One Of Our Own Tells Huff Post Antis Are Racist-Buffer Zones Needed

By Laurie Bertram Roberts
On February 22, 2014 on of the Pinkhouse’s own Michelle Colon went on Huffington Post Live and told the real deal about what happens at JWHO while escorting patients. She revealed that indeed anti choice protesters aren’t just groups of harmless grandmothers <cough Operation Rescue cough>. Instead they are mostly old white men who approach any black person they see near the clinic and in the words of Michelle

say some of the most disgusting, degrading and racist comments to them

The full segment includes Liz Winstead   escort advocate and comedian and Katie Klabusich who escorts at a clinic in New Jersey. It is well worth watching and debunks the lies set forth to the Supreme Court that anti-choice protesters are mostly composed of harmless Aunt Bea looking granny types who just want to pry.  As Liz Winstead said

“Well she exists, the people who pray do exist. They absolutely exist there are people who say rosary and who are peaceful protesters who do that and then there are people who are not. Which is the majority of the people who hold up signs of some like post like post I don’t even know what giant fetus, stillborn baby or whatever it is they hold up and they are verbally assaulting people and so the woman,  I don’t think anyone has a grievance  unless you are chasing someone down with a rosary praying at them”

Unfortunately as Katie Klabusich pointed out some indeed do chase women down and pray at them. They do it here in Mississippi it is disgusting it is not a sign of God’s love it is nothing but shaming plain and simple. If being racist and shaming is the best that anti choice activists have to offer women they should probably stay home.


Watch the full segment here:

Why I Am Here When The Doors Are Open

By: Derenda Hancock

I’m Derenda Hancock and I’m a volunteer escort at JWHO. I’m not a “convert”, always been pro-choice. I was that incredibly lucky 13 year old that had an awesome cousin, 6 years my senior, named Linda. She never treated me like a child and explained the REAL facts of life to me. That included the battle that women were fighting at the time to legally have the choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, an abortion. She took me to my first protest at the Oklahoma capitol shortly before Roe vs Wade became law. Thanks to Linda, I started out on the right path.

Unfortunately, by 21, I became your typical “corporate workaholic zombie” and misplaced my activism gene. I paid my dues to NARAL, NOW, and the Democratic Party and figured I was doing my part. We are so good at justifying our inaction. A couple of years ago, having grown restless with the “system”, I joined the Occupy movement and that activist gene reemerged. The deterioration of our society, the injustice, the inequality…made my boots again hit the ground.

On January 22nd 2013, I attended a rally at JWHO to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe VS Wade. It was a great rally with a large group of pro-choice supporters. But, I am ashamed to say, it was the first time in over 30 years that I had been exposed to the hate spewing pro-life zealots. Though shocked by their behavior, I was mostly angry.

You see, I am the one in that one in three women that you will know in your lifetime that has had an abortion. To be perfectly honest, I’ve had two abortions. Once, the birth control failed. Once, I failed the birth control. I am also that rare woman who has never wanted children. (No, I didn’t misplace that gene, I was born without it. Lol!) In the last year, I have heard stories of how women have struggled with the decision to terminate their pregnancy. Though I empathize with their struggle, that was not the case for me. In both cases, the day I learned I was pregnant I made an appointment to abort. My views on children were “public information”, thus I did not feel compelled to discuss or justify my decision to anyone. It was and is MY BODY MY CHOICE. Only now do I realize how lucky I was that there were no protesters at either clinic. Of course they wouldn’t have changed my mind, but I might have ended up in jail. That was 26 and 17 years ago respectively.

The Antis say: “You will always regret this decision.” I’ve never had a single regret, I did what was right for me. They say “You will suffer mental trauma and you will never be the same again.” I haven’t experienced an ounce of trauma. No, I will never be the same…I’m better! I took control of my life. I alone dictated my future and that’s empowering. But, had it not been for Roe vs Wade, I might have possibly had no future. There was no way my body was going to bear a child and I would have resorted to any means necessary, including a back alley abortion, to insure it. The availability of a safe, legal abortion is why I’m here today. Otherwise, who knows?

So, on that January day a year ago, I watched the sideshow of Anti freaks parading back and forth on the sidewalk. I listened as they spat out their propaganda. There were no patients at the clinic that day, but I kept thinking how horrible that women are subjected to this atrocious behavior. It’s bad enough, thanks to our state legislators, that they have to wait 24 hours to have the procedure, then endure this harassment all the way to the clinic door? It’s all just so wrong. Gheeze, couldn’t somebody make them stop?

But at the end of that day, a little ray of sunshine peaked through the clouds. There was talk of forming an escort group. Volunteers would receive some training and would walk women from their cars to the clinic door. Though it wouldn’t fix the problem, it would be a start. And it’s always nice to see a smiling face that you know is “on your side.” The clinic owner, Diane Derzis and clinic manager, Shannon Russell, who I have since learned are two of the most wonderful women in the world, gave us their “blessing”. Laurie Roberts took the lead in getting us together and within a week the JWHO Volunteer Escorts went into action. Yep, we were a “rag tag” bunch at the start, but we were there and doing our best. I’m going to leave it to one of the other escorts to explain our evolution, but we’ve come a long way baby. The year has gone by quickly, but the smiles and the “thank you’s” that we get from the patients hang on forever. I love my “not a job” and am so grateful to be a part of the Pinkhouse Crew! Happy Anniversary Roe V Wade!

a powerful project.

The gaunlet at JWHO can be daunting for patients but I must say of the 5 clinics I have been to in my life I have never seen anything like this. It is a reminder that this struggle is not just about us!

Louisville Clinic Escorts

from a guest blogger…

I have not escorted lately. I have been in school and I have been completely wiped. However, the clinic has not been wiped from my mind, and all but one of my English papers was about some aspect of Choice in Kentucky. My last project was supposed to be a remix of one of those papers. I had written about the protestors and how they are a community problem. The protesting at the clinic really is a community problem. It is not just a problem for the women seeking abortions.

These people treat other people like they are less than human. They use intimidation and coercion to influence the behavior of others, which is almost the exact Merriam Webster definition of the word bully in verb form. As a noun, it means  “a blustering, browbeating person; especially one who is habitually cruel to others.”  It seems…

View original post 895 more words

New Documentary Features Abortion Fight In MS And TX

The new documentary short Roe At Risk made as part of the group Alliance for Justice First Monday film project discusses the current state of emergency around reproductive rights and features activists in Mississippi and Texas as well as national leaders. There are interviews with JWHO clinic director Shannon Brewer, Provider Dr. Willie Parker and several clinic escorts can be seen in the footage. If you want to help support the clinic you can learn more about how to do that here or join us as for events Nov. 1-6.

This Clinic Is A Refuge

By Laurie Bertram Roberts

She could barely stand she was so sick that day. Every step seemed to take so much effort just for her to get to the door of the clinic. As we walked with her and her family we heard bits and pieces of her story. She wanted to be pregnant. This pregnancy was toxic for her and it showed in her face and her movements. She had went to 3 doctors only to be told they couldn’t help her. So here she was. We walked, she walked, and the street harassers yelled at her and her family as if they knew about her and her life. She owed no one an explanation. We listened, to her and her family. We talked, to her. For that woman on that day the #Pinkhouse, as we affectionately call Jackson Women’s Health Organization was a place of refuge.

Since the JWHO clinic defenders started in January we have walked with hundreds of women. Women of various ages, income levels, and races/ethnicities. Each had a story, each had a reason to be there that was her own. No one reason was more valid than the other. For each one the last abortion provider housed in the bright pink building on a hill was a place of refuge. Yes, I said a place of refuge just as defined by the dictionary- a noun- “a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble”.

Operation Save America/Operation Rescue, I mean Operation Oppress, is coming to town next week as part of their “States of Refuge” tour. It is odd that an organization that employs terrorists and spends it’s time going around the country harassing patients and trying to intimidate abortion providers would talk about providing refuge to anyone.

It is clear that in their minds they believe that they know what’s best for the women of Mississippi. Only they can provide them the “help” they need. Only they have the spiritual guidance we need. We choose to TRUST MISSISSIPPI WOMEN! We will continue to support the doctors and staff of the clinic who put their lives at risk to provide a safe and legal medical procedure. If or when the time comes that a woman in Mississippi or the surrounding area needs abortion care JWHO and it’s supporters will be here. The clinic is A PLACE OF REFUGE and it will continue to stand as a bright pink beacon of reproductive freedom.

Please join us Nov.1-6th as we show our support for OUR state’s last abortion provider. Clinic eventIf you can’t come in person please consider making a donation either at  the address below or Mississippi NOW’s reproductive freedom fund via Paypal (put in the memo what you want the money to go for clinic defense or abortion funding).  I urge you to support the local people who are on the ground doing the work here in MISSISSIPPI everyday! Thank you!
Donations can be sent directly to
Jackson Women’s Health Organization,
2903 N State St, Jackson, MS 39216
in the memo: Escort activities/events

A Family Aborted

Another great post from David Gunn Jr about the impact of anti choice terrorism on his family- Thank you David!

Abortion - Abortion Clinics, Abortion Pill, Abortion Information

Sudden violent death creates concentric ripples which spread ever wider washing and crashing over the immediate family on to extended family, friends, and colleagues. Those ripples ebb back to the deceased’s family. Sometimes, what rolls back is sympathy and genuine compassion. In other instances, a dangerous rip tide threatens to pull the family back into gothic familial deep water where the recently aggrieved find themselves struggling to maintain their footing and keep from drowning in those passive aggressive human voices whose motives are more self-centered than benevolent, more angry than comforting.

The men from my dad’s side of the family met each Thanksgiving weekend at a hunting cabin in Pickens County, Alabama. It is in actuality an old farm house adjacent to the Tom Bigbee River surrounded by grazing land for cattle and a combination of pulp and hard wood trees unique to the south. What started as a weekend…

View original post 2,227 more words

Saturday on the Sidewalk

Louisville Clinic Escorts

Eighty protesters this week.  Most of the regulars were there, and about 25 extras from Kentucky Mountain Bible College.     The Bible college folks broke into two groups.  Half of them  stayed down at the end of the gauntlet, where one dark haired woman in particular pleaded with clients, companions and escorts alike to “please read this, just read this, please,” thrusting the pamphlet at us as we passed by.

The other half of the Bible College folks lined up in front of AWC, the anti-clinic next door to the abortion clinic.  That positions them right where the clients will see them if they come that way rather than walking the gauntlet.  This group of antis also sang, mostly Amazing Grace, which makes it a challenge for some of us not to sing along.

The best part of the Mountain College people being there is at the end when they line up…

View original post 1,202 more words

Ways You Can Help Us

by Laurie Bertram Roberts

Wednesday September 25th was the kickoff of the anti choicers 40 days for life campaign.  I like to call it 40 days of judging and shaming women or 40 days of lies. This is a great time for people to show how much they support the last remaining independent abortion provider in Mississippi.

People frequently ask us how they can help the escorts do what what we do at the clinic so here is a list of things we could use to make our job easier. Of course we always take good old fashion money our paypal account is accessed using if you donate via paypal please specify whether you want your donation to go for abortion funding or clinic defense (donations are being handled by the Mississippi chapter of NOW and ALL funds donated go to clinic defense or abortion funding NOT other chapter activities).

Just to make things interesting we will be tweeting a count of the protesters at the clinic on the days we are there so you and your friends can pledge to send a dollar or fifty cents for every protester that we have during the largest protest day. Your help is needed and appreciated.

If you are in our area and/or have these items please contact us.

external hard drive or large flash drive

hand held digital camcorder

16 or 32 GB memory cards for cameras (for legal observing)

Umbrellas (the big sturdy kind)

rain ponchos (big ones and  smaller ones)


C batteries


We are always in need of cases of water we use A LOT of water!

If you post messages of thanks and support for the doctors and staff we will be sure they get them.

We greatly thank all of you for your support.