The words coming faintly through my layers of ear muffs, wrapped scarves and hood sounded whiny and nasal on the cold wind. The ones I heard anyway. “On your vest.” I looked back to see one of our daily protesters with a cold, pinched, disapproving look on her face.
Wonderful I thought, another fashion fail for me, as I inspected my vest to find what the heck she was talking about that was wrong with it. Early mornings as I dress to head down to the sidewalk each week, I have been known to concentrate on dressing for the weather not for style. Mostly it’s a mismatched combination of things meant to keep me warm, dry and comfortable, not for fit and fashion as a few of the antis seem to do no matter the weather.
In the past after a morning of escorting, I have discovered I somehow put a layer on inside out, or backwards. Once much to another escort’s amusement, I looked down to see a dryer sheet peeking out from the bottom of my pant leg. That was a static electricity fail there and I’m not taking the entire blame for that one
So after failing to find any obvious issues with my escort vest I must have had a very puzzled look on my face. She stepped closer and pointed at me, saying again, ” There’s a spelling error on your vest. It says Pro-Choice but it should read Pro-Death.”
Thanks to the Clinic Vest Project we are supplied at no charge to us bright neon, highly reflective vests that are lettered with big bold lettering PRO-CHOICE CLINIC ESCORT.
I smiled to myself and thought, poor woman, it’s actually a reading comprehension fail on her part. She does not understand choice. By refusing to look at things from outside her own narrow point of view she never will.
Pro-Choice to me is the ability to make whatever decision is best for you, your situation and family regarding a pregnancy. I trust your judgement to make the best choice for you. I don’t know the reasons you are walking with me to the clinic, I do not make assumptions, I do not ask. It is not my place. It is even your choice to walk with me or not. If you say no, I simply tell you it’s the building with the tan painted overhang and let you be.
That’s the difference between escorts and antis. There is only one way of thinking when it comes to them, ” Do it our way.” They do not respect personal space. They do not listen when asked to go away. They hand out medically inaccurate information and insist on you making a choice they want you to make. That’s not choice. That’s intimidation, guilt, shaming and lying.
This is your journey in life. Make the best choice for you no matter what you choose. Let no one bully you from the path you know is the right one for you. Whether it is the decision to terminate a pregnancy, to have and raise a child, or decide adoption is what you want. Choice. It’s a powerful word and only you can make the decision. That’s the reason I am all for choice.
So, I will proudly wear my vest that is spelled correctly and continue to respect a woman’s decision on what she feels is the best choice for her.