Sidewalk Snippet ~ {10/28/13}

The doors weren’t open yet when escorts by the door were approached by a man coming from AWC. We hadn’t seen him on the sidewalk before, but he was very polite and said, “I work for AWC and I just wanted to know about you escorts. Why are you here?”

My response was, “I do not talk to protesters. If you want to find out about escorts ask D or read our blog at everysaturdaymorning.net. We explain why we are here there.” “But I am not protesting, I just want to understand.” I pointed out D and repeated my statement about the blog.

He did wander over and talk to D for a few minutes. Then he approached an escort further down the sidewalk who hadn’t heard the exchange between us. We watched a minute while he was talking to the escort, then I approached them.

“This gentleman works for AWC and is trying to find out why we are here. I have directed him to our blog.”

The escort responded, “I suspected as much, but he didn’t tell me he was with AWC.” The conversation between them after that was very short.

Misrepresenting himself to an escort isn’t the end of the world, but it is indicative of a particular mindset that the antis learn very fast to just lie to get what they want.

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REMINDER:
We are standing up for reproductive rights on November 2. That’s this Saturday! Are you coming with us?

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/KyRoadRally

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/158610191007342/

Website: http://kyroadrally.org/

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {10/7/13}

There has been an anti coming out for a couple of months now. She rarely says anything and stays beside D the whole time she is out. We started to call her Trainee because she seems to be learning from D how to harass clients and their companions. One day recently, she found her voice.

The sentences below were said and then there was a pause before another sentence was said. She is close to D’s messages, but seems to need just a little more training to perfectly mimic D. I’m sure with practice with talking at strangers, these statements will smooth out and she will sound like every other anti on the sidewalk.

“No one deserves to die without a say.”

“This is a very, very serious thing.”

“”This is a gruesome, gruesome thing.”

“They purposely won’t show you the ultrasound.”

“Go to YouTube and look up former abortion providers. Read their stories.”

“You can use Google to find out about women who regret their abortion. Read about it.”

“You have choice here. It’s not locked in stone. At least that’s what they say.”

Until she is fully trained, she provides a relief to us from listening to the same things said in the same way by every anti.

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REMINDER:
We are standing up for reproductive rights on November 2. Are you coming with us? Can you contribute $5 or more to help make it happen?
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/KyRoadRally
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/158610191007342/
Website: http://kyroadrally.org/

 

What We “Know”

We all “know” so much, don’t we?

I “know” that my son needs to eat his vegetables.

He “knows” that he ONLY likes broccoli, and will do just fine subsisting on mac’n’cheese and spaghettios.

When someone says, “Oh, I know she is going to regret that tattoo,” or “I just know that he needs to do X instead of Y,” that person is making assumptions about how someone else should live his life, based on her own worldview, her own preferences and prejudices. The speaker absolutely has the right to think that tattoos are foolhardy. She has a right to her opinion about any manner of things.

What the speaker does not have a right to do is to interfere with others based upon her own sweeping assumptions about how we all need to live our lives. The speaker has no right to impose restrictions about our decisions, based upon her own, individual worldview.

Many antis “know” the clients’ situations. They “know” how much the clients will regret this decision. It’s amazing how much they can “know” about people they don’t actually know.

A few weeks ago, the antis were calling out to a male companion entering the clinic to “be a man” and “stand up for your child.” What the antis didn’t know is that the male companion was the client’s brother. The antis make assumptions based upon what they “know,” and then expect the rest of us to fall into their neat and orderly little boxes.

I “know” that it is none of the antis business what the clients’ individual situation is. I also “know” that I know nothing more about these clients than do the antis. I just happen to not make the arrogant assumption that I “know” more than I do. That’s the distinction between the antis and the escorts.

Maybe it would behoove the antis to realize that, in fact, we all “know” very little about what is good for another person.

Except about the vegetables. Kiddo definitely needs to eat his vegetables.

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {9/23/13}

Some mornings lots of little things add up to lighten the mood of escorts. It does help that we all have a sense of humor, but some days are just hit after hit of comedic gold.

This is a series of statements and happenings one  morning:

D pulled another anti back onto the sidewalk after they had crossed the property line saying, ”I saw the smoke coming off of your shoe.”

“Does she thinks she can say anything she wants over the internet? You can’t lie on the internet.”

“Even satan believes in god.”

A pedestrian walking by the entrance to the clinic pointed at each escort standing there. His pointed finger was accompanied by, “You are going to hell,” “You are going to hell,” “You are going to hell.” It was kind of like Oprah saying, “You win a new car,” but less exciting.

The number one mood lightener came from a companion. As the client and companion were coming towards the door, the companion started talking to the antis and let himself be surrounded by them. While the antis were distracted the client was able to cross the property line with minimum interference.

We could hear him saying: “I don’t know what it is, but when she reached adulthood she started wanting to make her own choices. I don’t agree with her making choices, but she says I have to respect her. It’s like that free speech stuff, you have to listen to it even if you don’t want to.”

The client and others waiting by the doors were laughing at all of the things he was saying and the escorts couldn’t help smiling. He got his point across with perfect deadpan delivery and without ever raising his voice.

Keeping Score

We published an article last September titled “Myths About Escorts.” One of the myths we examined was the one where escorts keep score of clients entering EMW and celebrate a “win” when a client leaves AWC (the CPC) next door. I pointed out D is the one who carries a handheld tally counter daily.

Hand Tally Counter

It still isn’t a sport where points are won depending on the count of clients entering a particular building. Reproductive rights are not a game. The decisions people reach about a pregnancy will impact their lives and the lives of their families. Abortion is just one of the decisions clients may make about their healthcare. Escorts try to make access to abortion easier for clients, but we do not try to persuade anyone to make a decision based upon our beliefs. This is a concept the antis never seem to grasp.

One day last month a client and two companions entered the clinic without incident. Shortly after 8a they all came back out. They walked to their car parked close by at the curb, but before they could reach it the anti MW stopped them. Then we saw MW put her arm around the client and talk to her. They talked for a couple of minutes before all three walked back up the sidewalk and into AWC.

During the approach by the anti and the walk back into AWC, the escorts did not interfere. We just observed what was happening without comment. We respect the client’s right to have a conversation without interference.

We left for the day shortly after they entered AWC. When I got into my car D yelled into my closed window, “You lost one.” Her look was triumphant and volume was loud.

This always gets to me. D had just dehumanized the client by converting them into a score in a game only one side is playing. Her unspoken message I heard was, ‘you lost by one point.’ Even though D keeps a counter at hand to tick off the clients going into the clinic and keeps her own score, it still isn’t a game.

We don’t know why the client left the clinic and neither does D. Maybe their mind was not made up and they needed more time to think about their decision. Maybe they didn’t have all of the paperwork they needed. Maybe….maybe….the list could be long. Only the client knows why they left.

I am not sure why, even though D has witnessed similar scenes many times, she doesn’t realize yet it is all about choice for the escorts. We support any client in any decision they make about their pregnancy. The last thing any escort would want to do is coerce someone into doing something they are not sure about. We realize clients are capable of making their own decisions, including deciding who to talk to about their pregnancy.

We respect and support whatever decision they make.

When Counseling Doesn’t Work, Try Screaming

We write a lot about the “sidewalk counselors” who try to coerce women into the CPC next door to the abortion clinic. They push and shove their way to stand next to a client, reciting their scripts to convince a woman to  “Just take a minute and come next door to find out if you have a viable pregnancy.” “Have you thought about adoption?  Let us tell you about all of your choices instead of abortion.” “Have you gone to a real doctor to get a second opinion?”  “I’ll adopt your baby.” “You can still change your mind. Walk out of that place.” And the ever present, “Don’t kill your baby!”

Many of the antis follow the clients to the property line at the door of the clinic and then remain there shouting at the door and window their messages of harassment. Some of the antis just come to shout and preach at the entrance. Their messages are always filled with condemnation, accusations and attempts to shame clients and companions.

“Those of you who are born-again Christians, you need to come out of there right now,” is heard almost every day from one of them.

Sometimes the shouting is just so mean-spirited it catches all of our attentions. There is a man who comes several days during the week and every Saturday to shame. His messages are always full of judgment and are delivered at full volume. In fact, he shouts so much we have nicknamed him Screaming Preacher.

Screaming Preacher

His messages are always so hate-filled and judgmental, even other antis have moved away from him. One Saturday when the Catholics lined up on the opposite side of the street to pray, he turned his attention to them by shouting, “You don’t need idols to worship God. You are all idolaters and are sinners.” That resulted in a shouting match on the sidewalk between antis as to who of them were following the one “true’ religion.

This Saturday a client and companion arrived before the doors opened. They stood facing the clinic doors, but immediately got the attention of Screaming Preacher. As he started shouting at them, the companion put his arm around the client and escorts tried to shield the message as much as possible. We kept moving right in front of Screaming Preacher. When he didn’t have a direct line of sight to the client and companion, he would move over a little bit. Since that was further away from the entrance it helped, but it didn’t block his words.

This is a video of part of his speech to them. It shows only his feet because I was so close to him I would have had only a shot of his chin if I tried to get his face. This was while we were moving him down the property line.

Transcript:

or out of your stubbornness of your heart, continue doing what you know is wrong. You know it’s wrong. You know this is a baby. You know it is. That woman is pregnant with a child and you’re the cause of that. But today, the call for you to be a man to that child and a protector to that child is there before you. But will you do it, or would you let that child fall into a hole and walk on? ‘Not my problem.’ I tell you if you don’t turn today, that child will be in a worse place than a little hole. They will be cut to pieces and dumped into a dumpster; burned as medical waste. All because you wouldn’t turn the very

These are not words meant to convert. They are words meant to shock, hurt, and shame. “That woman” is how he refers to all women. The thing about the Screaming Preacher that disturbs me is how he preaches only his view of sin and no message of salvation. “You are all going to hell.” His god is a very unforgiving one.

Once in awhile an escort will try to distract him with conversation. He welcomes these attempts to talk to him with a speech about how we are evil and are going to answer for the murders we help commit. This Saturday one escort tried. When the escort moved away to the corner of the block, he continued to scream and point at them. It ended up with him screaming so loud and long that his voice started to break up with the strain.

I personally don’t find him amusing, or even interesting. To me he is just a scary fanatic.

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {9/16/13}

When I pulled up to park in front of the clinic, D was already out of her car talking to a woman on the sidewalk. They were both standing in front of the clinic talking and playing with a baby in a stroller.

I watched them for about 5 minutes before it was time to get out of my car to greet a client. Like that was a signal to get serious, D told the woman goodbye and the woman left with the baby and stroller.

Later in the morning, D was telling NB about her early morning visitor. Of course, this was told within hearing of the escorts standing by the door. No story goes as well as those with a larger audience.

D:  “I had a visit from a saved baby this morning. It was 6 months old and so cute. It was talking constantly. Of course, it wasn’t saying words but just making sounds.”

NB: “I’m glad we are out here.”

Of all of the things going through my mind at the time, “I’m glad you are out here too,” wasn’t one of them.

I’m sure it was just an oversight on D’s part she didn’t talk about the mother. It must have been an oversight on NB’s part she didn’t ask about the mother either.

It’s A Matter of Trust ~ by Lepus

Escorting the corner on Market gives me a pretty good view of A Woman’s Choice parking lot.  I am slowly learning the difference between “anti cars” and “client cars”, although I always default on the side of if I’m not sure, I’m going to check it out.

Today, I saw a car pull into the parking lot and I walked towards it because I wasn’t sure.  There were two AWC workers standing in the parking lot with pamphlets (one of them was the AWC director).  T (the second AWC worker) said to me “You don’t have to talk to this one, she works here.”  When I didn’t walk back to the corner (I had the gall to want to see for myself), the AWC director turned to T and said “It’s a trust issue”

Well, of course it is a trust issue.  The existence of your building and its very name is supposed to trick people into thinking that AWC is something it isn’t.  You lie about how long the “free ultrasounds” will take.  You mislead and stretch and guess as to what a client is going through and try to manipulate them to your way of thinking.  You shame and guilt clients that have the misfortune of going into your doors, when they have done nothing wrong other than to live their lives in ways that you don’t approve.

You minimize a client’s life experience and cut and paste it into your own worldview of how they should live. I can’t believe anyone would trust ANYTHING you say.  I certainly would never, for my own safety and wellbeing, trust you.  So yes, it is indeed “A trust issue”.

Sidewalk Snippet ~ {9/2/13}

We have an escort who has a scrapbook of anti literature. The other escorts will pick up new brochures and save them for the collector.

There are usually ample opportunities to do this. The clients and companions who have the anti information thrust upon them while walking to the clinic will hand them to escorts, leave them on the flower box beside the clinic door and drop them on the counter or floor at the sign-in desk. We end up getting a lot of duplicates, but once in awhile we get new literature for the scrapbook.

This morning we had a client and two companions who were Spanish speaking. D pulled out her Spanish-language fliers and thrust the pamphlets into their hands. After the clients were all in, there were two Spanish fliers laying on the flower box. When I was leaving, I picked them up.

Another escort looked at one of them before we left and we talked about the collection.  As I was getting into my car, D handed me an English version of the flier. “Here is one in English. I doubt you can read Spanish.”

Have to hand it to her, I don’t.

“Read this one. Maybe you will learn something, but you probably won’t read it.”

Have to hand it to her again. I have no intention of reading anti-abortion propaganda.

Just Stretching?

There are times that watching the antis is entertainment. This Saturday morning a few clinic escorts were standing at the entrance of the clinic. Most of the clients had already entered the clinic and we were waiting for any late arrivals. That’s when anti watching and listening can be fun for escorts. The rest of the time we ignore them.

There was a new anti out. She was standing alone beside the “No Parking” sign. The city has posted two signs that read, “No Parking 6AM-10AM Saturday Passenger Pick-Up and Drop-Off.” The zone blocks two parking meters used during the weekdays.

No Parking sign

Since the signs have been up they have been a real annoyance to the antis. They try to line the sidewalk between the signs to block anyone who might be dropped off. We post escorts there when we can, but we aren’t always successful and the clients and companions using the drop-off zone have to wind their way through the antis.

Unsuccessful attempts by antis to park on Saturdays in the spaces blocked off are always met with several escorts pointing to the signs; on one occasion we had to threaten to call city towing. During a weekday recently the anti T  told an escort they could not park there and said he was going to call the police to have the escort’s car towed. When he was told it was legal on weekdays and was asked a few times to read the sign, he finally  read the sign and said, “You might be right.” I’m sure it was only coincidence that he left immediately afterwards.

Even knowing the history of the signs, we were surprised to see the new anti in a pose that looked like she was trying to push it over. She pushed tentatively with one hand and then put both hands on the pole, braced her feet and pushed hard. The pole rocked a little, but still stood firm. While she still had both hands on the pole, NB came and pushed with both hands one time too. The pole stayed firmly planted. This whole process took less than a minute before they stood up nonchalantly and assumed a position in front of the pole. Soon D joined them and they just stood there quietly talking amongst themselves as if nothing had happened.

Sign pushers

I started laughing. I couldn’t help myself.

Now to be fair, both of those antis could have been stretching the kinks out of their muscles like athletes will do. Standing for so long on the sidewalk can be tiring for leg muscles when your only activity is shouting. They may both have felt the need to stretch at the same time, in the same place, using the same support. The pole was handy there on the sidewalk, so why not?

There was no way they were going to move the sign, so I will go with the more charitable explanation.

It is a good thing the sign and pole weren’t damaged. It would still be a No Parking zone on Saturdays. The city would fine them for destruction of city property. Definitely a major inconvenience for just a muscle stretch, but stranger things have happened on the sidewalk in front of the clinic.