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Double-standards

The anti-choice camp thinks that if you make abortion illegal, no abortions will occur. With a wave of a legislative wand, all the conditions that encourage abortion will disappear, and this genocide will go with it.

It’s a fairy tale, and the private actions of the anti-choice betray this. How else can we explain the phenomenon of staunch pro-lifers getting abortions?

“I have done several abortions on women who have regularly picketed my clinics, including a 16 year old schoolgirl who came back to picket the day after her abortion, about three years ago. During her whole stay at the clinic, we felt that she was not quite right, but there were no real warning bells. She insisted that the abortion was her idea and assured us that all was OK. She went through the procedure very smoothly and was discharged with no problems. A quite routine operation. Next morning she was with her mother and several school mates in front of the clinic with the usual anti posters and chants. It appears that she got the abortion she needed and still displayed the appropriate anti views expected of her by her parents, teachers, and peers.” (Physician, Australia)

“I’ve had several cases over the years in which the anti-abortion patient had rationalized in one way or another that her case was the only exception, but the one that really made an impression was the college senior who was the president of her campus Right-to-Life organization, meaning that she had worked very hard in that organization for several years. As I was completing her procedure, I asked what she planned to do about her high office in the RTL organization. Her response was a wide-eyed, ‘You’re not going to tell them, are you!?’ When assured that I was not, she breathed a sigh of relief, explaining how important that position was to her and how she wouldn’t want this to interfere with it.” (Physician, Texas)

Shit happens. Condoms break, financial situations suddenly go sour,  rapes and abuse take place. No amount of legislation will change that. Since the conditions that lead to abortions won’t go away, and unsafe abortions are easy to obtain, abortions will continue to happen even if the anti-choice crowd get their way.

A personal decision

One thing largely absent from the abortion debate is the voice of people who have actually had abortions. There’s a weird culture of shame around the act, probably due to the whims of religion. It removes the voice of the most important person in this conversation, the woman having an abortion.

So I was quite happy to have stumbled on this first-person account of why one woman aborted.

That was a lot of TMI, I know. But I am telling you this to press a point.

I am making a decision.

The only thing that makes my abortion decision different from anyone else’s abortion decision is that some people who are against abortion will think that my abortion is acceptable.

Some. Not all. Maybe not even most. I honestly have no idea. My life is not in danger, after all. I have not been raped. I merely think that I might not want to sit around, feeling the symptoms of pregnancy, for god knows how long, until a heartbeat stops and the ripping pain kicks in and the blood starts flowing on its own.

Let me be clear. I have options. It’s just that they all suck. That’s kind of how bad news related to pregnancy works.

I suggest reading it, then thinking about abortion from a pregnant woman’s view. I also suggest reading to the end; has some excellent words about another taboo subject, miscarriage.

How to deal with the NAC

I was just handed an excellent article by Jane Cawthorne and
Joyce Arthur on that very subject. I recommend clicking to the ARCC’s website to read it in full, but I can’t help quoting two parts here. First, a sub-set of what you can do:

  1. Focus on the audience (passers-by) instead of the protesters. Appeal to them. Be creative.
  2. Include fun positive actions, satire, or costumes (dancing genitalia have been used in Calgary).
  3. Put on some music and dance. Drown out their preachers.
  4. Give out cookies, condoms, balloons, or what have you. Ask a local sexual health centre for freebies.
  5. Celebrate the real Abortion Caravan and its historic accomplishments.

And a bullet list of what you can expect:

  • They will invade your Facebook pages and blogs, and quote your pro-choice comments without your consent or knowledge in their press and articles.
  • They may try to infiltrate your organizing meetings, pretending to be one of you and urging disruptive or violent actions.
  • They will photograph and film everyone at the demonstration, probably hoping to get pro-choice people on record so they can quote them later (perhaps out of context), or collect evidence to use in legal action.
  • They may attempt to engage you and enrage you, and try to provoke you into doing something rash. Don’t take the bait.
  • They will spin any minor incident to make pro-choicers look bad. Under no circumstances should there be physical contact or violence. (Don’t set up your counter protest too close to the CCBR one.)

Again, the full article is worth your time.

We Seem to Have Caught their Attention

From today’s press release:

The group has a formal debate planned for Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 PM at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (2nd Floor, Room 490 at 87th Ave and 114th St.) with Dr. Howard Nye, a philosophy professor from the University of Alberta. Abortion advocates have already press released their plan to protest this event with what they call “The New Abortion Caravan Caravan.”

“These acts of cowardice mean to terrify women, rather than work towards a well informed and safe decision that preserves the quality of life for potential mothers,” said counter-protest organizer Kelly Fischer. “Despite the games they play in an attempt to make a one sided argument, we are pulling together to respond.”

Stephanie Gray responded by pointing out that the event Ms. Fischer’s group is planning to protest is a formal debate with both sides represented: “It’s ironic that Ms. Fischer would call our argument ‘one sided’ when the very nature of a debate is that both sides are represented and make their case. We are confident that embryology, biology, and a philosophically consistent view of human rights lie on the pro-life side, and look forward to making that case both on the streets and in the debate.”

Aww, they think they have good arguments. That‘s cute.

More seriously, it means we’ll be watched like a hawk. The CCBR is hoping for extreme or stupid behaviour, because it validates their need to protest. Their worst nightmare is a bunch of boring protesters holding signs.

That sounds like a plan.

Radio Interview is now Online

For those who missed it, you can now hear that radio interview online thanks to Archive.org. We’d like to thank The Third Wave of Chuo 89.1 FM for giving us some airtime, and we hope you’ll give them an ear.*

* Only metaphorical ears are accepted. Sorry.

More Transportation Options

EDIT: Due to logistical problems, we’ve had to move the 9:00AM caravan to 3:30PM. All those effected have been notified, and the rest of the caravan is going as planned. Sorry for any confusion!

I’m proud to announce that we now have two options for transportation!

If you need to work that day or the next, you’ll want to hop on the caravan which leaves from Dalhousie Station at 3:30PM on the 6th, and heads to the Edmonton Jubilee Auditorium’s parking lot at 7:00PM. It returns to Calgary immediately after the event. To book a seat on that one, contact HJ Hornbeck.

If time isn’t an issue, then you can take the caravan which leaves the downtown Mac’s store parking lot at 9:00AM on the 6th. As befitting its more leisurely pace, that caravan will be able to do the tourist thing around Edmonton, and plans on staying overnight, with a leisurely departure back home on the 7th. To book a seat there, contact Kelly Fischer. If you are staying the night, you’d better book a room stat! Kelly recommends the Hi-Edmonton Hostel.

In both cases, you’ll be expected to chip in some funds for gas, as the cost of a round trip is roughly $50 per car.

Radio Interview Details

One of us is going to be on “The Third Wave” on CHUO 89.1 FM, which broadcasts from 4 to 5 EDT (that’s 2 to 3 PM in Alberta), talking about the history of the original Abortion Caravan! You can tune in via the live stream on their website, or watch archive.org for a recorded version of the show.