‘She’s Mine’: Fighting for Women Through Sidewalk Advocacy

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Rachel’s* thoughts raced as she drove down the busy street in Greensboro. She almost missed her turn, but her eyes were drawn to people wearing colorful vests. She pulled in, scanned the unfamiliar parking lot, and tried to figure out where to go. A woman with a kind face approached Rachel’s car and motioned for her to roll the window down. Thankful for some help, Rachel slowed down and began talking with the woman about how she was feeling.

In the middle of their conversation, another volunteer wearing a different colored vest and holding an umbrella rushed to Rachel’s window and told her to keep driving. The volunteer told her that the woman she was talking to was a protestor and that she should make her way down the lot to a parking space.

The abortion facility escort led Rachel away from the so-called “protestor” and into the doors of the abortion facility. As the door closed behind Rachel, the abortion escort looked back at the kind-faced woman and shouted, “She’s mine, b****!”

The other abortion escorts simply watched and laughed.

Staking a Claim

The “kind-faced woman” is one of our sidewalk advocates. She and the other volunteers on the team show up week after week to offer hope, compassion, and alternatives for women who are seeking abortions in Greensboro. We’re not there to protest. Our goal is to show women that abortion is not their only option—they have choices. We want to empower them to make a fully informed decision, because we love them.

And that’s why the words of the abortion facility escort—and the subsequent laughter—are still ringing in my ears. The irony of those harsh words is evident: these volunteers say they are helping women, yet they stake a claim on them as though these women are property to be owned.

I’m disturbed and grieved when women are treated this way. They deserve so much more.

Abortion escorts have pushed our volunteers out of the way, interrupted them, and taken away free literature we’ve given to patients about the three options all women have when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

These actions tell me that the abortion facility escorts don’t believe a woman in an unplanned pregnancy can handle motherhood, and that abortion is her best and most empowering choice.

I can’t help but wonder, though—what’s empowering about feeling like you have no choice other than abortion? And what’s empowering about keeping that woman from being fully informed about all her options?

I can’t help but wonder, though—what’s empowering about feeling like you have no choice other than abortion?Click To Tweet

True Empowerment

At Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center, we want every woman who is fearful because of an unplanned pregnancy to be empowered to face her situation without that fear. We are willing to walk with her throughout and after her pregnancy, all the while offering the support and care she needs.

We don’t do this because she is “ours.” We stake no claim on the women we serve. Rather, we serve these women because they are made in God’s image. They are his. He is the only one who can stake a claim on their lives. And we want women to know the freedom of that reality.

While we disagree with the abortion facility escorts about what it looks like to empower women, we understand that they are not our enemies. We love them, because they are also made in God’s image. We love them because God first loved us.

And it’s this truth that motivates us to keep showing up week after week. Our hope is that both the women seeking abortions and the ones escorting them to their abortion appointments would respond to our genuine acts of love and walk away from that place forever changed.

While we disagree with the abortion facility escorts about what it looks like to empower women, we understand that they are not our enemies. We love them, because they are also made in God’s image. We love them because God first loved us.Click To Tweet

*Client’s name has been changed for privacy.

Deanna Jewell is the Client Services Director at GPCC. While she’s not working hard at the Care Center you can find her serving the youth at her church, Mercy Hill, working on her seminary degree at a local coffee shop, or spending time with her friends and family.

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