The Public Face of the Pro-Life Movement

I went by the clinic this week, and was surprised to see more than half-a-dozen protesters hanging out outside its doors. I wasn’t surprised that there a half-a-dozen people in Pittsburgh who think displaying graphic pictures of miscarriages on a street where children walk will disuade women from getting abortions; just that they had time to do so at 9am on a Tuesday.

WARNING: There is an icky image below. Don’t look if you don’t want to see.

Public Face of the Pro-Life Movement

The Face of the Pro-Life Movement: old, crabby, and gross.

The note about children walking isn’t hyperbole–after nearly 5 years of volunteering at the clinic, I have seen dozens of mothers cover their kids’ eyes and ears as they struggle through a crowd of shouting, shoving protesters obstructing the public sidewalk. Sometimes the moms can’t move quickly enough, and kids see images like the gruesome first billboard.

Three things to notice about the protesters in the photos:

  1. Nearly all of them are over twice the age of the escorts,
  2. The man in the top photo is violating the Pittsburgh bubble zone law by standing on the orange line,
  3. The signs above and the song-books the protesters were using are all mass-produced by one of the many companies which market to pro-life protesters. The paraphernalia of these activists can run from $20 for a yard-sign to $60+ for kit of “ethnic” rubber fetuses.
I take a great deal of hope from these photos. While I know young people who are pro-life, the vast majority of activists I have met are elderly. A wise friend believes that this issue of women’s bodies and folks’ need to control them will be determined by whose left standing after this marathon of an ugly issue is played out in front of thousands of clinics for dozens of years.
Which is why you’ll find me at the clinic some Saturday soon, standing my ground beside women choosing to rule their own lives. Maybe you should join me.

Inspirational Quote:

“One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives.”– Ayn Rand [“A Last Survey — Part I”, The Ayn Rand Letter Vol. IV, No. 2, 1975.]

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