Amanda Scott is a member of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Youth Advisory Council, and like many young activists, she volunteers with multiple organizations.
Amanda’s work as a Planned Parenthood clinic escort coalesces with her work at Americans United. Both organizations are working to protect women’s access to healthcare from the Religious Right’s many attempts to dismantle it.
Americans United is doing this work through Protect Thy Neighbor as well as their amicus brief in Zubik v. Burwell on behalf of 240 women at religiously affiliated universities that could be affected if the court rules in favor of allowing religious institutions to block their employees and students from receiving contraceptive coverage from third parties.
Here is Amanda Scott’s story about how she has also been protecting women’s access to healthcare at her local PP Clinic:
This spring I decided to sign up as a clinic escort at my local Planned Parenthood clinic in Mobile, escorting patients safely to and from the clinic. Why, after hearing those stories, would I want to volunteer at a place that could be a target of terrorist violence and put my own safety in jeopardy? Wouldn’t those stories scare me away from abortion activism altogether?
The goal of anti-abortion terrorists is to make abortion advocates afraid. They want us to fear for our life. At the very least they want us to fear for our livelihood: being fired from our jobs, expelled from school, or ostracized from our local community because of our abortion advocacy. That’s why they use intimidation tactics.
The anti-abortion protesters have tried to intimidate me, but I’m not afraid. On my first day of clinic escorting they tried to take down my license plate, but I didn’t move to another location and walk over; I stayed in the front entrance. One man tried to take my picture, but I didn’t hide my face; I looked at him and smiled. When they formed a prayer circle to try and cast out the evil in me, I didn’t suddenly succumb to the power of Jesus and repent; I continued escorting. Every clinic day I put on my neon pink ‘Clinic Escort Volunteer’ vest – which is the only time I wear pink – and I stand outside of the clinic waiting to escort patients that need my help.
My goal as a clinic escort volunteer is to make patients feel safe when the anti-abortion protesters all around them are trying to intimidate them. I want them to focus on my soft voice greeting them hello, drowning out the loud shouting from the sidewalk. I want them to realize that I'm not here to judge them. If I can help one patient or one loved one feel comfortable, then all the risk I’ve taken will have been worth it.
Like many young activists, Amanda Scott helps bring together the mission of many different organizations who are working towards a common goal. In this case, it’s women’s access to reproductive healthcare.