Saturday, February 24, 2024
HomeFeminismESCORT SERVICE by Esther Nelson

ESCORT SERVICE by Esther Nelson


As of late, I spend most of my time in Roanoke, Virginia.  I moved right here—a three-hour drive west—from Richmond, Virginia.  One of many methods I’m settling into my new group is by volunteering as an escort at Deliberate Parenthood.

The job is straight-forward:  Greet folks as they exit their automobile once they arrive on the medical facility’s parking zone.  Normally, there are a number of protestors in entrance of the constructing, and purchasers should drive previous them earlier than turning proper into the driveway.  Protestors wave pink, plastic luggage stuffed with anti-abortion literature in addition to pamphlets that define a selected, Christian view of “salvation.”  Not many drivers cease.  In the event that they do, I stroll over to the road that divides Deliberate Parenthood property from public area and wave the automobiles ahead.  The drivers are grateful.  So many purchasers are nervous, upset, and not sure of protocol.  One girl requested me if I used to be related to “these folks on the market,” pointing to the protestors.  “Under no circumstances,” I assured her.  She smiled with reduction.

My pink smock identifies me as a Clinic Escort Volunteer, written in each English and Spanish. The proselytizing protestors with their pink, plastic luggage plead with purchasers to speak with them.  Deliberate Parenthood gives complete reproductive well being care for ladies, not simply abortion providers.  The protestors, although, concentrate on abortion.

This was the “in cost” man throughout one among my latest shifts.  He was outfitted (as is everybody main a protest) with an digital microphone.  For the primary half hour of my three-hour shift, he tried to have interaction me in dialog.  “Ma’am, I don’t know who you might be or why you might be right here, however I might love to speak with you about your option to work with ladies.  Chances are you’ll assume you might be serving to ladies, however you’re not, you’re actually not.”  When I didn’t reply, he modified his tactic:  “Ma’am, are you aware the place you’ll go while you die?  You’ll be able to come to Jesus, ask for a clear coronary heart—one which doesn’t shed harmless blood—and God, trustworthy to his guarantees, provides you with one.” 

I don’t interact with protestors.   What I do is activate my cellphone (Pandora), jack up the amount, and take heed to Tracy Chapman, Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, and different artists I take pleasure in, holding the telephone as much as my ear in an effort to drown out (as a lot as potential) the protestors’ propaganda. 

I’m particularly appalled when the protestors give false data. “When you’ve taken the abortion tablet [referring to Mifepristone], we will present a health care provider who will reverse the results.”  Actually?!  The American School of Obstetrics and Gynecology does NOT help this:   https://www.acog.org/advocacy/facts-are-important/medication-abortion-reversal-is-not-supported-by-science

The “in-charge” man finally gave up on me, but continued his verbal assault on all who parked within the clinic’s lot.  He learn a wide range of Bible passages—principally centered on “repenting from sin.”

A few protestors on the four-lane freeway in entrance of Deliberate Parenthood. 

These protestors, regardless of how nice they might seem, are abusive.  They don’t know every particular person girl’s story or her circumstances, but assume a place of authority over her.  They arrogantly consider they’re aware about understanding precisely how their theology ought to work itself out within the lives of all ladies.  I do know these protestors.  I used to belong to their camp.  They insist they KNOW what God (no matter/whoever that’s) calls for when actually, their “data” fits their very own functions, and they’re desirous to implement it.  Patriarchy—in all its glory!

Carol Christ’s definition of patriarchy deserves frequent repetition!

Patriarchy is a system of male dominance, rooted within the ethos of struggle which legitimates violence, sanctified by spiritual symbols, through which males dominate ladies via the management of feminine sexuality, with the intent of passing property to male heirs, and through which males who’re heroes of struggle are instructed to kill males, and are permitted to rape ladies, to grab land and treasures, to use assets, and to personal or in any other case dominate conquered folks.

Patriarchy is NOT an innocuous social system—it has an agenda.  At any time when somebody insists on—and even passively acquiesces within the follow of—management over one other, it’s abuse.  That’s what the patriarchal agenda on abortion is all about—management over ladies’s copy—NOT the sentimental rhetoric of “these poor harmless infants.”  Our patriarchal social system cares for neither ladies nor youngsters.

So, I proceed to do my escort service.  Girls are relieved to inform their tales to somebody who hears them.  Their tales differ.  I’m glad to hear.  In the event that they current for abortion, they’ve often thought lengthy and onerous over their resolution to terminate.   Some ladies journey from Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia—states which have inhumanely restricted abortion—to Virginia the place (for now) the process stays much less restrictive.

Opponents of abortion (so-called pro-lifers) generally present diapers and formulation for the progeny of “rescued” abortion seekers.  But, they draw back from offering all youngsters with medical care, meals, clothes, and schooling.  Oh, that’s not our job, they are saying.  Or, as I typically heard rising up, “God will present.”  Fact be instructed, God generally gives via abortion entry.

John Irving (b. 1942) wrote THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, a novel set in Maine that addresses the topic of abortion.  Right here is an excerpt:

“These identical individuals who inform us we should defend the lives of the unborn—they’re the identical individuals who appear not so fascinated about defending anybody however themselves after the accident of start is full! These identical individuals who profess their love of the unborn’s soul—they don’t care to make a lot of a contribution to the poor, they don’t care to supply a lot help to the undesirable or the oppressed! How do they justify such a priority for the fetus and such an absence of concern for undesirable and abused youngsters? They condemn others for the accident of conception; they condemn the poor—as if the poor might help being poor. A technique the poor might assist themselves could be to be accountable for the dimensions of their households.”

The underside line:  Whether or not or to not carry a being pregnant is a choice ladies have to make for themselves in collaboration with whomever (or no person) they select.   As Irving tells us via his novel—These (referring to migrant employees) who work and reside within the cider home are those who make the principles for the cider home.  By analogy—Those that can develop into pregnant are those to make the principles about whether or not or to not proceed their being pregnant.

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