Yesterday I was happy and content. I was fewer than three miles from home after spending the weekend at an OA retreat. Then I saw a long line of protesters lining the sidewalk in front of a Catholic church. They were, of course, holding anti-abortion signs. I say of course because a new Planned Parenthood clinic recently opened four cities to the south. This new clinic has the local religious activists in a frenzy.
For the most part the signs were fine with me. There were no dead fetuses or sensational graphics. I have no problem with "Pray to stop abortion" or "Adoption the loving choice." My mom was born in a Catholic Hospital for unwed mothers. But I bristle at "Abortion hurts women" and I couldn't read the text written on the waving US flag, but it pissed me off. How does abortion hurt women? Are they talking about women's souls? Because history shows me that making abortion illegal hurts far more women.* It was the flag that made me furious. I don't even care what it says. Stop trying to legislate my reproductive rights! Believe what you want, make your own choices, privately fund organizations to promote your point of view. Stop making laws about it though. Stop forcing abstinence-only education and health care programs, it doesn't work.**
So I'm pissed, and I'm driving, and the car ahead of me keeps honking and giving the thumbs up to the protesters. I say keeps giving, because it isn't just in front of the church. The protesters line first one side, then both sides of the street all the way into town. And they brought their kids. So as the driver and passenger noisily showed their support I could only shake my head and steam. Nothing would be accomplished by acting as I felt. If I gave the finger to them I would be the asshole that proves their point. I'm a murdering asshole and something must be done. I hate seeing kids dragged into this issue. But like I said, at least this crew wasn't using their children to shock people with pictures of dead full-term babies.
These are the people who put a criminal in the white house. These are the people who do not seem to care what damage is done to our constitution, our civil liberties, our troops or the environment, as long as their own moral agenda can be legislated. I felt assaulted and battered. I turned off main street as soon as I could. I was afraid I'd so something rash. I really wanted to rear-end the guy in front of me.
It was an impressive display. I'm sure it when all through town. Today the charitable giving campaign opened at work. If Planned Parenthood had been an option, I would have donated. As it was, I went out of my way to avoid organizations with religious ties of any kind. Usually I would give to a general fund. This time I drilled down to choose the voluntary hospice that helped my Mom and Heifer Project International.*** So I guess the protest did make in impact. Maybe I'll start donating to PP again.
* No I have no studies to site. I'm too lazy to. Besides, any study I locate can be refuted by some other study. I have no desire to get in a pissing match. I won't sway anyone over to my side and no one will move me to theirs. Yet another reason this issue annoys me.
** See *
*** It is possible Heifer Project International has religious ties. I don't know. In this case I think it is worth supporting anyway.