Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reflections on the Upcoming Summer

Yesterday was windy but sunny, a sure sign that spring is upon us. The protesters were out a little later than us. Pink Hat's little Jesus figurine, which lost a couple limbs earlier this year, has now lost his cross as well. He's just a little one-armed dude covered in blood. But Pink Hat still carries him aloft proudly. I wonder if we should all kick in to buy her a new figurine? A couple of the volunteers suggested Batman.

Nothing special on the harrassment front. Pink Hat was giving the escorts her usual advice about not blocking the sidewalk, and chastising them for not giving patients all the options. I'm not sure if they (the protesters) even realize that our escorts are solely responsible for helping patients enter the building safely; they have no part in giving (or not giving) them information or advice. I guess it's hard for the protesters to understand because they don't seem to believe in keeping their jobs separate; thus their "counsellor" (Crazy Legs) is often out protesting with the rest of them, as she was this week.

I have had to explain to a couple women who have gone to the CPC and then made an appointment with us that they might see the woman who "counselled" them out there protesting as they came for their abortion. I think that's the moment when most women who have gone next door realize what a load of bullshit they've been fed by those people. I'm not saying that a counsellor shouldn't be a protester; more that a counsellor whose job it is to help women make a decision about their pregnancy shouldn't then be outside the abortion clinic, harrassing those same women and trying to entice them next door. If Crazy Legs was actually a counsellor who was certified by a recognized group, she would definitely be facing some kind of ethics review.

At this time of year, students are finishing up and some are leaving for the summer (or forever). Among our escorts who are students, even those who are coming back in the fall will be coming back to a different volunteer coordinator, since I am leaving in August. So this week I said the first of my goodbyes, to AB, who is graduating this year so will likely not be back again (although you never know!). I feel that in the next couple weeks I will be saying a lot more goodbyes.

I am still working on ideas on how to keep this blog going when I leave. I do want to keep it as my blog, so I won't be handing it over to the volunteers or the new volunteer coordinator (although if any of them started to blog, specifically about their experiences as escorts, I would enthusiastically link to them!). I hope to get updates from the Fredericton clinic that I can post from time to time, but the direction of the blog as a whole will probably depend on what I actually end up doing in Toronto.

My partner and I got our bikes out a couple days ago. So excited for my last summer in Fredericton!

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