There are all kinds of anti-abortion protestors. There are the ones who stand out in front of the clinics holding graphic signs while screaming all kinds of invectives at the women. It doesn’t matter to them that those women might also be going in for their annual pap smear or to pick up some birth control. They still remain the target of their vile, un-Christian behavior.
Then there are the protestors who just stand in front of the facility quietly praying. Sure, at times they might break out into song or into a group prayer led by some local religious figure but, for the most part, they just stand out there praying to God. At least I assume that’s who they are praying to.
I vehemently support the right of anti-abortion protestors to stand outside of a clinic and protest, even if they insist on shrieking “Don’t Kill Your Baby!” to the women as they are enter the facility. The First Amendment also extends to those who quietly pray on the sidewalk and who seem not as “angry” as the other whack jobs. Still, I would suggest that those who quietly pray on the sidewalk do almost as much harm as their more vociferous colleagues.
Let’s do something that the anti-abortion folks don’t do very often – let’s think about the woman who has just learned she is pregnant. But first, spare me the “well if she didn’t spread her legs in the first place” lecture. I get it. I know how you get pregnant. So, let ‘s move on.
The woman is pregnant and, unless she was actually planning on having a child, there is a good chance she is not happy with this development. Contrary to anti-abortion dogma, she just doesn’t run to the phone and make an appointment at the local abortion clinic. Normally, she will struggle with the decision. After all, she knows she is carrying a living organism in her body that will ultimately grow into her baby, so the notion that she might have to abort is not a pleasant one. To help make up her mind, she might consult with the man who was involved, her friends, her family or any religious figures in her life. Ultimately, she may decide that she cannot have the baby. It is a difficult decision making process and her decision to abort is a sad one.
So, she makes the appointment and normally has to wait a few days. That’s a few more days for her to keep thinking about her decision. The day finally arrives and she goes to the clinic. She has heard about the anti-abortion zealots who demonstrate at the clinics and tries to prepare herself, although she really doesn’t know what to expect. As she approaches the facility, she notices about twenty people congregating out front and her blood pressure immediately rises. She prepares to be verbally attacked.
She gets out of the car and walks up the pathway to the front door, trying not to look at the group of protestors. She is somewhat surprised that they are not yelling at her, notices that they are holding Bibles and praying quietly. But she is still embarrassed. She knows they are there because of HER and they are there because they do not approve of what she did (have unprotected sex) and what she is about to do (abort the child). They are clearly not there to provide her comfort in her time of need. They are there because they do not want her to have the abortion.
On this blog, I’ve had a running commentary with a respectable pro-lifer who prays in front of a clinic. But, unless I missed it, I have yet to get a clear answer as to why he has to be AT THE CLINIC. If you are praying to God, what does it matter where you pray? I thought you could be anywhere and still communicate with Him.
No, I suspect there is something else going on here although I just can’t put my finger on it. Is there some voyeuristic pleasure out of seeing a woman who clearly has had (dirty) sex going in for a (dirty) abortion? And please don’t tell me they are there to share their stories with the woman and to tell her she has other options. They know damn well that they cannot help her if she decides to have the baby. Sure, they might give her some diapers and clothes, but gimme a break. Chances are they’ll never see that woman again and, if they did succeed in talking her out of the abortion, they just exchange high fives and congratulate each other on their “save.”
So, instead of doing something else for humanity for those few hours or praying quietly at your home for an end to abortion, you are out there at the clinic disturbing the women.
Why are you out there, my friend?