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Mark Benjamin’s District Line article “The Abortion Bores” (4/16) was a bit misleading in suggesting that protesters and escorts alike are “just going through the motions” at area clinics. Although fewer mass blockades have occurred since passage of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in 1994, abortion providers and their patients are still targeted by anti-abortion harassment and violence. In D.C., a clinic was blockaded as recently as 1998. Bombings, shootings, and blockades may make a more exciting news story, but every Saturday in and around the District, anti-abortion harassment presents a real threat to women’s ability to exercise their legal right to reproductive choice. Without the watchful presence of volunteer escorts from the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force (WACDTF), visiting the Hillcrest clinic wouldn’t be as boring as Benjamin observed. I’ve escorted at clinics on “exciting” days, and boring is better. When WACDTF volunteers act as “sentries” rather than “soldiers,” it means our job is getting done right. As long as street preachers think they know best what health-care and life decisions women should make, WACDTF will be proud to play the role of “sentry” at D.C.’s clinics.
Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force
via the Internet