Apparently, these “nothin-better- to-dos” think accessing an abortion should be more like “Ultimate Beastmaster” than just… idk… walking in a clinic on time for your appointment.
Why do I know all of this? Because it was plastered all over CNN and MSNBC? Yeah, Right. Nope, I know it because I was there, volunteering as an escort at the clinic and it was batshit so I wanted to give you an idea of what the day was like and let you know how YOU can help.
NOTE: All of the statements, opinions, comments, typed sequences of letters that form words are my own. I do NOT represent or speak for the EMW escorts or the clinic.
By 6:00 am horrible protesters had already begun to gather. By about 7:30 the sidewalk was lined with roughly 100 of them, carrying massive signs of medically inaccurate, shame-y information and images. The roughly 30-40 escorts were also getting in place too, trying to hold space around the entrance. And all of us were being subjected to the super christian-y prayer music blaring from the speakers they had set up right outside the clinic doors.
The clinic opens at 8:00am and things are non-stop until all of the patients are settled in the clinic which is generally about 9:30am. We got the word that the doors were open so a fellow escort and I began walking a woman from her car to the clinic. As we approached we noticed that the crowd wasn’t really paying attention to us. It looked more like a mass of crazy fans trying to snap a pic of the cast of Hamilton leaving the backdoor of the theatre.
Once we got close, we realized that a group of protesters had crossed the property line and were sitting, physically blocking the entrance to the clinic.
The frustrating part was that, we ended up cornered by the door having to watch as the police handled the situation. While this was happening, two other escorts and I were forming a wall between the patient and the madness.
Eventually it did happen and they carted off ten protesters and NO APPOINTMENTS were missed.
The entire time I couldn’t help but think how the officers were completely misplaced in being respectful to these people breaking the law when the person behind me is the one being denied access to their totally LEGAL HUMAN RIGHT! Not once did any of the eight officers acknowledge the patient as we stood there for what felt like the longest ten minutes of my life.
Eventually it did happen and they carted off ten protesters and no appointments were missed.
Hear that? Talk to the hand cause the F.A.C.E. don’t wanna hear it.
That’s F.A.C.E as in the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act which was signed in 1994 by President Bill Clinton after violence against abortion providers and reproductive healthcare facilities began to spike.
Which if you want to understand real domestic terrorism you’ll take a gander at the The National Abortion Federation’s tally of all the reported violence against abortion providers.
The scary part here is that this isn’t the end. These people are holding their super FUN-damentally fucked up national convention outside the clinic from July 22-29th. Over 5,000 people have been invited to make the trip and join in on the harassment.
Let’s do the math- Of all the people that click “attending” on your Facebook invites, how many actually show up? Even if only 10% attend, that means things could be even more batshit than last weekend.
There are so many ways to support this movement. You can become an abortion doula, volunteer for an abortion fund hotline, plan an event to benefit your local clinic, call your senator and tell them you support access, send postcards of support to providers or help fight stigma and shame by talking about abortion in your daily life.
For me, clinic escorting is probably the most rewarding. I love it. I think it feeds my soul. I’m tall and big and I think my body is built for it. Meaning, I can be the totally non-engaging bodyguard providing a source of comfort alongside a patient encountering protesters for the first time.
Luckily, the clinic has an amazing team of dedicated escorts that are out there every day. They are organized and fucking ready. These people rock. Some of the people on their team have been doing it for over 15 years. I am a measly little newbie. I’m so insanely honored that they have let me join them.
DONATE TO THEM! They need your support to be ready for this onslaught of extremists in July.
The anti’s incessant desire to shove their flagrant beliefs down the throats of others through shame and stigma is why I stand on the sidewalk and it’s one of the HUGE reasons Lady Parts Justice League is hitting the ground for two months this summer on our Vagical Mystery Tour, so we can help amazing escorts in 16 cities breath a little easier and work to grow their community support.
Join us along the way! We can put you to werk!