Antis outside Louisville, KY clinic start wearing fake escort vests

Antis standing outside a clinic wearing orange vests that make them look just look pro-choice clinic escorts
Can you tell these are antis?

The blogger at Everysaturdaymorning, a pro-choice clinic escort in Louisville, KY, has posted pictures and video of the latest disgusting tactic from the antis outside their clinic: wearing fake escort vests.

Escorts wear bright orange vests that say things like “Pro-Choice Clinic Escort” in an attempt to clearly identify ourselves to patients. Even so, the space outside a clinic where anti-choicers have gathered can be incredibly confusing for patients, those accompanying them, and even passers by on the street. Some protesters simply stand off to the side and pray. I don’t like the atmosphere of shame they create, but it’s the antis we call chasers or sidewalk stalkers who cause the biggest problems. They will do almost anything to harass people going in and out of a reproductive health clinic, which is why pro-choice escorts are necessary – we’re not protesters, we’re just trying to make it possible for women to access abortion and other medical care. Interactions happen so quickly, and the milieu outside a clinic can be so confusing for someone who didn’t expect to be harassed by ideologues on her way to the doctor, that we already have to work hard to make it clear who works with the clinic and who is trying to get in a patient’s way.

Yes, the vests these antis are wearing say “Life Escort.” Which, I am sure, is not an attempt to accurately identify themselves. They know what a baffling mess they create, and they know the word “Life” is unlikely to be read until after they’ve forced a patient to listen to them, if at all.

I hope this tactic makes it clear to folks that sidewalk stalkers aren’t trying to help women make decisions about abortion informed by so-called “pro-life” beliefs. Rather, they are outside clinics to trick and harass women out of seeking reproductive health care, regardless of what the patient actually thinks, wants, and needs.

I look forward to hearing from KY escorts about how they handle this despicable tactic.

To get a sense of what the brave pro-choice clinic escorts are dealing with in Louisville, check out the the video and transcript of an anti verbally harassing a patient after the jump. A warning that it may be triggering, especially to anyone who’s not used to hearing this rhetoric.

Escort: You don’t have to talk to her. If you’re ready to walk we can go. Just so you know, I’m filming them, not you. Make sure you’ve both got your IDs cause they’re going to need it right when we get in the door. We’re ready to walk.

Anti: I want to ask you to reconsider please. We don’t know you but we love you and care for you. We want you to consider what the Lord would think about your decision today and to think about things that are eternal. I want you to know that this isn’t a permanent fix for your problem, only a relationship to Jesus Christ is.

Escort: You’re doing just fine, just keep on walking.

Anti: Please, you’re already a parent. There’s already a life inside of you, a heart beating, a baby that is growing inside of you that has fingers and toes. It’s gonna look like you, it’s gonna love you. Please we ask that you agree…

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

Read more about Jos

Join the Conversation