Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the historic day in 1973 when in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that access to abortion is a constitutionally protected right. In layman's terms, Roe v. Wade = constitutionally protected safe and legal abortions. While we have that constitutional right, it is a sad truth that every single day our rights are picked and poked at on both the national and state levels. Laws have been put in place making it harder and harder to access abortion.
Every year since the ruling of Roe v. Wade on January 22nd, hundreds of thousands of anti-choice activists descend on Washington, DC for their annual March for Life rally. They encourage congregations to take off from work and school, raise money and travel across the country for a rally that begins on the national mall with speakers (leaders of the anti-choice movement) including politicians and then march to the Supreme Court. They are dedicated AF, amiright??
This year, these extremists kicked off their anti-choice weekend retreat with a prayer and protest rally outside of the construction site of a Planned Parenthood clinic. But guess who was there and infiltrated their rally? That's right, the Lady Parts Justice League! We sent our best and brightest undercover and they fit in so well, they even came home with souvenirs: some “Planned Parenthood Sells Body Parts” signs and a prayer book or two.
The three-hour event, in freezing conditions, was pretty mild and uneventful in comparison to the protests and sidewalk counseling that happens at clinics across the U.S. daily. But there were a few things that stuck out the most that we felt were worth sharing:
- Mid-morning a man started yelling above the speaker system. The man was a father of two children that attended the charter school where the protest was in front of. The March for Life protests had forced the school to shut down for the remainder of the week. He and many other parents were paying at least $40 a day (per child) for childcare because of the school closure, not to mention his kids were missing out on their valuable education. The father’s frustrations weren’t just the financial burden but the emotional trauma the anti-abortion protesters cause the children who are shouted at daily as they enter school. It’s clear that these “pro-lifers” only care about children until they are actually born.
- David Daledien. Remember him? He is the person behind the doctored Planned Parenthood videos via the Center for Medical Progress. When he was introduced, it was the first time the otherwise catatonic crowd cheered and seemed re-energized. They were all there to praise their living savior. David was proud of the RICO, illegal trespassing and recording charges, and was looking forward to seeing Planned Parenthood in court. (Dude’s got a pretty sweet new haircut, though, we have to admit.)
- We saw a family with two young children holding signs that read, “I mourn my aborted sibling.” The use of children in this movement is very striking to us. Kids who may not even understand what abortion is are encouraged, or even forced, to participate in this very nuanced and personal argument that we firmly believe should be left up to the adults.
- The anti-abortion protesters continued to avow their commitment to making abortion a thing of the past. Whether it was pleading that members of the crowd “give up their lives” to end abortion or soliciting donations to help “pro-life” leaders intimidate and bribe construction companies who build these clinics, it was clear that they will do everything they can (including shutting down children’s schools for their rallies) to try to stop people from having access to abortion.
Are you angry? You should be! The anti-choice community is made up of well-organized, well-funded and committed individuals that are working tirelessly to take away your rights and are pretty successful at doing it. So today, we urge you to celebrate the victory that is Roe v. Wade but remind you to not be complacent in this fight because we have seen first hand, that they aren't.