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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gimme Three Steps

The title has nothing to do with the content of this post. I just had a song stuck in my head.

Every time I click over here to think about blogging I"m reminded of the title of our blog - "Pro-Lifers are Bullies" - and how true it is. For the most part these protestors, these "sidewalk counselors", and every other bully standing out front of the clinic are annoying but mostly harmless (quick Hitchhiker's Guide reference! Brownie points if you recognized it!)

Anyways. So we escorts get used to the bullying from these people, but every so often there's an anomaly. A new person shows up, and is more confrontational seeming a little unhinged; a white SUV makes multiple passes in front of the clinic, slowing each time; or you hear mumbling from the usual suspects and are able to discern only one word - gun, or bomb, or fire.

I am always alert to what is going on around me when I am an escort, but I rarely if ever have any kind of fear about physical harm to myself or others. That said, all of us who live in the south are familiar with violence directed towards clinics and the clinic staff - one needs only look back a few years to the Birmingham Clinic bombings to see how extreme some of these anti-choice people and/or groups can get. 

I am often asked if I get worried doing what I do, and overall no - I sure don't. Yes, I know I'm a designated target to take attention away from the patients and families coming to the clinic, but for the most part my experience has been that my physical safety is not in danger. Am I being naive? I hope not. But what I do know is that the violence that has happened in the past has not come from those of us seeking to protect women's rights - it has come from those on the "other side", the ones who claim to be trying to embrace "life", the ones who frequently claim religious motivation for doing so. There's even an entire Wikipedia article devoted to Anti-Abortion Violence.

So every Saturday we put ourselves out there in different clinics in different states. I've been lucky - I've only had my life threatened once. But even though I may not be afraid, I sure don't forget - that people have lost their lives simply standing up for women's rights to their own bodies.

I ask sincerely that you don't forget either. Don't forget Dr. Tiller in Kansas, killed while serving as an usher at his church. Don't forget Dr. Gunn in Florida, shot three times while simply exiting his car. Remember those that have fought before us and passed on, and how vitally important their work was and is; and be ever vigilant, but absolutely firm in your fight to retain your bodily autonomy and that of other women as well.

You are a hero. We all are.


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