My days at Lovejoy Clinic
Updated: Feb 4
I became a regular volunteer “Pro-Choice Clinic Escort” at Lovejoy Surgicenter about six years ago, spending several hours most Saturdays escorting patients into the clinic, past protesters who regularly picketed the clinic. The protesters came from different locations and had different religious beliefs.
The most regular group came from Beaverton Grace Bible Church, led by “Pastor Chuck.” Others came from Catholic churches, especially during their annual Forty Days of Life, and there was another group of young men who regularly join the Rose Parade with signs reading “You Are Going To Hell.”
Police visits were regular during those Saturdays, especially when neighbors of the clinic complained about Pastor Chuck’s preaching through loudspeakers. One Saturday, an off-duty police officer, who had an appointment with his wife at the clinic, revealed his concealed weapon before proceeding into the clinic. Pastor Chuck called 9-1-1 and about five police vehicles quickly responded, defusing the situation.
One day, I confessed to my fellow escort that I had earned a bachelor of theology degree from Multnomah Bible College, the same college that Pastor Chuck had attended. (In recent years, I gave up my religious beliefs and upbringing.) The protesters overheard my conversation and thereafter they called me “the antichrist.”
Despite the label, I found my time volunteering at Lovejoy Clinic deeply satisfying in the knowledge that I was helping people of all religious beliefs (and no religious beliefs) receive valuable and necessary medical treatments.
(Editor’s note: Lovejoy Surgicenter at Northwest 25th and Lovejoy streets closed in mid-January after 50 years in business.)