Anti-choice protesters at abortion care offices yell into loudspeakers at patients seeking abortions. They are threatening, shaming, guilting, bullying, and verbally assaulting and abusive to them. I escort patients from their cars to the front door of the clinic to provide a buffer between them and the protesters. They sometimes arrive with their children because they don’t have child care. They often leave them in the car because they don’t want them to hear the ugly things protesters are yelling at them.
This is no way for a woman who is already dealing with difficult circumstances and difficult decisions to have to access needed healthcare. What would you think if people who disagreed with a medical decision you felt was necessary showed up at your doctor’s office and screamed ugly things at you and tried to block your entrance? That is just wrong.
I had an illegal abortion in 1965 that nearly cost me my life. I am a living witness to the value of safe and legal abortion care. People can disagree but they have no moral right to intimidate and harass those they disagree with. They also should stop stigmatizing abortion.
I volunteer because it is something I can do to try to re-balance the scales at the clinic. It shouldn’t be necessary but it is. The protesters yell the same ugly things at me, but I’ll be volunteering until our culture stops stigmatizing a normal, necessary, family-saving, second chance-providing, safer than childbirth medical procedure and these protesters find real problems to tackle.
- Betty Gunz