P.O.W.E.R To the People. Can you help keep this safe haven in Alabama open?
Posted on November 11, 2015
Hey guys, it’s Caity again! As mentioned previously, I am the youngest escort at a women’s health clinic in the deep south. The clinic offers birth control, abortion care, cancer screenings, etc. As a volunteer escort, it’s my job to stand outside and walk the patients into the clinic so that they feel safe, since we have some aggressive protesters. Recently, our main protester, David Day Sr., has been a little crazier than usual. We recently caught him trying to follow our doctor home after work. Day Sr., made it look like he was leaving, but hid in his truck around the corner. There, he waited for the doctor to finish seeing patients so that he could follow him back to his home. The first abortion provider to be murdered by “pro-life” extremists, Dr. David Gunn, practiced in our clinic, so we take threats to the clinic staff and volunteers very seriously.
Being sixteen years old, I have never had to live in a world without laws like the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which was signed into law in 1994 to prevent extremists from blocking the entrance to a medical facility. I am eternally grateful to the brave, badass women and men who made important legislation like FACE possible for my generation. However, we obviously still have a long way to go since, in 2015, we still have people standing outside of clinics, trying to intimidate women into not going inside.
As escorts, our job is to get the patients and doctor safely into the clinic. We always put the women first and try to bring compassion into an already difficult day while the protesters scream horrible things at us. We even have a house next door to the clinic called the P.O.W.E.R (People Organizing for Women’s Empowerment and Rights) House, which is run by the Montgomery Area Reproductive Justice Coalition. There, patients can find solitude from the hostility outside. Once, Day Sr. screamed at a woman who had a small child with her. Assuming she was there for an abortion, he told her that she might as well drown her toddler. Upon hearing this, we both flinched and she ran next door into the P.O.W.E.R House, where her son was playing. She hugged her toddler tightly, clearly very shaken up by David’s words. We are so grateful to have this safe place for the patients and their families, where they are welcomed into a judgment free zone and where they can escape the harassment of our protestors. Some of the protesters are trying to buy the P.O.W.E.R House and use it to have easier access to the patients they harass and intimidate. We are trying to raise money so that we can keep it as a safe haven. If you would like to help us keep the house, you can find us on Facebook as well as our Tilt fundraising page. As always, thank you so much for reading and for showing me so much support.
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