Wednesday, April 28, 2004
On abortion and protests:The stereotype of pro-lifers as violent, obnoxious and evil needs some updating. Though there are a very few who have bombed abortion clinics or shot at doctors, those days have largely passed. Nowadays it is the "pro-choice" haters who are getting violent.
A couple of months ago, at a John Kerry rally, a Kerry staffer went into the crowd and ripped up a sign held by a woman that stated simply: "My abortion hurt me."
Last week, at another pro-abortion rally attended by Sen. Kerry, a small number of pro-life counterprotesters were forcibly pushed, shoved and dragged away by those who usually claim that dissent is patriotic.
(Suanne) Edmiston said the students told the abortion advocates they would leave, but wanted a uniformed official to explain why they had to leave a public event and one for which they had obtained tickets from the Kerry campaign.
After seeing the students wouldn't leave, the NARAL women told each other to link arms and began to surround the pro-life students.
At the same time, older rally participants were screaming to leave the students alone. Edmiston told LifeNews.com that the older women told the younger abortion activists they could possibly hurt the students and that the students had a right to attend the rally.
But that didn't stop the young NARAL backers.
They became angry and began to push and shove the pro-life women. One woman told Suanne that her mother should have aborted her.
The NARAL women eventually enveloped three of the students, including Suanne, in a circle and began dragging them away.
Suanne was wearing flip-flops and one of her shoes fell off as she was taken away.
"My foot is dragging on the gravel and they wouldn't let me get it," Edmiston said.
The abortion advocates dragged her barefoot over a rough gravel surface that caused her foot to bleed so much that Edmiston required medical attention afterwards.
Two independent photographers at the event confirmed the account, and one of them, as he tried to take a photo of what was happening, got something for his trouble.
Meanwhile, Martin Leuders, a D.C.-based freelance photographer, also witnessed the incident, and, in an interview with LifeNews.com, confirmed the account of what happened.
At the time the scuffle began and the women found themselves dragged away by abortion supporters, Martin wasn't close to the action. As he moved in to begin taking pictures, rally participants tried to stop him. Before he could grab a shot, one person with a pro-abortion sign hit him on the head and he began bleeding.
"They assumed I was trying to get [pictures] for propaganda purposes," Leuders told LifeNews.com.
On Saturday, pro-abortion zealots marched on Washington. Estimates of the crowd ranged from 500,000 to 1 million, with the best guess being around 800,000.
A small number of pro-life activists stationed themselves along the parade route and discovered the absolute hate in the hearts of many "feminist" zealots. A very moving (and verbose) first-person account of the march can be found here.
After they read my sign, at least 25 separate women throughout the day laughed at me and spat out these exact same words, “Then you shouldn’t have HAD it, that’s all!” Some even shrugged, like it was that easy to make that decision. Like I regretted it THEN, but went ahead with it anyway?
I saw women read my sign and burst out laughing and pointing at me, saying sarcastically, “Pooor baby!” I saw men look me right in the eye after reading the sign as they shouted out the chants that are the 30-year-old standards of the pro-abortion movement, like “Pro-Life? That’s a lie! YOU don’t care if women die!” and “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!” Little did they know, how much we do care and do help women to survive and have a better alternative to abortion.
Others saw the sign and said to me, “Too bad!” The ones holding the signs “Don’t Want An Abortion? DON’T HAVE ONE!” wove their way from the opposite side of the crowd just to wave their sign in my face and taunt me.
One woman, maybe about 30ish, started screaming at me, at the top of her lungs, “I CHOSE!! AND I’M PROUD!” over and over and over again. The others around her took up the chant, some verbatim, some saying instead, “I CHOOSE!! AND I’M PROUD!!” The veins were popping out on her forehead and neck, her face was beet red, and she was hunched over at the waist as she shrieked out the words at high volume, glowering at me, for at least five minutes straight. If there is a definition of “frothing at the mouth,” that was this woman at that time.
Abortion isn't going to be outlawed anytime soon. What needs to happen is a realization by the vast majority of the American people that abortion-on-demand is a very bad thing. What needs to be changed are hearts and minds -- and what groups like Silent No More are doing by simply standing quietly with their signs has a much more positive impact than the yelling and screaming back and forth that was the common image of the debate back in the '80s.
Case in point:
I guess what impresses me the most about what Annie and the other folks at Silent No More did was the way they did it. No screaming, no getting in people’s faces. They just stood there silently holding signs that read “I Regret My Abortion” or “I Regret My Lost Fatherhood.” They absorbed a torrent of verbal abuse and did not return it.
I have to wonder whether among the hundreds of thousands of folks walking by SNM last Sunday, there were a few who looked at some of their comrades in struggle hurling insults, and then looked at the small crowd of peaceful, silent witnesses and asked themselves a question: not “who’s right and who’s wrong,” but rather “what kind of person would I rather be?”
Despite last weekend's show of force, the pro-life movement is slowly gaining ground. The passage of the ban on partial-birth abortions and the law making it a crime against two persons for attacking a pregnant woman. The latter put "pro-choice" advocates in the position of arguing, incredibly, that the murder (of a pregnant woman) is abortion.