The Supreme Court has been in the hot seat, as it were, recently, but one decision in particular had me recalling a painful and at the same time, rewarding experience. I'm speaking of the Court's decision regarding buffer zones around the entrances to women's clinics. They decided the zones were bad and unlike the recent 5 to 4 vote in favor of Hobby Lobby, this decision was unanimous. I couldn't fathom that.
|(An example of what the Supreme Court considers 'sidewalk counselors'. All photos under Fair Use.)|
Many moons ago I was an escort at the Portland Women's Clinic. There was a line drawn on the sidewalk to keep the protestors 25 feet away from the entrance. An escort is someone who literally escorts the woman patient from her car or the bus stop to the entrance to the clinic. We wore orange vests with the word "escort" on it. We had to escort the women because of the constant crowds that would verbally abuse them as they walked to the clinic.
Free speech is one thing, but spewing vile, vicious hatred is quite another. We had to escort these women through the crowd and into the building. A MAJORITY OF THE WOMEN GOING TO CLINIC WERE THERE FOR HEALTH CARE FOR THEIR PREGNANCY - NOT AN ABORITION.
But that didn't matter to those hateful swine also known as protesters and what the Supreme Court now defines as "sidewalk counselors"! I heard the most horrible shouting at these women, such as "baby killer", "satan's spawn" and shit like that. I saw my supervisor punched in the mouth by a large man. There was a woman who dragged bloody baby dolls behind her. Another had graphic pictures of dead babies (which were claimed to be aborted fetuses). I was singled out every time for special abuse because I was a male escort. A rarity. I frequently was accused of having a shit stained cock or enjoyed fucking my boyfriend's butt. Most of the time, I had to make sure that the boyfriends or husbands of the women going in for a DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT did not lash out physically against the protestors. It was a fucking nightmare. I lasted a year.
But I'm glad I did it. I was happy to help these women get to their doctor appointments safely, however incongruous it is to use the phrase "doctor's appointments safely" in this day and age. They were always, of course, grateful. It does bare repeating that the vast majority of these women were going to the clinic for health care and not abortions. That is something the Court ignored as well.