and sharing this experience. I can’t imagine your friends pain and it disgusts me that these “people” continue their reign of terror against women.

    I can’t believe they illegally tracked your plate. Hubby works for 911 dispatch and that is FULLY ILLEGAL. I’ve asked him to look someone up that cut me off or committed road rage on me and he said “call the cops not me” and I was joking! The fact that someone did that to you makes me ill.

    • Hello Mn. Girl,
      I know it is probably highly illegal in the state it happened in. I just have no way of proving which person did it as hypothetically “anybody” could have copied it down. Still, creepy people breaking the law without regard to the consequences says a lot more about them than me.

      KyBorn

  6. You have written an excellent piece. The black and white thinking is the problem, along with the people who employ it. Time after time, women are traumatized beyond what should ever be while simply making their way into a clinic. This is a travesty, to be publicly judged, humiliated, and harassed to the point of fear, flashbacks, and tears. Thank you for putting it all so well.

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