I’ve been escorting a long time. 2+ years. I’ve pretty much grown numb to the things the antis say to me (and patients) every week. Perhaps that’s to my detriment, but I appreciate not feeling like I’m preparing for battle every Saturday. I don’t even respond to Pooper anymore, if you can believe it.

I started my day at the clinic with Pooper shouting as soon as I got out of my car, per usual. Lately, he’s taken to saying “What is it you DO, you dark and midnight hags?!” He can’t even get Shakespeare right. Regarding the dramatics of the antis, my sister once said “This has to be performance art.” Pro-choice, anti-choice, no matter. How could any semi-logical person really act in such a way? Maybe she was onto something.

A couple got out of their car and started walking toward the door this morning. It was cold, grey, and drizzling. They looked exhausted, although not particularly bothered by the protesters. Just…resigned to 3 hours of their Saturday morning being spent inside the clinic. From outside the fence, Pooper was shouting. “Six women died here! There’s lawsuits against this place! BE A MAN!!”

Something in me snapped. I’m fucking tired of waking up at 5:30 every Saturday and standing in awful weather (save for 3 months out of the year. Thanks, Chicago) because of these antis. They don’t actually care about any real, live person. They believe in a magical man in the sky and a zombie (who are somehow the same, along with a holy spirit) and their mission in life is to make people miserable. You think that couple walking into the clinic wanted to be there on a cold and rainy Saturday morning? They, like me and all of my fellow escorts, probably have a million other things they could be - and want to be - doing. It’s not like the antis actually want to help them. They aren’t being compassionate or empathetic. They’re being cruel. They just want to make patients feel awful so they get those “heaven points” some catholic god keeps track of.

I have absolutely no moral quandary when it comes to abortion (although I respect that some patients do). But that doesn’t make the harassment any less bothersome. If there were a group of strangers yelling at me as I walked into my dentist, or into work, or the gym, or any other place I find tedious or not exactly fun, I’d be fucking livid. I already don’t want to be at [this place] and now there are people desperately trying to make my experience worse? I’d be enraged.

I have so much respect for all my fellow escorts all over the country who put up with this on the regular, and even more for the patients themselves who handle the antis with undeserved dignity and grace.