On June 23, the New York Attorney General’s office issued the following press release:
Tl;dr: Due to the harassment suffered by patients, escorts, and staff of Choices clinic in Queens, the NY AG has filed a lawsuit under the FACE Act (and a NY state clinic access law) barring the defendants from harassing those seeking or providing healthcare. This lawsuit and preliminary injunction also seeks to create a 16-foot safety zone in front of Choices clinic.
The protestor behavior the AG cites as grounds for the lawsuit is too familiar for Louisville escorts at EMW. As I read through the list of offenses the protestors are alleged to have committed, I thought “check, check, check…yeah, I’ve seen all of those in Louisville.”
Graphic signs identical to those displayed outside Choices clinic are used to intimidate, harass, and block patients entering EMW. As mentioned in the recent June 14 Metro Council Public Safety Committee meeting, signs have been used to make physical contact with escorts. While not shown in the NY video linked above, I have no doubt the escorts outside Choices have suffered similar unwanted contact.
Unfortunately, the environment in Louisville is one of escalating violence. In January 2017, a 67 year-old escort was knocked to the ground by a member of the local chapter of Operation Save America. A complaint was made to LMPD, but no charges were filed. Then, of course, there was the Mother’s Day weekend protest in which emboldened OSA protestors flooded in from across the nation to block the clinic doors and test the FACE Act. And they’ve already scheduled their return visit.
I’m jealous of the escorts at Choices for one reason: it appears that the NY state government has their backs. Escorts at EMW receive no such state support. We have Governor Matt Bevin, who met with OSA privately in February (immediately after they displayed graphic signs outside a middle school and had to be removed).
It will take an act of courage for the Metro Council to pass a safety zone in Louisville. Any issue even tangentially related to the topic of abortion enters into thorny political territory. But remember: this is a public safety issue. It doesn’t matter what political message is printed on those signs or who is holding them, the signs are still being used to physically harass escorts.
We can’t rely on the Commonwealth to care about our safety. We can only hope the Metro Council cares enough about the threat of national extremists to take steps to protect Louisville residents and visitors.
Louisville Clinic Escorts is currently raising money for our Legal Defense Fund. We will be having a concert fundraiser June 25 at 6PM in Louisville, KY. The venue will be announced 24 hours before the fundraiser’s start time on this blog and at the event link below. Donations can be made in person at this event. The fundraiser will feature music by two local bands, a tap takeover at the venue, and a local restaurant selling food. Event information can be found here: http://www.bit.ly/LCEfundraiser
Additionally, donations can be made via PayPal. Just send your donations to firstname.lastname@example.org (Louisville Clinic Escorts is not a 501c3)