Odd article, considering 99% of abortion clinic violence is perpetrated by the anti-choice side. THEY are the ones yelling, screaming, intimidating - and yes, shooting clinic personnel - just to get their point across. Where I escort, the anti-choicers are hideous to both the patients and the escorts. I don't care when it's directed at me, but when they yell at the patients it's frustrating. I can ignore them, but on the inside I'm furious.
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"THEY (the clinic counsellors/protesters) are the ones yelling, screaming, intimidating - and yes, shooting clinic personnel".
It is extremely rare for clinic counsellors/protesters to initiate violence of any kind and most especially not "shooting clinic personnel".
The vast majority of them are peacefully protesting and often offering needed help to abortion-minded women and couples.
You should also consider the fact that homicide is a leading cause of death during pregnancy, with likely some of the perpetrators not too happy about a women's choice NOT to abort.
"Where I escort, the anti-choicers are hideous to both the patients and the escorts."
Not sure where you volunteer, but can you concede that Jacob Nels and his group of sidewalk counsellors might be different from the less well trained protesters that you are referring to?
I am curious if you would ever intervene--and perhaps even refer an abortion-minded women to the clinic counsellors--if they seemed to be seeking the abortion under duress--say from fear of job loss, fear of being kicked out of school, fear of homelessness, pressure from the baby's father, or pressure from her own parents?
If you do not look for these signs, and look for ways to help women seeking abortion under these circumstances, who is the one who is really "anti-choice"??
I was with Jacob that day -- I was helping to counsel the couple who had walked down the hill from the clinic. Because I had my back to the clinic, I couldn't see Roy charging down to confront us and am so incredibly grateful Jacob had our back, since Roy had already been aggressive earlier that morning.
As a group, we allow and expect a certain amount of angry behavior directed towards us. We always respond in love and gentleness, which often takes the aggressor by surprise and defuses the situation. However, we never -- and I DO mean NEVER -- permit touching or aggressive behavior with a vehicle. (i.e., if someone entering the abortion facility swerves menacingly towards one of us standing at the edge of the driveway). Those are lines that can't be crossed and we will always call the police.
I can't stress enough how important it is to remain calm, not raising your voice or using angry words (even though you're ready to slug the guy!). Jacob is a pro at staying calm and defusing a situation. As a result, we have earned the reputation with the local police of being professional and respectful of the people at the clinic as well as knowing the law and abiding by it. When the clinic staff are hysterically projecting that we were the "bad guys" in the scenario, it is actually somewhat amusing as the officers listen and then let us know they have explained to the clinic staff the laws and how we have not overstepped them. It frustrates the clinic, but the behavior ceases after the police visit.
God bless you, Jacob. I'm proud to be serving with you.
Thank you for your service at this abortion facility.
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Ben Jones
This is a great story! Thank you for standing up for the abortion-minded couple, standing up to Roy, and not backing down about calling the police. It's the only way they'll think twice in the future. Thanks for all you do.