It had just begun to warm up outside, and the antis were in full force. Spring is the season of rebirth, the perfect time of year to advocate for babies (it's a wonder they don't retreat in Autumn amidst the senescence). The escorts were outnumbered and, though they tried not to show it, anxious. I could tell from the way they bolted to the corner to guide a patient through the front door, the way they stood inches from her face, they way they shot verbal darts in her direction. What shocked me the most, though, was that this approach was remarkably similar to that of the antis.
"Ma'am, can I help you?"
"Are you going the clinic?"
"Come with me, please."
What an overwhelming exchange; if the escorts hadn't been clearly distinguished, it would have been nearly impossible to tell who was pro or anti. And the way this poor woman tried so desperately to avoid them, all of them! She walked quickly as though she were being pursued, with her head above eye level to avoid glances from both sides. You could just imagine the gears turning in her head and the pep-talk she was giving herself: Keep moving girl, just 200 feet more, 150, 100.... She answered in the affirmative to the escorts' questions, but the look in her eyes told a different story. I watched as she continued speed-walking towards the clinic entrance, ahead of everybody, thankful to be away from all of them.
She was in no mood for a prayer, nor was she interested in taking refuge behind the orange vests. She wanted to be left alone. How strange! This is something that we in the pro-choice world we don't seem to consider very often. Don't these women want, need our support? Aren't they thankful for having their own personal escorts? Doesn't this compassionate care philosophy just rock?
Could be. But for the silent sufferer, the lone ranger, the proud Mary, should we consider toning it down, backing off? This is just another medical procedure, yes? As mundane as a dental cleaning and as common as a sprained ankle. Where to draw the line? So I pose a question to the masses:
How do we know when we're loving and caring too much?
A few painstaking months into my current job, I realized I really can't take on the burden of calling back every single woman who hasn't called me in a week. It used to worry me if they dropped out of my phone log, and I felt responsible for calling to "remind" them, as though they needed reminding that they were still pregnant and not very happy about it. She'll call me if she still wants to.ReplyDelete
I feel fine about giving up that habit, but I don't feel so fine about saying You know what, maybe we should just wait here at the door instead of escort them in; they'll come to us if they want to. Thank god for clinic escorts.
Sometimes I think I'd go to a far off abortion clinic and quietly have an abortion if I needed one and never tell a soul. Privacy--right on, ride on...ReplyDelete
Though, threats to clinics and general harassment among Anti's is up, so now just doesn't seem to be the time to question volunteer warriors who choose to care enough.