Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life Escorts: The CPCs of Clinic Entrances

The following is a ChoiceUSA cross-post.

Our allies at Every Saturday Morning and Feministing have revealed a disturbing new tactic used by anti-choice demonstrators at the heavily-protested EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, the only abortion clinic in Kentucky: donning orange escort vests similar to those worn by the clinic escorts that assist women in obtaining safe passage from their cars to the clinic doors.

The vests that the antis wear have the words "Life Escort" printed on them, the only real difference between their vests and the ones the real clinic escorts wear to mark themselves apart from the protesters. However, given that many abortion patients at EMW arrive before sunrise, the fact that the words "Life Escort" are printed on the vest's back, and the overall turmoil of the situation outside the clinic every Saturday, it's not too far fetched to believe these "life escorts" mean to purposefully trick women into believing they are there to help them get to the clinic doors, similar to the way the CPC across the street named itself "A Woman's Choice."

Every Saturday Morning is the blog of a clinic escort who deals with some of the most relentless protesters out there. The clinic itself is positioned such that patients and their support persons have to walk through a large crowd of screaming demonstrators who, as many of the blogger's video clips show, try to scare women out of abortion as they enter the clinic. Kentucky has no buffer zone laws, meaning protesters can legally get as close to the clinic as they wish, so long as they do not block the doors.

A recent news report from WHAS11 in Louisville looked in-depth at the battle that rages in front of this clinic every Saturday and interviewed a director with A Woman's Choice, the CPC located across the street. The director, Monica Henderson, even admits her center is guilty of misleading women: "Technically are we being obstructionists? I guess you could view it that way."

I've never had any problem with folks who, due to personal conviction or religious belief, oppose abortion in their own lives. But it's hard to excuse the types who actively lie, trick, and deceive women who are already in a very vulnerable situation, often in the name of Jesus Christ. And if the loud praying at clinic patients isn't enough to invoke severe feelings of guilt and shame about choosing abortion, the more violent protesters (who the escorts call "chasers") most certainly are. No doubt, these people make up one of the most anti-woman, merciless factions of the anti-choice movement today.


Rosa said...

This is unacceptable. I'd heard about this through a church friend who is also pro-choice (remember the women's group at my church protests this clinic) and we just can't imagine how they justify their behavior. The comment from the CPC director does not surprise me in the least. That was my world not too long ago, justifying my own deceit in the name of "saving lives." It hurts me to this day to think about how my actions must have affected all these young women.

I'm praying for this clinic, their staff, and the escorts, to keep them safe and away from harm by these people. God bless them, they put their bodies on the line so we can make our own decisions free from guilt and shame.

Crisis Pregnancy Center Watch said...

Thank you, Rosa. It's so good to have you on our team. But please don't feel like you have to beat yourself up for your past work at the CPC. You're here now, advocating for Choice, and the experiences you share are invaluable.

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