After reading an NPR segment featuring a cheery grandmother as the face of anti-abortion protestors, clinic escort Erin Matson decided to show the truth behind the innocent facade. Click through for more first-person accounts of anti-choice harassment and terrorism.
So, I was actually going to post about my recent visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic. I went in to get my long-term birth control switched out and, unlike last time where I went to a teeeeeny little clinic in Iowa, this time I went to one of the largest clinics in the Denver Metro area in Colorado. The first time we went was during the week- where we noticed the 8-9 foot fences and the multiple doors and security checkpoints around the building. My husband and I looked at each other like “ohshit” but didn’t think much of it.
Then we went on a Saturday.
About 15-20 people were lined up on the street with 3 foot x 4 foot signs depicting ‘aborted fetuses’ and really bizarre, incorrect facts, one guy had taken dolls apart and spread the pieces in front of his truck. They were clustered around the entrance gate, shoving tracts and stuff up against our car windows as we drove in. About three of them were up on high ladders to look over the fence and yell with bullhorns about ‘saving the unborn’. The escort was very sweet, she waved them off while rolling her eyes and smiling. “Just a bunch of noise, ignore them.” she said. We did, though we rolled our eyes too and talked a bit about how wrong some of the facts were.
Got my stuff taken care of and was walking out a couple hours later. Apparently, the protestors shifts had changed or something because now there were several men up on the ladders (it had been women before). One guy was on a ladder about…eh, 7 or 8 feet from my car. My husband and I were talking and joking about stuff and this guy started screaming, “Murderer!!! God knows what you’ve done and he is going to judge the nation for it!” I blinked and busted up laughing. I couldn’t help it.
This guy lost his shit. He started -screaming- at me, accusing me and ‘all you women like you’ for being the reason why tragedies happened. He accused me, personally, for being the reason that Newtown happened. He said that “all those precious babies were murdered, just like your baby! And God is going to judge the whole nation for what you’ve done!” I laughed more and he started screeching (almost fell off his damn ladder) “IT’S NOTHING TO LAUGH ABOUT! YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!”
Me and the husband got in the car and got burritos for breakfast.
I am vehemently pro-choice. I am also a pagan. All those protestors, with their furious screaming, incorrect facts, and bloody posters did to me was provide about 5 minutes of head shaking amusement and a couple of hours of annoyance at their ignorance. Had I been going in to that clinic to have an actual procedure done…I would have felt a lot differently. My husband would have felt a lot differently. We might have been scared, we would have certainly been emotionally fragile. We probably would have been angry- enraged, even. Instead of laughing in their faces, they would have probably seen impotent tears at the inability to fight back. Honestly, once I thought about it, I wished I could have gone back. I wished I could have put my foot through those stupid fucking posters and those stupid fucking mouths. I wished I could have stood with my own bullhorn and out-screamed them.
But in the end, in a way… I’m glad I laughed. I’m glad that for just a moment, I was able to present power and strength in the face of so much unfounded hatred. I was able to present a happy woman that felt no fear…
Dear Every Anti-Choicer Who Keeps Comparing The Holocaust to Abortion
THEY COMPRISE THE LARGEST RELIGIOUS GROUP WILLING TO OFFER ABORTIONS.
Here are a couple of comments, from Shakesville, explaining this amazing thing from various Jews (including my older sister):
Another important point about Jewish doctors and abortions is that Ashkenazic Jews (the ethnic/social group which has pretty much the largest influence on orthodox Judaism in America) are relatively common carriers of the recessive gene for Tay-Sachs disease, which is generally fatal when expressed. As I recall from family discussions, it was possible to reliably test unborn fetuses for Tay-Sachs before it was easy to test prospective parents as carriers, and it was generally considered better to terminate an unborn fetus rather than subject a living child to death by Tay-Sachs - so once the testing was feasible in the 1970s or so, it became quite well understood among the Ashkenazim that abortion was something which was frequently a practical necessity for reasons the parents might not want to talk about.
Not surprised. Abortion is allowed in Judaism, even in the Orthodox branch. However, the level of permissibility varies, depending on your flavor of Jewish. The Orthodox allow abortions in situations where the mother’s physical, mental, or emotional health is in danger. For example, some women are at risk of dying during birth. If that is so, they are practically obligated to do the abortion. Sometimes, women will go batshit crazy because the baby was a product of rape or incest or the mom is just unstable. If she is in such a condition where it is very possible she may kill the baby, herself, or both, then an abortion is allowed then, too. The reason this is so is because the mother’s life is considered a “complete” life. Even though fetuses’ lives are also important, they are only potential. The mother’s life overrides that of her fetus. In addition, when the mother is in danger of dying, the fetus is considered a pursuer, and just as anyone pursues you to take your life, you can turn around and take theirs. Given that this attitude exists even in the religious circles, I’m not surprised to see that a great majority of abortion doctors are Jewish nor that Jewish doctors are willing to do abortions.
What should be done is to give back the human proportion to the abortion issue, and when we see it as such we may be able to have much more understanding for the woman who chooses it. Women who choose abortion are consistently labeled killers, and I personally have been compared to Hitler and called a great murderer.
A woman who feels she cannot go on, and with pain and despair she decides that she has to give up her child, is this woman a killer? Really really. But look, you cannot let these words hurt you. You have to be strong not to pay any attention because those who do that call you a Hitler and relate it to the Holocaust prove that they do not know what the Holocaust was.
Elie Wiesel, famous author and Holocaust survivor on abortion compared to the Holocaust in a 1991 interview :”I Am Against Fanatics”: A Dialogue Between Elie Wiesel and Merle Hoffman on Abortion, Love and the Holocaust
It doesn’t mean I’m religious.
Because I’m not.
It doesn’t mean I hate LGBT community.
Because I am a supporter.
It doesn’t mean I force women to give birth.
Because I never will.
Take what you want from my blog, but never assume I’m just your stereotypical pro-lifer. It is VERY possible to ask questions, state your opinions in a civil manner on this blog. I am respectful and I enjoy answering all questions received!
Thanks for following! :)
Let me tell you some things.
I used to investigate child abuse and neglect. I can tell you how to stop the vast majority of abortion in the world.
First, make knowledge and access to contraception widely available. Start teaching kids before they hit puberty. Teach them about domestic violence and coercion, and teach them not to coerce and rape. Create a strong, loving community where women and girls feel safe and supported in times of need. Because guess what? They aren’t. You know what happens to babies born under such circumstances? They get hurt, unnecessarily. They get sick, unnecessarily. They get removed from parents who love them but who are unprepared for the burden of a child. Resources? Honey, we try. There aren’t enough resources anywhere. There are waiting lists, and promises, and maybes. If the government itself can’t hook people up, what makes you think an impoverished single mom can handle it?
Abolish poverty. Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? Daycare can cost as much or more than monthly rent. They may be inadequately staffed. Getting a private nanny is a nice idea, but they don’t come cheap either. Relatives? Do they own a car? Does the bus run at the right times? Do they have jobs of their own they need to work just to keep the lights on? Are they going to stick around until you get off you convenience store shift at 4 AM? Do they have criminal histories that will make them unsuitable as caregivers when CPS pokes around? You gonna pay for that? Who’s going to pay for that?
End rape. I know your type errs on the side of blaming the woman, but I’ve seen little girls who’ve barely gotten their periods pregnant because somebody thought raping preteens was an awesome idea. You want to put a child through that? Or someone with a mental or physical inability for whom pregnancy would be frightening, painful or even life-threatening? I’ve seen nonverbal kids who had their feet sliced up by caregivers for no fucking reason at all, you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen either?
You say there’s lots of couples who want to adopt. Kiddo, what they want to adopt are healthy white babies, preferably untainted by the wombs and genetics of women with alcohol or drug dependencies. I’ve seen the kids they don’t want, who almost no one wants. You people focus only on the happy pink babies, the gigglers, the ones who grow and grow with no trouble. Those are not the kids who linger in foster care. Those are certainly not the older kids and teenagers who age out of foster care and then are thrown out in the streets, usually with an array of medical and mental health issues. Are they too old to count?
And yeah, I’ve seen the babies, little hand-sized things barely clinging to life. There’s no glory, no wonder there. There is no wonder in a pregnant woman with five dollars to her name, so deep in depression you wonder if she’ll be alive in a week. Therapy costs money. Medicine costs money. Food, clothes, electricity cost money. Government assistance is a pittance; poverty drives women and girls into situations where they are forced to rely on people who abuse them to survive. (I’ve been up in more hospitals than I can count.)
In each and every dark pit of desperation, I have never seen a pro-lifer. I ain’t never seen them babysitting, scrubbing floors, bringing over goods, handing mom $50 bucks a month or driving her to the pediatrician. I ain’t never seen them sitting up for hours with an autistic child who screams and rages so his mother can get some sleep while she rests up from working 14-hour days. I don’t see them fixing leaks in rundown houses or playing with a kid while the police prepare to interview her about her sexual abuse. They’re not paying for the funerals of babies and children who died after birth, when they truly do become independent organisms. And the crazy thing is they think they’ve already done their job, because the child was born!
Aphids give birth, girl. It’s no miracle. You want to speak for the weak? Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty helping the poor, the isolated, the ill and mentally ill women and mothers and their children who already breathe the dirty air. You are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for children. You don’t have a flea’s comprehension of injustice. You are not doing shit for life until you get in there and fight that darkness. Until you understand that abortion is salvation in a world like ours. Does that sound too hard? Do you really think suffering post-birth is more permissible, less worthy of outrage?
“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman.
A though dose of reality for someone who doesn’t seem all that familiar with it.
Thank you so much for writing this. I could never have said it so eloquently.
“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman. Amazing commentary.