In a parallel way, the antis and the escorts exist on the sidewalks across the nation, side by side, divided only by a thin line of law and human decency.
Ed shouldered into me earlier that morning and cut in front of me, edging me back and away from the client. The client turned to Ed and said, “And NOW you’re getting in my personal space! Why don’t you just go away? I already told you, No!! I don’t want your brochure. I don’t want to talk to you or hear what you have to say. Now, go away!”
No surprise that Ed didn’t go away or stop, until he stopped at the property line. His highly polished, brown dress shoes sparkled in the morning light. When I told Ed to stop shoving me, to stop pushing me, he said, “You’re the one who’s doing the pushing.” As always, the anti believes his self-martyrdom mythology and will not admit to constantly doing wrong shit.
As I stood on the sidewalk, I heard a deep British voice behind me say, “What you people are doing here is wonderful. Simply wonderful! Marvelous! Thank you so much for doing this. And I really do mean that.”
Turning around, I saw a helmeted bicyclist. A young, handsome, bearded bicyclist with a luscious British accent. What’s not to smile about? So, I smiled.
“Sorry,” he said, “I didn’t mean to interrupt what you were doing.”
“That’s all right,” I replied. “Thank you for your kind words.”
“I cannot understand what those people are doing here,” he continued, nodding toward the cluster of antis who stood at the property line, a few feet from the door to the clinic. Old women and men, saying and doing horrible things. Words and actions which would land them in jail if they pulled that crap anywhere else in town.
“I mean,” he went on, shaking his head, “What those people are doing here is truly evil!! They are evil, evil people, terrorizing the people coming here to see the doctor. Complete strangers on a public city street. They are horrible. Can’t they see that? How could they not understand that?”
“I do not know,” I agreed. “We just do what we can, to get people through the mess.”
“Well, I’m going to ask them,” he declared, wheeling toward the entrance.
“May I ask you people a question? Just why are you here? What are you doing here? Don’t any of you people have a job? Yes, a J-O-B; that’s a job, where you go each day, and work for money. Why are you here, terrorizing people? You there! Don’t you have a job to go to?”
The short, older anti with bobbed black hair and glasses, held up her laminated abortion porn poster. The one she had been holding up, facing the glass entrance doors, hoping someone inside the lobby would look out, be stricken by conscience, and stumble out in a flood of shame and guilt, preferably in tears, begging the antis to help them rethink their choice.
The anti woman answered the bicyclist, “I worked for fifty years. I did have a job. Now, I’m retired.”
“Then why don’t you go home, and BE retired? Go home. Enjoy your retirement. No, really! Why don’t you just go on home and be a retired person? Why not do something else good with your life?” the bicyclist asked, truly amazed and curious.
“Don’t you people see that what you are doing here, terrorizing people, is evil? It is. It’s truly evil. Why don’t you just all go home and mind your own business? This is none of your business. None of it. Surely you can see that.”
I walked back to my post on the corner, smiling. We always enjoy the positive comments we hear from the morning people just passing by, on their way to work or to a morning appointment.
A long debate ensued between the Bicyclist Man and the antis. So engrossed were they in their argument, they meandered away from the clinic entrance, standing a few feet away, at the curb. In fact, the antis completely missed a heckling opportunity, as our escort C smoothly walked clients and companions past them and through the door.
What I hope to say here is this: We must reclaim the moral ground. We must call upon the support of our nation. We must realize and remember that the majority of people understand and support reproductive autonomy and freedom and choice. People who are informed do not want to backslide to back alley abortions, coat hangers, and women dying from botched illegal abortions.
Thank you, Mr. Bicyclist, for supporting choice.
Gentle Reader: Thank you for lending us your listening, moral, spiritual, verbal, electoral, financial, intellectual and/or physical support. You truly make a difference and we appreciate your support and encouragement!