"Abortion Clinic Escort" Is an Actual Job and Here's What You Need to Know About It
BuzzFeed recently spoke to abortion clinic escorts who provided insight about the job that involves "shielding and distracting them from anti-abortion protesters."
One anonymous escort notes, "Our relationships with some of our regular protesters can be weird — because in the very least, we both recognize that we're here standing up for something we believe in."
According to BuzzFeed, here are some facts about abortion clinic escorts, from the source:
1. It is a volunteer position, so there is no pay.
2. Most protesters are regulars, so "we come to know what to expect."
3. The job is to keep patients calm and not interact with protesters.
4. There are male escorts too, and gender fluid and non-binary escorts which reiterates the fact that "the patients at our clinics are also of all genders." (Also, of all races.)
5. Escorts have diverse political opinions about other issues but align on reproductive rights issues.
6. Sometimes, protesters track down escorts and harass them in their personal life, so it is not uncommon that escorts take fake names as preventative measure.
7. Escorts can be human shields to protect the patients if protestors get physical.
8. Escorts become fluent in reproductive rights laws and harassment laws.
9. The wake-up time for an escort can be as early at 5am on a Saturday.
10. Not all patients come for abortion services. Clinics, including but not limited to Planned Parenthood offer a variety of services including pregnancy testing, STI screenings and using the clinic as a birth control dispensary.
11. Usually, escorts are not made aware of the patient's purpose of the visit that they are protecting.
12. There is a cap on the number of volunteers, and since the election, there are even waitlists in some cities to become an escort.
13. Some people decline the help of escorts and want to walk alone. Some patients or their companions even yell at escorts because of induced pressures.
14. Police calls are sometimes made due to protestors, but the goal is to avoid violence.
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