Well, fun times at the clinic this week! I showed up rather early and was surprised to see that there were no protesters – not even Father Right! There were no women in the waiting room either. I think I was just earlier than I thought though, because soon afterwards things continued as usual. It was a bit wet out today so the protesters were out in their matching rain jackets; so adorable.
The first shift was pretty unremarkable. It seemed a bit busier than usual, but nothing out of the ordinary. I stuck around for the second shift, and I’m glad I did because it was a lot more interesting.
A guy driving by slowed down to tell the protesters that they shouldn’t be holding their “aborted fetus” picture up for kids to see. He ended up pulling over to discuss it with them, because they all flocked over to his car to engage him in a heated debate. I don’t know where the aggression started – in all fairness, it could have been the guy who started being unpleasant, and they just answered him in kind – but I really think it would benefit their side to have some concise, polite replies to rude passersby. It would be a lot more effective than aggression. You catch more flies with honey, and so on.
There was a very amusing fellow joining the protesters today. He was a big, loud guy. I have never been personally judged (out loud) or condemned by the protesters, although I have heard of it happening to some of the other escorts (personal favourite epithets include “little lesbians” and “Hitler’s henchmen”). Well, this loud guy (hereafter known as The Tenor) was way into the judgement. He called us “vultures” and accused us of only caring about profit. This strikes me as especially funny when addressed to the escorts, and not just because we’re volunteers. I can accept that he might not know that. However, if we WERE paid, surely it would be hourly, and not on commission? So it really wouldn’t matter to us if women came in or not. (I can’t speak for the other escorts, but it actually DOESN’T matter to me personally if a woman comes in or not. It matters to me that if she does want to come in, she shouldn’t be harassed).
Anyway, The Tenor’s amusing diatribe was keeping us entertained, when he decided to be the greatest anti-choice protester of all time and SING. That’s right, he sang. He had quite a nice voice too. It was some Jesus-y song about how we’re all going to hell. I kind of wanted to come back with a rousing chorus of “Only the Good Die Young”, but unfortunately I can’t sing very well. Perhaps that’s God’s punishment for being a baby-killer.
Eventually The Tenor left. He made sure to tell us that he wouldn't be back, because, as he so eloquently put it, "I can't stand the sight of yas." Charming.
I have to say, I often forget how intimidating the protesters can be – mainly because I see them every week and I find them kind of amusing (you have to, or you go crazy). But today I went way down the street to walk one woman in (she was on her own), and walking back to the clinic, facing all those people with their signs, staring at you, and Crazy Legs and The Holy Ghost wailing at you about your baby…..eep. It’s scary.
Good to see the men getting a bit more active and vocal though, that was exciting. Perhaps they read my blog about how much less intense they are than the women, and decided to step up to the plate. Honestly, I really hope they get this bubble zone underway soon, because this is really getting ridiculous.