We had a regular we called “Chuck” who was an old, burly guy with terrible breath. He was incredibly aggressive and would try to shoulder me out of the way to get to patients. He spoke a little Spanish, and so he’d especially go after Spanish-speaking patients. Once he was so aggressive, pushing me with his shoulders and yelling in Spanish at a patient that I had to back off so I didn’t contribute to her fear.
Every time a patient walked down the sidewalk we had to try to get between the anti-choicers and the patients. Technically, the antis couldn’t come within 20 feet of the building, but they did. And even if they hadn’t, bombarding the patients as they walked along the street, getting in front of them as they turned down the path to get to the clinic and holding entire masses in the bushes in front of the clinic were all common practices.
I worked as a clinic escort. Clinic escorts do not provide information to patients. We do not counsel them. We do not protest or carry signs. We are simply there to act as a buffer between them and the aggressive anti-choice protesters. We walk with them to the door of the clinic, we tell them they do not need to listen to the anti-choicers, or to talk to them, but that it’s ok if they want to. We tell them we like their shoes and comment on the weather.