Monday, January 22, 2007

Following is something I wrote last year on the occasion of this day. Baby Sophie was a newborn and now she is one year old and running full tilt. The story is still the same and the fight for choice is still important.

In the spring and summer of 1992, I became more involved (than just sending a check a couple of times a year) with the Pro-Choice movement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the 80s and 90s, anti-choice fanatics targeted cities around America in an effort to close down clinics that provided, among other services, abortions. A strong supporter of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, I was asked to join a group of pro-choice activists at a clinic to provide a counter balance to anti-choice groups led by Matthew Trewhella and Randall Terry.

At the time of that phone call, I don't believe any of us realized just how familiar Matthew Trewhella of The Missionaries to the Preborn and Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, would become. In those early days of their Milwaukee assaults on the reproductive freedom of women, I got a taste of the nature of these men and what I saw frightened me. What I saw, while Mr. Terry pushed me hard against the door handle of a minivan in the parking lot of the clinic on Farwell Avenue, while screaming and spittle-flicking my face, made me determined to do all in my small power to stop these megalomaniacal men as best I could. The only words I have ever spoken directly to Terry were, and they are burned in my memory, "Get your fucking hands off me. If you honestly believe I can take any man seriously who's wearing a naugahyde three-quarter length, nasty belted coat, you are delusional." And so began my own personal year of insanity that included a court appearance for threatening language (case dismissed), a five morning a week (5 AM to 9 AM) stint as a clinic escort for NARAL that lasted five months and multiple appearances as a pro-choice supporter when I was asked to simply show up so the insane numbers of anti-choice fanatics who were bussed in from all over America wouldn't look quite as huge as they were.

And so, instead of rambling on about my own personal experiences I am going to leave you some links, all worthy of your time, and one small request. If you are pro-choice, become more active in the movement before you lose your right to choose. Always remember that being pro-choice only means that you believe in a woman's right to choose. It does not mean that you are personally in favor of or opposed to abortion. The good people at Planned Parenthood and NARAL can always use your help or your donation.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America


And here's a link to one man who is a true champion of women and their right to choose.

Dan McGuire


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Always remember that being pro-choice only means that you believe in a woman's right to choose."

"Always remember that being pro-aparheid only means that you believe in a white man's right to be separated from blacks."

"Always remember that being pro-slavery only means that you believe in a slave owner's right to own a slave."

"Always remember that being pro-Nazi only means that you believe in a Nazi's right to gas Jews."

Face the facts, DottyNana. Being "pro-choice" means you "believe in a woman's right" to choose... ABORTION. Not ice cream flavors. Not hair colors. Not boyfriends. ABORTION -- the deliberate killing of an innocent child in his or her mother's womb.

Think about what you're actually promoting the next time you bandy about words like "pro-choice." Words have meaning. Ideas have consequences. And babies in the womb have beating hearts... until they're snuffed out by abortion.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Lin said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your comments. It's always more personal, though, when they're not anonymous and a non-prescripted dialog can ensue, but oh well, you write what you're told (and I'm sure also feel) and I write what I know and what I feel. I remain committed to a woman's right to choose. I also remain committed to volunteering in the community and working among the very poor and homeless children and mothers of this city through Catholic Family Charities. I am not a Catholic. Catholics for the most part do not believe in a woman's right to choose. That doesn't concern me in the least. If the kids are here, then they're a fact.

My hope is that since you believe that abortion is wrong, you firmly believe that you personally (yes you) need to adopt as many unwanted babies as you can, that you personally need to work among those unwanted babies in your community and that more important than taking a firm stance on abortion and those who believe in choice, you take a firm stand on caring for all the unwanted in your commnunity that you can.

I remain firmly committed to being pro-choice. I remain firmly opposed to the anti-choice fanatics who have made the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands of unwanted babies a living hell. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

8:41 AM  
Blogger GraceD said...

"Get your fucking hands off me. If you honestly believe I can take any man seriously who's wearing a naugahyde three-quarter length, nasty belted coat, you are delusional."

The definitive statement on the issue, as far as I'm concerned.

For this, you will always be my Pagan Goddess, good woman Lin.

(Or whatever goddess you wish. It's about choice, after all.)


9:44 AM  
Blogger GraceD said...

And, to anonymous -

Where were you and your ilk when I was 17, pregnant and fearing for my life if my violent parents found out? I was beaten and abused regularly in their household. God knows what would have happened if I told them about the pregnancy.

Fuck you people. You have no fucking idea what you're talking about and what reproductive choices really mean.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woo! Party at Lin's comments!

But seriously, thankyou for your post and timely words. Here in Australia we assume the right to choose is just that but it's true that you have to be vigilant and wary of fucknuckles like anonymous. (What are those ridiculous analogies anyway? Pro-choice is not like being pro-nazi or pro-slavery or pro-apartheid you idiot)

I find it ironic that so often those who consider themselves to be anti-choice or however they identify themselves are themselves devoid of humanity.

Sadly, because of the danger of trolling, I am not linking my blog today. I hope that's ok Lin. I wish I was even a fraction as brave as you.


3:19 AM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

Thanks, Lin, for the reminder to rally around this cause. And I loved your verbal lashing on that old creep. (And your response to that idiot Anonymous. Touché!)

5:50 PM  

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