In Case You Thought…

In case you thought that things had changed, here on the sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic in Louisville, Ky, I want to assure you, it is still the same.  Mostly the same protesters. New ones come and go, but Donna and Nurse Betty, Mary, and Ponytail Guy, to name a few, are always with us.   They stand by the door, saying the same things they always say.

Angela shows up late, and sometimes we have a preacher screaming at us all, sometimes we don’t,   Catholics on Parade still make an appearance every second Saturday, even when the construction in the area gets in the way.

The chasers are still there.  Andrew and his crew don their neon green vests and circle up for a quick prep talk and prayer.   The circle dissolves as they fly off in pairs, like wasps, busy, busy, buzzing around to harras and intimidate the women coming to the doctor.

Rain or shine, there they are.  Umbrellas up long after the rain has stopped.

Same ole, same ole.   Oh, wait,  no, this is new.

Not the old guys socializing on the prayer line, but the sign the woman is holding with the fetus skeleton.  Here’s a close up:

Somebody said it looks like a logo for a Death metal band, right?   But even new signage isn’t really new.

AHA – not American Humanist Association, not American Heart Association, not American Home-brewers Association, but the Abolish Human Abortion folks are relatively new.  Some of our old protesters have joined up with them, and that’s unfortunate, because they’re a new kind of mean.  Unlike the “pro-life” folks, they don’t even pretend to care about the people who need abortions.  They don’t think anyone should have an abortion, ever, under any circumstances, no not rape or incest or to save the mother’s life, thank you very much.

The AHA folks are quick to condemn the pro-life group as not asking for enough, being willing to compromise.  So that can be fun interesting to watch.

And – this is exciting – the world of escorting has changed.  Back in 2009, when I wrote my first post for this blog, I felt relatively isolated.  As if we were the only clinic going through this.  We weren’t, of course, and I kind of knew that, but I felt like we were fighting a lone battle to get people to realize what was going on in front of our clinic.

That’s not the case anymore.  More clinics have escorts, and escorts are connecting with each other to provide support, and we’re talking about it.   Just today, I found this wonderful article, which is a response to a letter purportedly written by someone who used to work in an abortion clinic, and I watched this short documentary about the protesters outside the clinic in Allentown, Pa.

http://youtu.be/pC-NiTJ3YAU

I think of escorting as the front lines of the battle for reproductive rights.  Like a morality play it stands.  Each side believing they represent the virtues, while “the other side” is the vices.

To be continued….

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4 thoughts on “In Case You Thought…

  1. That documentary about Allentown was wonderful. I highly recommend it as viewing for anybody who is unsure of the level of harassment people go through, even in areas that are generally considered “safe blue” states. I know several people who had their eyes opened by viewing “12th and Delaware” so I will be adding this documentary to my must-show list as well.

  2. Thanks for the time you spend on the front lines. The fight to protect access is not going away. I appreciate the dedication of the Louisville guardians! We have stumbled on a helpful tactic in Huntsville….BIG golf umbrellas. The patients can hold them so that much of their face is shielded and the antis cannot make eye contact, the diameter of the open umbrella keeps an anti from getting close, and if the patient is holding it with both hands, they cannot try to force literature into her hands. The umbrellas were used this eek to step in front of stupid signs and block viewing too.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Katy!

      That’s a really creative approach youall are using with the big umbrellas! We actually don’t use umbrellas even when it’s raining hard – we get concerned about them being too much like a weapon. I’ll be talking more about our philosophy on such things in the next few articles. But I can see that it would be an effective tool for some clients – and very satisfying.

      Thanks for the input!!

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