They Say, You Gaslight: “Sidewalk Counseling” at Its Worst

Posted: July 14, 2015 in feminism, Repro Justice
Tags: , , , ,

I’m going to be late for my doctor’s appointment messing around with this nonsense, but this was too good to pass up, y’all.

It’s another one of those “Feminace Rips Apart Some BS Pro-Life Screed”, but this has a special twist – I’m “supporting” local talent.  Yes, cats and kittens, a friend shared a screed, and I read it and recognized the names as being two of THE WORST of our protesters.

It’s a how-to guide about responding to the myriad objections people give when these fuckers start harassing them, and since I’m not allowed to engage while in the vest and on the sidewalk, I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by.  Oh no.

First, just read this shit.  It’s short, don’t worry. Don’t read while driving, or drinking anything or eating anything less you choke or spill or crash.  Got it?  Good.

Where do we even start?

You can see, pretty clearly (and I’ve heard, pretty clearly), that harassment IS the name of the game.  They have responses for “objections” like:

“Back off! Get lost! Leave me alone!”

“Quit harassing us, this is hard enough already!”

“I’m just here for birth control.”

“I’m not even pregnant.”

“I’ve already made my decision.”

“Leave us alone or I’m calling the police.”

…with everything BUT backing the fuck off and respecting the speaker’s right to be left alone. This is what they train others to do as well.  Keep talking, never shut up, respect, what respect?

There’s also a great deal of gaslighting (that is: creating doubt to the point that your victims cannot trust their own judgement) in some of these responses as well. Check this shit out:

“Back off! Get lost! Leave me alone!”

“Your anger is misdirected. You are angry that you are in a bad situation, but we can help you.”

“Adoption? You think I’m going to carry this baby for nine months and then just give it away!?”

“That’s okay; how can we help you KEEP your baby?”

“I’m just here for birth control.”

“Sometimes people tell us they’re here for something else when they’re really here for an abortion. You can be honest with me. God knows the truth anyway.”

Gaslighting is a pretty insidious tactic, commonly used by abusers to keep their victims always guessing and dependent on abuser’s guidance.  And the fine folks at Pro-Life Action Ministries openly advocate this tactic of treating patients as if they themselves have not the fuck clue what they want.  That they actually want what the protesters want.  Always.  Such respect, Wow.

Then there’s outright WTFery, stuff that when I’ve heard it, made me stop in my tracks for a moment:

“You don’t need to listen to them, they are just protesters.” (from an abortion escort or worker)

“I am not a ‘protester,’ I am a ‘protector,’ a ‘protector of women and their unborn children.’”

Sure thing, sweetheart.  You pass out lit, harass every person who walks by, and wave signs.  Nope, not the actions of a protester.  Not at all.

“It’s too late. I’ve already started the abortion.”

“There’s a good chance your baby is still alive and is healthy! Babies have survived (the abortion pill or the first part of a late-abortion). Let’s call a doctor who can help you right now.”

…nice advice from people who are not medically trained. And the ‘reversal’ they’re currently trying to hype hasn’t been tested enough to be considered a mainstream procedure. Note that the only state that tried to make mentioning it a requirement had its law put on hold, with opponents stating pretty much what I just fucking said. I dunno about you, but I wouldn’t trust a bunch of non-doctors recommending any sort of medical treatment with a fuckton of evidence.

“I could die if I have this baby.”

“If that’s really the reason you’re having an abortion, let’s get you to a pro-life doctor who cares about BOTH you and your baby. Besides, this abortion could hurt you; women have even died from abortions.”

We have had a women collapse in tears in the lobby after being badgered with this shit.  Her fetus was not viable.  A doctor already told her that.  This isn’t just WTFery, it’s cruelty.

“Will you just shut up?” (from a boyfriend outside smoking)

“Okay, I’ll stop talking if you take and read this information and pass it on to your girlfriend. Otherwise, I need to tell you the truth about abortion and how we can help you and your girlfriend and your baby.”

“I will cease harassing you if you do what I tell you to do.”  Yup, that’s not harassment at all.

And now, I’ve had people ask, repeatedly, when I share my stories from the sidewalk “Why don’t the patients call the cops/mace or throw water or even punch a protester? That’s what *I* would do.”  And the fact that I have to explain this answer rankles me…sometimes.  So, here goes.

Let’s say a patient does call the cops for harassment.  That means the patients has to come out of the doctor’s office to talk to said cop and point out who exactly did it.  Now, remember, when it comes to abortions, time is of the essence. The longer you wait, the more costly and complicated the procedure will be.  So, they might miss their appointment window and have to reschedule and frankly, it wouldn’t be worth it to me. Also, now they have/know my name and address if I press charges, because police report.

And what if someone offs and slaps the shit out of a protester?  Oh boy, they can martyr that shit right up.  They can call the cops, the assailant is compelled to come down, and in some cases, the poor hurt protester won’t press charges if the patient just “talks to them”.

See the problem?

And of course, others are proud to inform me that they would happily shut these guys down with the application of either harsh words or increased volume or both.  Trust me, wanna-be warriors, you’d only be wasting your precious vocal chords.  If large angry male companions and loud angry female companions and upset, crying, screaming patients of all sorts don’t faze these assholes, you don’t stand a chance.  Not one.  See this article?  They are trained to be relentless.  Each harsh word is like getting nailed up right next to Jesus, for the unrighteous hating on you is supposed to be a sign of being a good child of God and doing something right, or something.

What CAN you do?  Volunteer.  Escort (it’s really not very difficult. I do not have Job’s patience, but I manage it at least once a week).  Donate money to abortion funds.  Bother your Congresscritters for better harassment laws that don’t put the entire onus on the harassed to make a complaint.

It’s not very sexy, but a lot more effective.

Also, #shutupann

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Muse says:

    Not to mention every time you scream at the antis you rile then up and I have to deal with it. And it’s stressful for the women trying to just get in the clinic.

  2. Muse says:

    Not to mention every time a passer-by screams at the antis they get riled up and I have to deal with it. And it’s stressful for the women trying to just get in the clinic to listen to random dude in a screaming match