Escorting patients at the local abortion clinic is something the Socialist Party of Central Alabama has been doing since its inception.
Many of our members show up during the pre-dawn hours to stand between the anti-abortion protesters and the patients. The Alabama heat is unforgiving, especially during the peak of Summer, but the work we do at the clinic is important.
We’re there to use our bodies, along with a few umbrellas, to shield the patients from the cameras strapped to the protesters chests. The protesters film patients and post the videos to social media, hoping to shame women who choose to have an abortion. We play music to drown out the screams of the anti-abortion zealots and make sure the patients aren’t accosted with their vitriol as they walk from their vehicle to the clinic. We are there to help the patients understand they aren’t alone during what is likely an already arduous time and only exacerbated by the screams of the so-called activists.
Waking up early, watching the drips of sweat evaporate as they hit the asphalt parking lot, and listening to a fundamentalist Christian howling nonsense isn’t exactly the greatest way to spend a Friday morning. However, none of our experiences as escorts compares to what the patients and their families must be undergoing in that moment. They’re simply there for what should be a routine medical procedure; better still, some of them aren’t even there for an abortion at all. Instead, they’re waylaid with the worst kinds of evangelism, harassment hiding behind the protection of religion and freedom of speech. No one deserves to be ridiculed, guilt-tripped, or otherwise attacked for choosing an abortion.
The SPCA proudly supports women and their right to abortion, to autonomy of their own body, and to keep their medical decisions between themselves and their doctors. We won’t allow the bigotry of a few fundamentalists to terrify people into submission and we won’t stop showing up to act as a barrier between them and those at which they aim their hatred disguised as love. We encourage everyone to seek out a local clinic and help by whatever means you can.