Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rally Tomorrow!

My last week as the temporary receptionist - it's back out on the front lines next week. I am excited. I love being a receptionist, but the protesters have been getting really riled lately and I feel helpless being inside. Not that there's much I can do as an escort, but I like just being out there.

The tarp has proved to not be very useful, as the protesters obviously just move their signs. It's been fun for us, but not practical to keep chasing them around. There has been an issue with the escorts making comments, as well. Our number one rule is not to engage with the protesters, but lately it has been a bit too tempting and a couple of our escorts have been mouthing off. So we have to get that under control, since it doesn't reflect too well on us in our quest to get the bubble zone.

Tomorrow is the big rally out in front of the courthouse - feel free to come down and support us! 12:30 to 1:30. I am excited. What I am most excited for is when the hearings are over and the actual trial starts, because I'm hoping that Dr. Morgentaler will come to town for it, and I really want to meet him. I think that would pretty much make my life complete (I know I said that about meeting Stephen Lewis, and also seeing Romeo Dallaire. And Sue Johansson. I get excited a lot).

Probably starting next week I will have pictures on the blog, since I will be out escorting and I have a camera now. I figure, since the antis can go up into the parking garage and film each other (yes, we've noticed you, and I really hope you aren't recording the women going into the clinic), then I can take some pics of them and their awesome signs. I'm pretty excited.

I just finished reading the chapter of Morgentaler's biography where he opens the clinic in Fredericton. I have also been reading about Dr. Slepian, Dr. Tiller ("Tiller the Killer"), and other abortion doctors that have been shot/wounded/killed. I'm really glad that this seems to be a phenomenon largely confined to the United States, and anti-choice activists in Canada are not usually violent (although it has happened). Working inside the clinic and seeing the security system, using the camera, buzzing people in, and knowing the location of the panic button has made me think a lot more about safety while there. I think there's always a risk, and that's scary. But honestly I believe that if something happens, it won't happen in Fredericton. This place is just too small, too passive, too quiet. I hope.


Anonymous said...

I am perplexed by your description of the protests and the protesters. After seeing so much in the press about the situation I took an opportuntiy one Tuesday morning to go by. What I saw was a peaceful protest against what they feel is the killing of humans. There was nothing like what you have described. I can't help but wonder if part of what clouds the real issues are the blantant attempts to mischaracterize the actions and opinions of those who stand in opposition to your point of view/convictions? It certainly has informed my opinions - and perhaps changed them.

The Pedgehog said...

Certainly there are times when they are peaceful, and times when they aren't. Also, there are particular protesters who are much more aggressive than others (usually, for some reason, the female ones).

To an outsider it doesn't look like much, and I understand your confusion. The real concern is with the patients coming in. Each one of these women have faced a very difficult decision and the presence (and sometimes actions) of the protesters puts them in a delicate state. Even though the protesters think they are acting out of love, any comment they make to the patients comes across as verbal harrassment.

As for my descriptions of the protesters and their actions, I assure you everything I have posted here is true. I have been to my fair share of protests, and if these protesters truly were just standing peacefully with signs every week, I probably would not have been compelled to be an escort. It is out of a desire to protect and help the clinic's patients that I do this, and I wouldn't have that desire if I didn't see a need to protect and help them.

Amy O said...

What compelled you to post anonymously?

Anonymous said...

Did you ever stop to think that the protestors have the need and desire to protect and help the innocent, defenceless, unborn child? That is why they are there.

The Pedgehog said...

Why yes I have. I'm not stupid, I understand their position on the issue, and can sympathize to a point. I also agree with their right to peacefully protest. However, their desire to protect the unborn does not, in law, trump the women's right to access medical care without being harrassed and verbally assaulted.

Anonymous said...

Beth writes
Where did we go wrong?
I think carrying a child is about choice. If I choose to have intercourse, I must choose the responsibility for the outcome .if there is one. If the outcome is a pregnancy then I must choose to proceed. Should the unborn child be condemned for his/her existence...condemned to die. It's as if I am saying "bad baby , your're not supposed to be in there ...now get! I'm not ready for you, therefore, you can't come here"
The ultra feminists don't want us to want children

The Pedgehog said...

Saying someone "must choose" to proceed with a pregnancy isn't giving them a choice at all. Also, I would argue that in a situation where the pregnancy is unwanted, choosing to end it IS a responsible choice.

As a feminist, I don't really care if you have children or not. I do care that you have the choice. We are not forcing women to have abortions; personally, I would love to see fewer abortions. I would love to see more babies born - more wanted babies, anyway.

By the way, what if you don't "choose" to have intercourse? Should you still be forced to proceed with a pregnancy that results from rape or incest?

Also, if something is "unborn", it can't be "condemned to die".

Amy O said...

Peggy you rule.