Were You Approached Today?

Did you experience anti-abortion protesters at EMW Women’s Surgical Center?

We are gathering stories about experiences with protesters when going to EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville. Were you a patient who felt scared or nervous around the protesters? Were you a family member or friend who accompanied a patient who experienced harassment? Were you a pedestrian on the sidewalk on Market Street with no plans to enter EMW Women’s Surgical Center, but you were subjected to graphic posters or pamphlets on your walk? Please share your story.

This week the clinic has begun collecting experiences from people facing anti-abortion protesters with a simple checklist questionnaire. The answers to the questionnaire and your comments will be compiled into a report weekly. We plan to use this information in an effort to convince state and local leaders to protect your right to privacy when accessing abortion services. We will not use ANY names or identifying information when sharing your stories.

Please add a comment below. You can use a fake name and your email address will never be published. If you would prefer, you can send your story to our email address: everysaturdaymorning@gmail.com

We will gather these stories in an effort to document anti-abortion protesters here in Louisville aren’t all nice, grandmotherly types who just want to talk.

Thank you for your assistance.




23 thoughts on “Were You Approached Today?

  1. I cannot overstate my gratitude for this group and all that you do. I accompanied my fiancé this morning to the clinic. There were escorts everywhere that showed us where to park, kept the protestors at bay and even gave us a ride around the corner to keep them away. Thank you thank you thank you! These protestors are obviously deeply troubled, terrible people. We are forever grateful to you all for sacrificing your time and energy (it must be draining listening to them) to help guide and protect all these people. Your selflessness is inspirational.

  2. I went in to EMW this morning. I was alone. I was scared but since moving to Kentucky I had no other support system in place to come with me. I pulled up rather early having made the hour drive to the clinic. It was pouring rain, and my directions put me right in front of the clinic where I saw the protesters were already gathered in front. I pulled up a little further and was shaking. I googled parking meters and was nervous. Luckily I had read that there might be clinic escorts outside and I saw one at the corner of the street. I approached her and she took me around the corner and explained where I could park. I was so grateful for her. I thanked her and parked. When it was time to walk in, another escort was able to walk me to the clinic. Had it not been for him and him talking me through the people I were about to pass on my way in, I might have ran away. I didn’t realize how upset the protesters would make me. I’m a pretty strong person but when I got through the door, wet and alone again I cried. From sadness that these people have a right to invade my private choices that I had to make. To shame us. The fact that Kentucky passes laws to dictate what I do with my body. I was angry after I stopped crying. As you wait in the waiting room theres a man on a bullhorn screaming about murdering your child, and that only God can judge. How dare you then, stand outside judging us. The fact that I could not discuss any options with my own doctor or the fact that I have to travel to the last clinic in Kentucky to be herded like cattle to have a procedure that I needed to have done. It’s surreal the year is 2020 and to get a procedure done of my choice I had to be put through that absolute BS.
    I wish I had gotten the escorts names, but to both of them that took time out of their day I will never forget them for making me feel human. I will always remember that kindness.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this with us. We are so sorry you had to go through this to get needed medical care.. We’re glad the escorts were there for you and will share your words with them.

  3. When entering the clinic a big preacher man junped in my face and tried to block me from walking, all while he was preaching that children were gifts and I did not have to do this. Another man tried to get us to park in a lot that was for the anti abortion people. They were pushy, harsh and violating. It felt like they were trying to kidnap people for human trafficking. The escorts made way for my sister and I to get through. They were kind, supportive and patient. So thankful the volunteer escorts made us feel safe.

  4. I did a lot of research before coming to the clinic as I do with everything, when my mom and I first got downtown we attempted to park on the street down from the building because we couldn’t find the entrance to the parking garage. An escort had already walked near the car and asked me if I was going to the clinic and then advised us on how to get in the parking garage. We finally parked and another clinic escort was already waiting for us on the other side of the garage. She briefly (with kindness) informed us on what we could expect and we began walking. Before we even made it 10 feet here came at least 4 more escorts rushing ahead of a protester to get to my side. The protester pushed up against me and begged me to go inside the fake clinic next door for a free ultrasound among other things, even though she pushed up against me the entire length of the walk I still didn’t hear what she said. One of the escorts did her best to distract me by asking about my tattoo. I didn’t get to talk to her much but I’m very thankful for her. I’m thankful for all the escorts today. They were quick, kind and very attentive. No woman should ever have to be tormented on the way into the facility, not to mention you feel like you lose all privacy. My mom went outside a few times to smoke while waiting for me and was even harrassed herself. The protesters don’t even give you any kind of genuine information about abortion, all they do is say things to try and make you feel terrible. One protester even brought children. They read the bible very loud and prayed where we could even hear them inside the waiting room. Protesters shouldn’t be allowed near the area at all. Thank you for everything you all do, I know every family who entered the clinic today was thankful for all of you. I’m sure you all don’t hear it enough.

  5. I accompanied my daughter to EMW on July 22. As I was leaving the parking garage I was immediately approached by a protester. She walked close enough to me that our arms were touching, her body pushing mine. I never verbally responded to her or looked at her. However, she continued to harass me for bringing my daughter to EMW. An escort approached me and asked if I would like for him to walk with me. Thank you sir!
    When I left the clinic and was headed to my car, the same female protester was on my heels again. She was directly attacking me. She said things like, “How could you leave your daughter alone?” “She could hemorrhage to death in there!” “You are supposed to be a mother forever.” “How could you do this to your daughter?” Her remarks had nothing to do with a pro life stance, she was just trying to make me feel bad. She bullied me all the way to my car.
    I would like to thank all the clinic escorts that were there to help me and my daughter. Your presence meant a lot and you are very much appreciated!

  6. Thank you all for what you do. I was awash with relief when I pulled into the street to park and I spotted the purple vests. The escorts were automatically so attentive: I didn’t even have to say what I was doing. I was very discreetly asked if I was going to EMW. The escorts were all very kind and greeted me with warm smiles. It made me feel not only human, but priority, on such a scary day, when everyone else just wanted to tell me what a wretched thing I was doing. Thanks to the quantity of volunteers and level of organization, my time with the protesters was minimized and I thank you so much for making that morning go as smoothly as possible. No one wants to be called a murderer as they walk into a medical facility, but your calm expressions served as a reminder that these people were only bullies, and not humanists serving the greater good.

    • Also, I was a patient on the 22nd. I was so nervous because of everything I had been reading. You all really made it wonderful. It would have been terrifying without the volunteers. I would have been shaken up so badly I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. My name is (redacted for publication) and I was a patient at EMW on July 22nd.

    To the escort service, I would like to express my deepest appreciation. The protesters that day behaved like rabid animals; touching me, stepping on my heels, invading my personal space, truly harassing me and my mother. It’s hard to believe that this behavior is legal. It was all very overwhelming and the escorts felt like nothing short of guardian angels. The gratitude I feel is so strong that it makes me emotional.

    I remember walking with one of the male escorts and saying, “Thank you for doing this, like I didn’t feel enough anxiety today.” He said, “That’s why we’re here.” That meant the world to me.

    I dream of a day when we can see more purple vests than protesters. Hopefully one day the escort service will not be needed, until that day I intend to volunteer as an escort as much as possible.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. We are glad we could be of assistance to you. When you are ready to escort, please send an email to everysaturdaymorning@gmail.com and we will let you know when our next training is scheduled. We will share your comment with the escorts.

  8. I was walking with my wife down Market St and encountered the posters of the protesters in front of the clinic, which I gazed at. This was quickly followed by protesters loudly reciting to me abortion “facts”, and in due course turned into taunts that I am a murderer in my heart unless I agree with them.

    Man do I hate bullies.

    I’m also irritated with myself for having such weak responses to their practiced insults, although they told me they would pray for me. The encounter has made me want to be an escort, but I don’t know if I can be stoic enough not to succumb to meeting anger with anger and escalating it into physical confrontation. The fact that I’m still agitated 3 days later worries me.

    • We say all of the time that the antis are our best recruiting tool for escorts. It’s hard not to respond to them at times, but Escorts practice non-engagement and try to ignore them like they aren’t there. With practice, we have found it works to thwart their arguments. We just don’t respond. If you believe you would like to try,please send an email to everysaturdaymorning@gmail.com and we will be glad to discuss it with you.

      • Reading some of the stories of people walking to the clinic who are physically touched by someone yelling at them makes me wonder: If someone is threatening you and they touch you, isn’t that assault? If someone touches you and you don’t want to be touched and you say don’t touch me and then that person touches you again isn’t that assault and can someone intervene to stop the assault? This protesting is ridiculous and also makes me wonder if the clinic should have a valet service so people can get out in front and get over the side walk to private property where trespassing is not allowed?

      • Hi. Thank you for your comment. These are all valid questions. The short answer is, yes all of these instances are assault. However there are problems bringing assault charges against protesters. The biggest problem is police need to witness the assault to bring charges. They are not usually present. You can call them and they will interview you and the protester if they are still present. The second biggest problem is most people do not want to have their name and address on a public record in order to have an incident report filed.

        Yes, volunteers started offering shuttle services in December 2019 on some days from the most prevalent parking garage. We had to discontinue during the lockdown months for COVID-19. They have started again. The clinic also advises clients to be dropped off in front of the clinic. Not all clients do that or take advantage of the shuttles. It really is about their choice. For different reasons many people decide to walk the one block instead.

  9. Thank you for the work you do. Your calm spirits and positive energy were a saving grace to the hatred and vile protesters that do absolutely nothing.

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