From the Author:
“Though these interactions which took place on December 1st of 2017 are typical of the many Friday mornings I’ve spent outside of a local clinic, I consider it important to acknowledge that every individual and their experience and behavior is different! My hope in sharing my own small experiences is to encourage genuine compassion in this area which effects so many so deeply.”
– Kate (Senior, CART Major)
“I’ve had five abortions!” A man who looks to be in his very early 20’s shouts at us from a sports car as he speeds by. I’ve heard many different things shouted at me from moving vehicles, but the sentiment is usually the same.
“Here, this is for you,” I say to a somber looking girl as I extend my hand holding a pamphlet. “It has good resources and information you may not know about.” She takes it. I try to exude warmth in my body language.
“You don’t need to listen to them!” A volunteer in her hot green “escort” vest raises her voice as she stalks across her territory to place herself bodily between me and the young woman. “It has a lot of misinformation. I’ll take it for you.” She extends her own hand and the girl numbly hands it over. The interceptor opens the door for her and the girl goes inside. Another victory and defeat on the sidewalk battleground.
I’m not sure if this volunteer is actually familiar with (or has looked into) each of the different pamphlets we normally give out, but she says this almost every time someone has accepted one, without yet knowing what it is we’ve handed them. She says this particular line even about this pamphlet, which is almost completely comprised of phone numbers and website addresses for local pregnancy help resources, adoption agencies, counseling, doctors, birth control alternatives, and women’s shelters.
Eyes hidden behind her sunglasses, the volunteer crumples the pamphlet and shouts to me,
“Thanks! Good firestarter!”
As long as I’ve been coming here, I’ve always thought it could only be counterproductive to respond to her cutting words, but this time I kind of wish I had the courage to ask,
“Why do you want to deprive her of options?!”
But I only smile sadly and turn away to wait for the next solemn girl in pajama pants to be dropped off by a man who will rush away in his car, and return a few hours later. Only this time, the ride is for one less person.