In 2015, Judge Roy Moore welcomed Operation Save America to Montgomery in an effort to permanently close the city’s only women’s clinic. They failed: Reproductive Health Services is still open for business. But the situation is volatile. The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the anti-choice protesters. Montgomery clinic escorts report that they’re growing louder, more confident, and more threatening.
The most powerful voices are those of pro-choice clinic escorts, They’re all volunteers who – quite literally – put their lives on the line to help strangers. You see, some of these anti-choice people are a violent, unstable bunch. Their threats could be all talk or they could follow through. There’s no way to know, but the escorts won’t back down.
Clinic escort & POWER House President Mia Raven described the situation at the Montgomery clinic this morning (1/24/2017):
“Your time is coming, Mia.”
“Repent while you still have breath, Mia.”
These are just two things I’ve had yelled at me in 10 minutes while escorting. Our new leadership has made the antis bolder.
Last week, our regulars shouted “Trump, Mia! He’s gonna defund Planned Parenthood and this place will be gone!”
(We are not affiliated with PP). “He’s gonna round up all the homosexuals and ship them to Chisholm!”
One of our violent leaning protesters has been showing up frequently after quite a long absence. He once threatened to kill me & another escort. I’ve been doing this work for a while now & there is a marked difference in the antis behavior. They’re uglier. They seem to take an even greater joy in their vile rhetoric.
I write this to ask you to do a few things if you aren’t already.
- Be a clinic escort! Don’t know where to begin or who to ask? I’m right here.
- And please, most importantly, hold your elected officials accountable.
- Get involved in the AL Legislature or your state’s legislature. I predict we will see a record amount of bills that will strip away your body autonomy, at both the state & federal level.
The POWER House has some exciting plans in the works to help you get involved. And please donate to us if you can. None of us are paid & we operate on less than a shoestring budget.
Lastly, be kind. ❤
It’s hard to believe that these people, all of whom call themselves “good Christians,” could get worse, and that’s really disturbing. For instance, here’s an account of “just another day” at the Montgomery clinic. This is from June 2016:
Yesterday was a bad day the clinic. The worst I have experienced since this time last year and the first time I have been physically hurt. Before you ask, it was not directly by a protester and I am ok. The protesters are getting more aggressive though. They’re getting more vitriolic in what they scream at women. Abortion is never an easy decision – even for the many women we see who have been told they will die if they carry their pregnancy to term – even for the many women we see who are the victims of rape. If there is anything I wish our protesters would understand, it is that all women we meet at the clinic need compassion. We never know what someone else is going through.
I do not know the opinion of all our protesters, but our main two – urban missionary David Day and Daniel French, are of the most extreme belief that even when a woman’s life is in danger they should not be allowed to abort. That was the situation yesterday. Another case of a young woman who planned her pregnancy only to be told she would die if carrying it to term. David, Daniel and the others on the sidewalk yesterday seemingly yelled the cruelest things they could imagine until she broke. After she broke, they swarmed in like vultures screaming even louder and crueler.
My heart is broken and I am emotionally fragile today for her and all the others like her, not only at our clinic but across the country. If you feel the same and would like to help, feel free to send us a message. We are always thankful for your volunteerism and continued support.
Clinic escorts in Huntsville report that the “antis have become more vocal,” but fortunately, volunteers haven’t experienced the same level of threats and harassment as Montgomery. One of the leaders notes that they “can always use more escorts!” Volunteers are also needed occasionally at the clinic doctor’s private practice. Protesters gather and harass patients at her private clinic where no abortions are performed.
In Montgomery, the POWER House (next door to the clinic) serves as a refuge for escorts, patients, and the friends/family to accompany them to the clinic. Read about how it became a reproductive rights sanctuary.
Now, more than ever, they need your support.
- Learn more at the POWER House Facebook page.
- Show your support with a donation!
- If you live in the Montgomery area, please consider becoming a volunteer escort. Even a few hours makes a difference.
The Alabama Legislature begins its 2017 session on February 7, and we can expect all sorts of “bright shiny object” legislation designed to distract the voters from the fact that the GOP supermajority is incapable of dealing with state finances.
Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates (ARRA) is a statewide network of men and women who support choice and take action.
The ARRA group is a place for all information on local, state, and federal levels concerning legislation and/or actions taken to restrict women’s access to affordable birth control, abortion and necessary medical reproductive care.