Pledge-a-Picketer Annual Fundraiser 2015

It’s that time of the year!

Our annual pledge-a-picketer fundraiser has launched! And this year, there’s a little twist.

The day before Mother’s Day is one of the most-attended days of the year for antis, and in 2010, we decided to turn that discouraging mob into a real asset and launched Pledge-a-Picketer.

It’s a simple fundraiser. You pledge a given amount for each protester who shows up, we count the protesters, and the more of them there are, the more money we raise for escorts (vests, training costs, and other miscellany) and abortion access.

And now for the twist:

The other two big days for protesters are Easter and Father’s Day. This year, we’ve decided to do an extended Pledge-a-Picketer by including these two days in our tally for a Spring Pledge-a-Picketer.

You can help raise funds for abortion access by pledging a small amount per picketer, or by pledging a lump sum for the horde of antis who come out to harass and intimidate women seeking legal medical care.

We count the protesters each day, but on Pledge-a-Picketer days, it gives us great glee to know that each number ticked off means more money raised to support the very thing they are there to obstruct.

Also, if you have ever thought about escorting, or if you escort on the big days, like Mother’s Day, mark your calendar. Be sure to check out the Points of Unity, and keep your eyes peeled for our next training in anticipation of getting new escorts up to speed.

It’s time for Pledge-a-Picketer.

Easter: April 5, 2015

Mother’s Day: May 10, 2015

Father’s Day: June 21, 2015

We’ll be posting updates after each big day with the total number of antis, as well as any new sidewalk stories that emerge.

This form will be included in our posts from now through Father’s Day, but don’t wait to til the last minute, pledge now:
Pledge-a-Picketer Pledge Form

And the Results Are…

Yes, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the results are in – the head count for Pledge-a-Picketer!   Drum roll, please…

Protesters – 103.  

Escorts – 60.

Yes, you read that right.  There were *only* 103 protesters at the clinic on Saturday.  And 60 escorts.  Not even a 2:1 ratio.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it was all fun and games.  We had a relatively new protester preaching at the front door.   She didn’t like it when she realized one of the escorts was videotaping her.  (Thanks to wenches for the video.)

*transcript at the end of post

I have some other video of her, and it made me sad, listening to the things she said to the clients.  She was so sincere about sharing her experience – apparently, she changed her mind about having an abortion, and has been glad of that.   Because of that, she assures the clients that having this baby won’t ruin their life, they’ll still reach their goals.  How does she know?  Because she did. She tells them:

I know your life will turn around because my life turned around. When me and my husband made the decision to keep our child, it was the best decision we ever made in our life. Keep your child today. And to this day, I am still married to the same man. And to this day, we get to experience the love of our child that we did not kill, that we almost killed. Don’t kill your child today. Hear a mother talking to you – don’t kill your child today. It still affects me today – that I almost killed my child. Don’t kill your child today. But I get to kiss my child, I get to hug my child…

It seems so naive to me, the belief that because that worked out for her, it will be the same for everyone.  As if everyone has exactly the same issues she had, the same resources, the same choices.  It seems naive and cruel, cruel in the same way as Andrew telling everyone how excited he was about his unborn baby.   As if the antis can’t quite comprehend that their personal experience is not normative.

Anyhow.

The fundraiser was a great success. We received 30 pledges.  We received pledges from 3 countries (US, Canada, Australia). We received pledges from 8 states in the US (KY, IN, OH, VA, CA, MD, TX, AR)   And despite the poor turnout of protesters, we raised $1,043 so far, but the final total will be more than that as some late pledges come in.  Those funds will be split between escorts and Ky Support Network, an abortion fund acting as a program under Ky Health Justice Network.

We were surprised how (comparatively) few protesters came out.  But we figured a lot of the protesters chose to stay home because of the rain.  {Ok, we may have made some snarky comments about that among ourselves, but I’m not personally judging anybody’s commitment to “saving babies” based on their willingness to stand in the pouring down rain – or lack thereof .}

However, one of the protesters explained it differently to one of the escorts, when he commented on the low turnout.  She said:

“Yes, we planned it that way, so you won’t get as much money,”

to which the escort joyously replied,

“YES! Our plan is working!”

The protester looked a bit crestfallen.  As you can imagine.

But that’s been the point all along – the ultimate win-win for us – and the clients.  If the protesters show up in huge numbers, we make more money for vests and trainings and direct funding for abortion access.  If they don’t show up – well, it’s a victory for the clients who don’t have a to walk a 300 person gauntlet, and yay for us.

It’s always a relief – another Mother’s Day under our belts.  Thanks to the new escorts and occasional escorts who came out for Mother’s Day, thanks to the folks who pledged money, and thanks to everyone who supports the right to a full range of reproductive health services.

*Transcript  of the video:

You wanna take a picture of me? You videotaping? What are you doing? What are you doing? God bless you. God loves you. God loves you and I pray that you never come on this sidewalk again. Because he does not want you to do this. You don’t realize that you’re leading the mothers off to kill their babies to the slaughter. They’re actually taking them down into the basement and they’re actually sucking the baby out of the womb. Out of the womb and throwing the baby in the garbage. The baby is a human being. (turns away.) Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.

 

PSA – & Pledge Time!!

If you have an appointment at EMW, do NOT park in this lot.

IMG_0001If you have an appointment at EMW, do NOT park in this lot.

If you can’t see the picture, the sign says:

EMW PATIENTS

WILL NOT BE TOWED

IF YOU OBTAIN

A PARKING PERMIT

AT THE FRONT DESK

ENTER THROUGH

GLASS DOOR ON THE LEFT.

DON’T DO IT!!

The glass door is the entrance to the fake clinic, the “we-are-too-a-clinic” the “we care about you, all our services are free” clinic, the “let-us-do-a-free- ultrasound (that can’t be used for anything) while we preach at you” clinic.   That clinic.

Yes, it’s misleading.  Deceptive.  Manipulative.  But they deal in lies anyhow.  They will say, “Lies?  There’s no lies there.”  And that’s true.  It’s just deceptive. I don’t think it’s illegal.

Yes, I think they’re doing it in hopes of making people miss their doctor’s appointment.  They will say they’re not.  It doesn’t matter – t don’t think we can do anything about it.  But we’ve already had one person who saw “EMW PATIENTS” and went in thinking it was EMW.

So I’m telling you – the people who read here.  Feel free to spread the word.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 I usually like for posts to be up a few days before we post a new one, but this I wanted the parking lot warning to go up quickly.  But if you haven’t already read Eeyore’s terrific post about the antis lying by the numbers, please click here to read it now.  Go ahead,.  I’lll wait…

Because – since I’ve already started this post, I’ll do this too –

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR!!

Yes, Mother’s Day is coming – which means the Saturday before Mother’s Day is also almost here.  Time for our Fifth Annual Escort Fund-Raiser –

Pledge-a-Picketer.

The Saturday before Mother’s Day is the biggest protester day of the year. Antis come from near and far to shame, blame and humiliate clients going to their doctor appointments for an abortion.  Tons of protesters.  Hundreds of them.  Literally – over 300 one year.

So we take all those lemons and – yeah, I know, stupid cliche – but we do it – we make lemonade.  We started pledge-a-picketer so that the more of them that show up, the better it is for us.

You know how it works, right?   You pledge so much for each protester who shows up, we count the protesters, and the more of them there are, the more money we raise for escorts {vests, training costs, and other miscellany} and abortion access.

It is a lovely moment, when most of the protesters have arrived and we get to walk down the line counting. It baffles and annoys them, but it’s the one time that we can enjoy there being plenty of them.

Here’s the link to make your pledge:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xbxdKkjOSsfRnLlCBo86dIVqBHtyntmA-GKLW9QT_I4/viewform

{I know, it’s supposed to be embedded – feel free to edit and fix it, or message me how to do it…}

Take home messages:

~~ Make sure you don’t miss Eeyore’s recent post.

~~ Don’t get tricked into parking in the antis parking lot.

~~ Make your donation for pledge-a-picketer now.

~~ And stay tuned for our next post.

 

 

 

 

And the Number Is…

315.

Three hundred and fifteen.

That’s how many protesters there were.  What does that look like?

IMG_20130511_073450_315

Yes, that’s a stroller ~ lots of families packed up the babies and came on down.  We’re heading up from 1st Street – the clinic is at the awning off in the distance there.  As we keep walking:

IMG_20130511_073505_000

Meanwhile, on the other side of the street, near the $3 parking lot is this:

IMG_20130511_073133_393They used to park this billboard right in front of the clinic, but we make a real effort these days to get there early enough to take up those parking spaces.  One year, we succeeded in leaving him nowhere to park.  That was lovely.

If you’re coming around the corner from the 2nd street side, it looks like this:

IMG_20130511_073620_155

Which is not quite as daunting as walking up through the whole gauntlet from 1st Street.  But regardless of which direction you come from, at the door, you’re greeted with this:

IMG_20130511_063019_470

An excellent example of fetus porn.  And this:

Yes, the “preacher”in this video chides the escorts for “how they treat the women who come there… patting them on the back…”   But I heard another protester say “the women are dumped out at the curb and the escorts drag them into the clinic,” ~ an interesting interpretation of events.

Watching the video, you can tell a client has come around the corner.  The woman in red springs into action.  “You don’t have to kill your baby, someone can help you, PEOPLE WANT YOUR CHILD!” she screams.

Something about that creeps me out, it is as if the client has ceased to exist and is purely an incubator.    I might have thought that was the most chilling thing I heard, if I hadn’t heard a mother talking to her son on their way back to their car.

The woman was clearly pregnant.  The little boy was about five, walking beside and slightly in front of her, holding her hand.  I don’t know what he said, but she replied in that extra sweet voice we sometimes use with our children when we know someone’s listening.  She said, “I know!  It is scary!  I don’t know how these people can want to kill little babies.”

All I can do is shake my head.  And hope that when he’s old enough to understand, someone can explain to him why his mother would want to take him around people that she believes want to kill little babies.  Cause I sure don’t get it.

Pledge-a-Picketer ~ 2013

Seven Saturdays away from the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

That has a nice rhythmic flow, doesn’t it?  I was going to make it a poem, but I really couldn’t think of the next line.  I mean:

“Standing in a line, their rosaries keeping time” doesn’t really work.

“Chasing people down, spreading shame around…” is mediocre, at best.

So I let that idea go.  But it is time for our annual fund-raiser.  This will be the fourth year that we’ve taken advantage of a day when protesters turn out in droves.

In 2009, between 275 and 325 protesters showed up.  This was before we started doing the fund raiser, but thanks to the call-out we do for extra escorts there were about 70-80 escorts there.  A camera crew showed up, doing a special on teen pregnancy that year, and it sounds like it was a real mess.    There’s a post here that describes it.

We started pledge-a-picketer in 2010.  It’s a simple fundraiser.  You pledge so much for each protester who shows up, we count the protesters, and the more of them there are, the more money we raise for escorts {vests, training costs, and other miscellany} and abortion access. The idea was a great success – we had 255 protesters, 87 escorts, and a relatively uneventful day.

It is a lovely moment, when most of the protesters have arrived and we get to walk down the line counting.  It baffles and annoys them, but it’s the one time that we can enjoy there being plenty of them.

In 2011, the day before Mother’s Day coincided with Derby Day, so the clinic closed.  We really do shut down the city for Derby.

In 2012, Pledge-a-Picketer was back.  Interestingly, we only had 151 protesters.  The number of escorts dropped too, but 40 was plenty for the crowd.

Enough nostalgia.  It’s that time of year again.  If you’ve ever thought about escorting, or if you escort on the big occasions, like Mother’s Day, now is the time to think about joining us.   We’ll be having a training too, more details on that soon.

And it’s time to pledge-a-picketer.

We’ll be including this form in our posts from now until The Day, but don’t wait to til the last minute, pledge now: