Escorts Return to Sidewalk

On April 4, 2020 Louisville’s Clinic Escorts announced we were suspending escorts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our article also asked the protesters to stay home or if they did come to practice social distancing and wear masks to protect the patients and companions they claim to care so much about. That claim has been proven untrue.

The escorts have been watching the clinic from their cars since April 7. In the 61 days the clinic has been open from April 7 through June 30 there were always protesters present to harass people accessing needed healthcare. The numbers of protesters present each day varied from a low of 8 protesters to a high of 176 protesters one day. There was not one day where the watchers observed any of these protesters practicing social distancing. Most of them weren’t wearing masks; when they did, they wore them them incorrectly or pulled them down to talk.

Every day the clinic was open the protesters trespassed on EMW property and blocked the entrances and sidewalk. There were incidents of shoving patients and companions, and stalking companions as they returned to their vehicles. There were loudspeakers set on maximum volume some days. How is this sidewalk counseling? It’s not. This claim, like the one about only caring for the patients, is untrue.

Yet despite all of these things, patients did make it into the clinic. One day there was chalk writing on the sidewalk and building to let patients know there were people watching what was happening who cared. The protesters were angry about the messages.

Chalk art done with clinic permission by other supporters. “Abortion is essential healthcare.”

The time for escorts to return is now. We have been watching the city and state guidelines for COVID-19 restrictions. All returning escorts have agreed to these conditions in order to return:

  1. Returning escorts will wear masks and try to keep their distance from clients and companions as much as possible.

  2. Escorts agree to disperse without argument if they are advised by LMPD officers to leave. They can watch from their parked vehicles if asked to leave the sidewalk.

Of course, these are not the only precautions we are taking going forward. Escorts who for their own health or that of those they are in contact with will be waiting a while yet to return – our numbers will be much lower than they have been traditionally. Escorts who experience any symptoms, or who receive a positive test will remove themselves from the sidewalk and notify the group, so that the clinic can be notified as well. Escorts are encouraged to make use of the expanded availability of testing in Kentucky.

We can hope the protesters will learn by our example how to properly social distance and how to properly wear masks

 

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