Why the Fuck you Lyin’, Carly Fiorina?

Confession: I don’t watch TV.  Or Netflix.  My media input is pretty much YouTube and music videos and video games.

But I’m aware enough to know when shit is going down on the TV.  And that’s when I run to Twitter.  It is so much more enjoyable to me to check our livetweets of other people watching shows, like watching Let’s Play and stuffs.  I howled when Nicki called out Miley, and I’ve been keeping up with the Republican debates.

It’s been a clown car of fuckery, but we all knew that.  But oh boy oh boy did this quote hit me in the fucking fucks:

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Wow.

Just. Wow.

What drugs were you on when you watched that video?  Did someone switch the video out for A Serbian Film? What the entire fuck?

Polifact has been busy as fuck with each of these debates, calling out the outright lies frothing out of the mouths of these clowns, and they tackled this one and called it Mostly False.  Okay, fine (EDIT: Mostly False isn’t actually okay with me).  I can take my time ripping this ignorant fuckstick to shreds.

Cathy, can I call you Cathy?  Too bad, I’m calling you Cathy, first I have a song for you:

Seriously, Oh My God, why the fuck you lyin’?  Are you even aware of how abortions are even DONE?  Probably not, because for your types, it’s just easier to repeat bullshit lies and arguments from ‘EW’ and people will just nod their heads and agree with you. Anyone watching the videos, the unedited, unspun videos, would call you for your crap.

Which scares the fuck out of me.  With the House actually pass their bullshit defund Planned Parenthood bill, it’s obvious that this bullshit lying tactic is actually working.  I don’t escort at a PP, so I don’t hear the worst of the bullshit, but it’s there.

“Planned Parenthood sells baby parts!!!”

And my eyes rolls until I get a headache.  I hate this.  I hate this so much.  I know it’s gonna get veto’d so hard, and it might be the cause for yet another Republican temper tantrum i.e. government shutdown.  Because they hate a health clinic.

A health clinic that doesn’t take federal money for the abortions it does.

I know at this point I’m supposed to mention that only 3% of what PP does is abortion, but frankly, I’m utterly fuckless.  I don’t care if Planned Parenthood did 50%, 75%, 100% abortions.  I don’t care if they provided doulas, massage therapists, soft music, a fluffy robe, general anesthesia and gave patients a puppy afterwards.  Abortions aren’t a terrible awful thing.  It’s a medical procedure. It’s gross, but so’s watching open heart surgery.  It can be uncomfortable, even painful (I’m remembering the “let’s get past the cervix” part of my old IUD insertion and having that for a 5-15 minute procedure makes me want to scream. Knock me the fuck out, please), but so’s dental surgery.

That’s it.  That’s all.  Strip the emotional guilt trippy “it’s a baaaabeee” bullshit, and all you got is a basic, safe, medical procedure.  The vast majority of people who have it will move on with their lives without regrets, and we’ve got studies to prove that.  Defunding Planned Parenthood won’t end abortions.  Making abortions illegal will not end abortions.

Making abortions sound like some horror movie bullshit won’t end them either.  And you should know better, Cathy.

You wanna end PP? Offer to be its CEO.

“Planned Parenthood sells baby – SLAM!”
Why the Fuck you Lyin’, Carly Fiorina?
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They Say, You Gaslight: “Sidewalk Counseling” at Its Worst

I’m going to be late for my doctor’s appointment messing around with this nonsense, but this was too good to pass up, y’all.

It’s another one of those “Feminace Rips Apart Some BS Pro-Life Screed”, but this has a special twist – I’m “supporting” local talent.  Yes, cats and kittens, a friend shared a screed, and I read it and recognized the names as being two of THE WORST of our protesters.

It’s a how-to guide about responding to the myriad objections people give when these fuckers start harassing them, and since I’m not allowed to engage while in the vest and on the sidewalk, I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by.  Oh no.

First, just read this shit.  It’s short, don’t worry. Don’t read while driving, or drinking anything or eating anything less you choke or spill or crash.  Got it?  Good.

Where do we even start?

You can see, pretty clearly (and I’ve heard, pretty clearly), that harassment IS the name of the game.  They have responses for “objections” like:

“Back off! Get lost! Leave me alone!”

“Quit harassing us, this is hard enough already!”

“I’m just here for birth control.”

“I’m not even pregnant.”

“I’ve already made my decision.”

“Leave us alone or I’m calling the police.”

…with everything BUT backing the fuck off and respecting the speaker’s right to be left alone. This is what they train others to do as well.  Keep talking, never shut up, respect, what respect?

There’s also a great deal of gaslighting (that is: creating doubt to the point that your victims cannot trust their own judgement) in some of these responses as well. Check this shit out:

“Back off! Get lost! Leave me alone!”

“Your anger is misdirected. You are angry that you are in a bad situation, but we can help you.”

“Adoption? You think I’m going to carry this baby for nine months and then just give it away!?”

“That’s okay; how can we help you KEEP your baby?”

“I’m just here for birth control.”

“Sometimes people tell us they’re here for something else when they’re really here for an abortion. You can be honest with me. God knows the truth anyway.”

Gaslighting is a pretty insidious tactic, commonly used by abusers to keep their victims always guessing and dependent on abuser’s guidance.  And the fine folks at Pro-Life Action Ministries openly advocate this tactic of treating patients as if they themselves have not the fuck clue what they want.  That they actually want what the protesters want.  Always.  Such respect, Wow.

Then there’s outright WTFery, stuff that when I’ve heard it, made me stop in my tracks for a moment:

“You don’t need to listen to them, they are just protesters.” (from an abortion escort or worker)

“I am not a ‘protester,’ I am a ‘protector,’ a ‘protector of women and their unborn children.’”

Sure thing, sweetheart.  You pass out lit, harass every person who walks by, and wave signs.  Nope, not the actions of a protester.  Not at all.

“It’s too late. I’ve already started the abortion.”

“There’s a good chance your baby is still alive and is healthy! Babies have survived (the abortion pill or the first part of a late-abortion). Let’s call a doctor who can help you right now.”

…nice advice from people who are not medically trained. And the ‘reversal’ they’re currently trying to hype hasn’t been tested enough to be considered a mainstream procedure. Note that the only state that tried to make mentioning it a requirement had its law put on hold, with opponents stating pretty much what I just fucking said. I dunno about you, but I wouldn’t trust a bunch of non-doctors recommending any sort of medical treatment with a fuckton of evidence.

“I could die if I have this baby.”

“If that’s really the reason you’re having an abortion, let’s get you to a pro-life doctor who cares about BOTH you and your baby. Besides, this abortion could hurt you; women have even died from abortions.”

We have had a women collapse in tears in the lobby after being badgered with this shit.  Her fetus was not viable.  A doctor already told her that.  This isn’t just WTFery, it’s cruelty.

“Will you just shut up?” (from a boyfriend outside smoking)

“Okay, I’ll stop talking if you take and read this information and pass it on to your girlfriend. Otherwise, I need to tell you the truth about abortion and how we can help you and your girlfriend and your baby.”

“I will cease harassing you if you do what I tell you to do.”  Yup, that’s not harassment at all.

And now, I’ve had people ask, repeatedly, when I share my stories from the sidewalk “Why don’t the patients call the cops/mace or throw water or even punch a protester? That’s what *I* would do.”  And the fact that I have to explain this answer rankles me…sometimes.  So, here goes.

Let’s say a patient does call the cops for harassment.  That means the patients has to come out of the doctor’s office to talk to said cop and point out who exactly did it.  Now, remember, when it comes to abortions, time is of the essence. The longer you wait, the more costly and complicated the procedure will be.  So, they might miss their appointment window and have to reschedule and frankly, it wouldn’t be worth it to me. Also, now they have/know my name and address if I press charges, because police report.

And what if someone offs and slaps the shit out of a protester?  Oh boy, they can martyr that shit right up.  They can call the cops, the assailant is compelled to come down, and in some cases, the poor hurt protester won’t press charges if the patient just “talks to them”.

See the problem?

And of course, others are proud to inform me that they would happily shut these guys down with the application of either harsh words or increased volume or both.  Trust me, wanna-be warriors, you’d only be wasting your precious vocal chords.  If large angry male companions and loud angry female companions and upset, crying, screaming patients of all sorts don’t faze these assholes, you don’t stand a chance.  Not one.  See this article?  They are trained to be relentless.  Each harsh word is like getting nailed up right next to Jesus, for the unrighteous hating on you is supposed to be a sign of being a good child of God and doing something right, or something.

What CAN you do?  Volunteer.  Escort (it’s really not very difficult. I do not have Job’s patience, but I manage it at least once a week).  Donate money to abortion funds.  Bother your Congresscritters for better harassment laws that don’t put the entire onus on the harassed to make a complaint.

It’s not very sexy, but a lot more effective.

Also, #shutupann

They Say, You Gaslight: “Sidewalk Counseling” at Its Worst

My Sidewalk “Agenda”

So, today is Saturday and that means I get up early, gather my wits and my cane and stand out in front of a reproductive health clinic, watching for and assisting patients getting inside.  We have protesters and so-called “sidewalk counselors” who try their damnest to harass each and every person they think is going in for an abortion.

Why do I call it harassment, you may wonder?  Because they can’t take “no”, “no thank you”, “leave me alone”, “get out of my face”, and/or “fuck off” as an answer, and when you continue to pester someone after they have refused your attention, that’s harassment in my book and in the books of most reasonable people.

You may also be wondering now, “why doesn’t anyone get the police involved?”.  Because that means the harassed has to make the call, come out of the clinic to make a statement, and potentially miss their appointment.  Given that abortions are rather time-sensitive deals (they cost more and become more complicated procedures the greater the gestation period), it’s not good for the patient to have to wait and deal with this nonsense.

And nothing pleases an anti like someone unable to make that appointment.

Here in the Twin CIties, we haven’t heard much from the far off the deep end anti organization Abolish Human Abortion, or as I will be referring to them, AHAssholes.  This is a Protestant movement who thinks if they bleat for Jesus loud and long enough, abortion will just vanish and no one would even dream of doing such a sinful thing.

Yeah, not exactly in touch with reality, these guys.

Starting a few month ago, I noticed a few AHAssholes at my clinic, standing there, holding their signature signs.

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One is Black and when I commented to my fellow escort that the signs were large and gross, started calling me “sister” and trying to get me to explain why I found them gross.

Strike one: Never call me sister if we’re on opposite sides of what I can do with my body

Strike two: I don’t have to speak to you

Strike three; You’re AHA.  Fuck offf.

Frankly, if you’re Black and find it okay to hang with a bunch of ‘abolitionists’ for fetuses, given the history our people have had with abolition of not only our bodies but what we chose to do with them, then you were fuck out of strikes to begin with.

Anyway, their numbers and their fucking signs grew, and now we have a dedicated little mob.

IMG_20150523_084503

They even figured out how to lash their shitty signs to the poles so the wind doesn't blow them away.
They even figured out how to lash their shitty signs to the poles so the wind doesn’t blow them away.

Given what I have seen from reports from other escorts who have this infestation, I was expecting more irrational and obnoxious behavior out of them.

And I was right.  Calling patients murderers, standing by cars until patients get out (a move that our usual Catholics are ace at), fucking around with the property line even after being warned, and just being all around squirrely.

Today, they held up a poor patient who didn’t know she didn’t have to talk to them for minutes, filling her head will all kinds of lies.  I assured her once we were inside, that there were actual counselors upstairs (not 25 year olds with no training in actual counseling), who will listen and honor her choice, minus the obvious agenda.

As I came out, one of the AHAssoles fired off at me. “Don’t pretend like you don’t have an agenda yourself.”  Since “no interaction” is a rule for escorting here, I merely turned to my fellow escort and keep talking.

Since I couldn’t respond on the sidewalk, I will here.  And as usual, don’t expect me to be nice.

Dear AHAsshole,

You bet I have an agenda.  I don’t hide it for a second.

My agenda is to get patients inside of the clinic with dignity and safety.

My agenda is to support.

My agenda is to protect.

My agenda is to make your shitshow difficult to perform.

While you lie, I make a patient laugh.

While you fill them with fear, I give them compassion.

While you talk over them, I listen.

When they give me reasons, it’s because they want to, not because I’m demanding it from them.

And I honor those reasons.

My agenda is access to a safe, legal procedure that 99% percent of those having it will feel relief.

My agenda is choice and honoring that choice.

On the other hand, your agenda is fucked.  Your agenda swarms around people and harasses them.  Your agenda makes you act as if basic social niceties don’t apply to you. Your agenda is full of lies and deliberate shock plays.  Your agenda devalues the role the one with the pregnancy, all in the name of a non sentient fetus.  And I’m not just pulling this out of my ass: I’ve seen your work:

What about the body of the person carrying the fetus?  Don't they matter?  Also, why are you gendering a fetus? Most abortions happen before gender can be determined.
What about the body of the person carrying the fetus? Don’t they matter? Also, why are you gendering a fetus? Most abortions happen before gender can be determined.

With your ridiculous sounding offers to adopt someone’s baby right then and there and your sanctimonious wishes that patients don’t put themselves into hell.  It would be completely ridiculous, if it didn’t cause our patients distress.

It would be ridiculous if you didn’t picket high schools that have on site clinic for their students, like your recent one here at Southwest High?  I’m sure the kids were so moved by this shit:

I mean, these pamphlets start off like conspiracy theorist boilerplate:

AHA Lied To

…and then devolve into the same spit-flecked babble you’d get from those guys who show up at festivals with those big “God Hates” signs that are just a list of things that I’ve either done or know someone who has (really next time, read one of those signs and just see how many “sins” you’ve done or are, like Homosexuality or Rebellious Women or Drunkard):

Look at that.  If you’re going to wank on about god, at least be as ironically amusing as the label on a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap.

So yeah, dear AHAsshole.  I do have an agenda.  My agenda is to stop you.  From escorting to teaching about escorting, to writing these posts, to spreading information about what an abortion really is minus your scare tactics, I will use true compassion and education to combat your bullshit.

So stick that, and your signs right up your ass.

And stay off the property,

No Love,

Me

My Sidewalk “Agenda”

Dear Former Clinic Escort,

Blogmaster’s Note: This’ll be a long one, but worth it.  Also, if you come up with some some anti-choice argument BS, have your shit recent and accurate, or you WILL be shown the door.

Wow, when this piece of dreck popped up in a private FB group for escorts, it was universally panned.  I don’t tend to link to the sentient bullshit machine that is LifeSiteNews, but for this opportunity, I made an exception.  So I clicked and read this oh so special letter to us Clinic Escorts.

And the moment the page load, I’m assaulted by an autoplay pledge plea (I know I have Flashblock, so what the fuck?) of two twin douchebags who I’d never heard of, one of which introduces them as “I’m David Benham and this is my twin sister Jason.”

Mmm-mmm, that’s some tasty transphobic humor right there.

Anyway, they apparently lost some house-flipping show on HGTV because they opened their yaps and let the anti-gay, anti-choice out.  Insert commentary about how free speech is actually supposed to work here.

NothingofValue

Well, I was in a mood after pausing that crap video, so let’s get to the actual letter, shall we?

Dear Clinic Escort,

Hi there!

Today I saw you, with your bright orange vest emblazoned with ESCORT on the front and back. You refused to make eye contact with me.

Actually our vests (provided by the awesome folks at The Clinic Vest project) are eye melting yellow, but okay.  And as for ‘eye contact’? We become masters at the Thousand Yard Stare to ignore you and your repetitive and WRONG nonsense.  We’re escorts, not counterprotesters. You’re not owed an audience just because you think you have something important to say.  Not from strangers, not from patients, and certainly not from escorts.  Deal.

I saw your gritty determination as you grabbed arms with that young woman and whispered in her ear, “Ignore them,” you said, “Don’t look at them, they are here to intimidate you, to scare you. I’ll keep you safe, don’t worry.” You walked quickly, head up, steel in your eyes, never letting up your grip on her arm. Her head was down, following your lead, mutely keeping up with your fast trot to the abortionist.

We walk with patients who are terrified and angry at the horde of people who can’t take “no” for an answer, who surround cars and try to shove their crap into the windows. Congrats, you have accurately described our job (though we do tend to not touch the patients unless asked where I am because we believe in strange concepts like “respecting a person’s space”). Pity that will probably be the last accurate thing you will say in this entire ‘letter’.

You ushered her in through the doors and soon emerged, alone, smiling at us triumphantly, a glimmer of malice in your eye, a smirk of arrogance and joy at having bested us – another woman you saved from the anti-choice fanatics. You rejoin the other escorts, laughing and joking, until the next car pulls up, and your face resumes the mask of the militant soldier, ready to do battle for women’s reproductive rights.

Malice.  Militant soldiers. “Another woman saved…”

Oh god.  Hold up, I gotta stop laughing for a minute.  Making up your own interpretation of shit is something anti-choicers are really good at, I’ve noticed.  “Pro-life fanfiction”, I’ve heard it called. That’s not malice, it’s pride at helping patients enter with some dignity. We’re not “militant soldiers”, we’re volunteers done with your shit. They weren’t ‘saved’ from you.  They arrived at their appointments on time with as little harassment as possible. You’re turning it into some weird competition where there is none. But hey, whatever it takes to keep up that martyr complex. It’s just what Jesus would have done.  Or something.

As I watched you I wondered, have you ever been inside the clinic?

Nope.  They never let us inside the clinic.  They just hand out the vests and send us to work.

Oh wait, that’s complete bullshit.  Of course we’ve been inside the clinic.  The inside of the clinic where I escort looks like every other doctor’s office I’ve been in.  Clean, professional.  Only more purple. No charnel house look here.

Have you ever been in the waiting room, filled with the silence of trepidation and fear? Have you listened to the stifled tears?

A some escorts have either had abortions, or have been a companion to someone who has.  We even had a transgendered man volunteer who had one. I know you’re going for this “we don’t know what we do” angle, but we do.  We really do.

And trepidation and fear (and yes, tears) are natural reactions to a surgical procedure.  I felt that before my extensive dental surgery.  I did before my first endoscopy. Some people even feel it before giving birth. It’s natural.  Doesn’t make what’s about to happen wrong.

Have you ever been in the counseling room? This place, where instead of asking questions and listening, the worker masks the truth, or outright lies about the third life in the room, the life growing inside the woman’s womb?

I’m not a counselor, and we fill out patient privacy forms , so my answer will have to be no.  As for the information given, I think you may be confusing that with a CPC. From what people who have had abortions and actual counselors and doulas have shared (and the documentaries I’ve watched, After Tiller and 12th and Delaware), counselors, you know, counsel.  It’s their job to listen.  It’s their job to give ALL of the options.  And if a patient decides to only have an ultrasound, or changes their mind, it’s okay.  No one’s keeping patients trapped until they decide they way ‘we’ want, as CPCs are reported to do. That’s what choice means. Do you get it?

Probably not.

Have you seen her sad and scared eyes?

Yes. Badgering a patient outside of the clinic will do that.

Have you asked her why she is there?

I’m not a counselor, and neither are you. I swear, we get antis, who can’t take ‘no’ and ‘leave me alone’ for an answer, asking this question to complete strangers like they’re owed that answer. This might seem really strange to you, so I’ll put it bold so you get it: It’s none of our business. Not yours, not mine.  That is between the patient, the counselor, and the doctor. And maybe, if the patient is a believer, their relationship with a god.  Not yours.

That said, I have actually had patients, after we get them inside and away from your shit, volunteer that information.  And while you might deem all of these reasons not good enough for you, they are so damned no concern of mine.

I don’t give half a crap why a patient is there. It’s none of my business.

Do you know if she is being pressured or forced into this abortion, if she is safe at home…all the questions she won’t be asked inside the clinic? Does she know about all of the help available to her if she keeps the baby? Does she know how many couples would love to adopt her baby?

Wow.

Just, wow.

bitchyoutriedit

You do know that 9th Commandment is YOUR law to follow right?  The one about “not bearing false witness”?  That’s so much bearing of false witness I’m surprised your back isn’t broken from the strain. Counselors ASK these questions.  They provide help if the patients change their mind.  I’ve seen the brochures with my own eyes. And even if they change their mind, that’s not a victory for YOU, it’s a victory for the concept of CHOICE.

And seriously, adoption isn’t the opposite of abortion. This may shock you, but some people aren’t interested in continuing a pregnancy they don’t want. Fucking deal.

Yes, I know, I’m using filthy words now. That’s what I do when I’m pissed at disingenuous liars. And it’s only gonna get worse.

My dear Clinic Escort, have you been there for the ultrasound, where you can see the fully formed baby kicking its arms and legs? Have you heard the worker tell her it is just a bunch of cells? A blob? A product of conception?

You’re asking me if I’ve seen ultrasounds before?  Why yes.  From parents happily expecting, and from people who have decided on abortion.  The majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester – too tiny to have those kicking arm and legs.  And even if we’re talking second trimester, why does that matter? If someone doesn’t want to continue a pregnancy, they get to not continue a pregnancy.

Have you been with her, holding her hand as she screams in pain, ignored by a doctor who doesn’t even know her name?Have you heard the suction machine, watch as the blood, tissue, and body parts flow from her body into a cold jar? Have you heard the sound of the currette scraping her uterus? Have you seen the body parts – an arm, a leg, a piece of a rib cage, poured into a baggie as though it were scraps of meat?

Christ, are you getting off on this nonsense? While anesthetic affects people differently, they still get it. And yes, thanks to brave people who record and report their own procedures, we get to see how the shit works, sans your overdramatic overdescriptions.

Also, are you sure you’re still talking to us “dear Clinic Escorts”? We don’t go into the procedure rooms during procedures. We don’t go into the counselling rooms during counseling. And if we’re curious, we can ASK.  We can research.  I did an entire talk as a layman to other laymen about basic abortion procedures.  So, yeah, keep on with the drama, you can’t fool me.

Have you sat with her in the recovery room as she stares off into space, desperate to get away from this place so she never has to think of it again?

We’re not doulas or patient advocates, so no. But, since I’ve been trained as an abortion doula, by people who have been doing it for a while, I’m more willing to trust their word on the reactions in the recovery room.  Sometimes, there’s tears.  Sometimes, there’s vomiting, because anesthesia.  Most time, it’s relief.

Don’t believe me? Look up some positive abortion stories.  I’m Not Sorry has been running since 2004.

Have you been with her through the depression and the anxiety that plague her after the abortion? The breakup of her relationship? Have you helped her through her drug addiction, her binge drinking? Have you been there when she is unable to bond with her children? When her marriage falls apart? Will you be there when she attempts suicide? Will you be at her funeral when she succeeds?

LiaraFuckThis

I…I can’t even with this bullshit, but damnit, I’m gonna try.

Firstly, as someone who struggles with depression and the like, go fuck yourself.  It’s people like you who KEEP people with these issues from speaking up, unless they’re willing to join your guilt parade.  Yes, some people emotionally react poorly to having an abortion.  Most (and you can look that shit up yourself) don’t.

Secondly, go fuck yourself, because if this theoretical woman did all of these things, your sanctimonious ass wouldn’t be at that funeral either.

Thirdly, there are support for people going through issues after an abortion that don’t involve the guilt trip.  Backline and Exhale.  Look them up, and go fuck yourself.

Fourthly, and most importantly, GO FUCK YOURSELF.

Dear Clinic Escort, look into my eyes.

*flips both birds*

vtLap8s

They have seen things you could never imagine. Things that have made me scream in the middle of the night. Things that are never discussed in the intellectualized, feminist world of abortion rights.

Some escorts have had abortions. Some escorts have had abortions. Some escorts have had abortions. Some escorts have had abortions.

Because while you see a job well done when you usher her through those doors, her nightmare is just beginning.

Did I mention the going and fucking yourself?  Because you can go do that now.

But before you do, I asked a few fellow escorts to chime in on your bullshit.

Nick V:

WTF is this nonsense? I know our counsellors DO ask those questions. I know our clinic would never ‘encourage’ a women who was unsure to just go ahead and have an abortion. Heck we saved women from boyfriends that were trying to force them to have one. This is horseshit.

Rivka:

I don’t give a rats ass what decision she makes. I don’t have a personal investment if if she stops to talk with you. I don’t get personal satisfaction from people choosing to have an abortion. I am there to let people access health care. I have never grabbed a patient. I have never smirked walking out. I chat with patients. Hell, I sometimes say half my job is keeping the antis from getting punched. Why in the world would you think I *care* how many people have abortions? I don’t care. I just want them to have *access*. It’s not a game where you win or I win.

And yes, I’ve been in the waiting room. I see women who are tired, women who are reading a book, women who are chatting. I have had women tell us that they feel better, I’ve had plenty of women thank me for making the trip to get health care a little less scary for them.

And yes, I’ve gone with a friend when she needed support. For her it was a hard decision. It’s one she has very mixed feelings about, but she’s still sure she made the decision that was right for her. And I stood with her and let her work through that. I didn’t tell her what to do, and I would have supported her whatever she choose.

This isn’t a game where you get saves and I get abortions. My only interest is in those women being able to access healthcare without fear.

Pat C:

One lie that gets me is the, “Ask them to show you the ultrasound. They don’t want you to know the truth,” The clinic will not only show it to you if you ask, they will print a photo for you if you want.

AND

Since I transport many clients home after their procedure, this is not true. All of them say the staff are kind, compassionate and keep asking them if they are in pain. They will stop the procedure if needed to comfort the patient and reapply a local if necessary.

Huxley M:

One: some clinic clients are nervous. They’re typically nervous because they’re about to have a medical procedure, which is worth getting tense about. They’re also typically nervous about the protesters out front.

Two: some clients do have sad feelings, for a variety of reasons – the one I’ve encountered most (I’m also doing volunteer transport now, which means lots more talking than escorting does) is that they do want to talk, to have someone in their life know what’s up. “Hey, this is why I’ve seen stressed lately/seemed sick/etc.” And they don’t feel like they can, because they are afraid they will be treated by loved ones the way they are by the protesters. The overwhelming amount of negative emotion surrounding abortion is what they create – which is exactly what they intend.

Finally, just grabbing a client’s arm? I dunno about everybody, but we don’t even walk with clients without asking if they want us to. I have never initiated physical contact with a client, ever. Protesters make plenty of unsolicited and unwanted physical contact with clients, companions, and escorts, though. Guess they’re projecting?

Thanks guys, you rock!

Dear Former Clinic Escort,

You, yes YOU, can be an escort!

When I share my tales of being on the sidewalk, I tend to get one out of two reactions (sometimes both):

1. Thank you! 

2. No way I can do that.

My response is usually:

1. You’re welcome

2. Well, it’s not for everyone.

Well, I think starting now my response for Number 2 is going to start being.

2. Yeah, you probably can.

No. Really.  I’m serious.

Yes, it’s not easy at first.  Yes, it’s not a cake walk if you get a clinic with a lot of unpleasant antis. But it’s not impossible for most people who say “No way”. You know how I know?

Because the skills required to do this thing are exactly the same skills you use to live in our world.

Can you go without popping off at the slightest inconvenience? Can you exist around people who disagree with you…and not constantly argue with them? Do you know when to shut up? Are you able to focus on someone in need? Do you know when is a good time to engage and when not engaging is a waste of your time?

Yes you can.  You do it already.  At work, online, at home, among friends. Seriously.

These same skills are used to escort. You don’t engage with the antis, you try to make patients feel safe, you talk shit about the antis to your other escorts, you listen for ridiculous arguments and post them on Twitter to laugh it up with your other pro-choice buddies, then your shift ends, you take off your vest and you flip off the group on your way out. Ta-da, done, see you next week!

(Insert disclaimer here about there being exceptions and that’s okay, and you’re not who I’m talking to. )

But the rest of you? You can do it.  Why not try it?

We’ll save a vest for you.

You, yes YOU, can be an escort!

Double Storify Saturday!

…published on a Sunday, because I’m sick, y’all.

First off, let’s go to the sidewalk with a round up of the past two weeks of clinic escorting. I didn’t get out because of sick this Saturday, so I shared the tweets of the ever awesome @LouClinicEscort , who gets a larger crowd anyways.

Next up, something crawled up my back and it’s name was “complaints about political correctness“.  This had me so going that I was tweeting in bed about this shit.

Enjoy!

Double Storify Saturday!

Abortion 101

So, I survived my first solo talk.  It wasn’t too bad.

Did you miss it?  Well, here you go!

My thoughts afterwards are thus:

I got a lot of thanks from folks, which is nice.

What’s up with the gross pictures?  That’s what pro-lifers love to use, it’s one of their favorite tactics when it comes to telling others how icky abortion is. Being perfectly willing to acknowledge that yes, abortion isn’t pretty, yes, depending how far along you are, the contents have features that will pull at some heartstrings (unless you’re just plain USED to looking at guts and gore, then you’re probably waaay smarter than I am), and yes, it’s gross as hell, means I take one of their bullets out of the gun.

It’s surgery. It’s icky.  It’s also has less complications than dental surgery. It also is a legal procedure and safer than giving birth.  It also is the choice of the pregnant person, made with the advice of their doctor. It also can improve the quality of life for families and single folk alike.

So, yeah, what now, fuckers?

Abortion 101