Stop Protesting Outside My Local Abortion Clinic And Do Something Useful

Almost every Saturday, I drive by the demonstrations outside of Richmond’s abortion clinic.  These creative displays of indignation have included newborn birthday parties, large billboards of fetuses, loud prayer and yelling.

I thought hard about how to show my disdain without stooping to the level of name-calling.  I make eye contact, give the thumbs down and add a large raspberry of annoyance.  I’m surprised how affective it is, and I feel completely comfortable doing it in front of my children.

It’s not that I don’t understand pro-life, anti-choice people.  My husband and I both marched and wrote, respectively, in support of the pro-life movement in high school.  I think that if a person believes life begins when an egg and sperm meet, it’s hard to make a case for an abortion.

I can even understand not including any exceptions other than the well-being of the mother.  Back in high school, I was one of the few atheist, pro-lifers I’ve ever known. It just seemed logical. Egg plus sperm meant baby who didn’t do anything wrong.  I didn’t even believe in exceptions for rape and incest.  I was VERY logical — why punish a baby for the crimes of the father?

However, I don’t understand any argument that portends a fetus, who couldn’t survive without the mother, is more important than the LIFE of the mother. Perhaps after 24 weeks, the debate of mother versus child can be taken up since the N.I.C.U. may be able to save the child.  Of course, if other children are involved and out and breathing (or parents or spouses), it begins to confuse which person gets the best care.  It’s okay to kill a mother and not a child?  All 36 states that ban late-term abortions have exception clauses that include the health of the mother although some are quite narrow and burdensome such as requiring a second physician’s assent. (In case the woman and her doctor really HATE babies.)  I find it strange that it is so easy for lawmakers to create hoops for someone to save her own life.

Regardless, I even disagree that a ten cell organism is more important than a woman’s well-being.  And since sexually active women are clearly not using abortion as a birth control method because that would lead to 1-2 abortions every year for 30 years (give or take some dry spells) and statistically that’s just not happening at the clinics, I don’t think that we have to worry about abortion being a flippant decision. But who can argue what’s a GOOD reason with what’s a GOD reason.  Drug addiction, homelessness, money, abusive husband, incest, rape, age, health.

Logic is one thing, but I think assuming that God is on a side is presumptuous.  And strange that before 1976, abortion wasn’t THE Christian cause.  God must’ve been sleeping for a few years after Roe v. Wade.

Personal commentary aside, I don’t begrudge an anti-choice stance even with God bound up in it. I disagree, but I don’t think the people who feel that way are terrible or ignorant.

Except when they’re protesting outside the abortion clinic.

Because how does that help?  And if God is part of the equation, are these weekly protests what God calls us to do?  Stand around with a sign and remind “the fallen” of their “sins?”

Wouldn’t we save more “unborn babies” by providing a daycare center?  Job training?  Parenting classes? Safe houses? Treatment centers? Donating prenatal vitamins?  Funding and manning prenatal clinics? (Ones that are honest and not full of propaganda.  Or does God need us to lie for Him?)

Aren’t there ideas more Jesus-like than standing around an abortion clinic on Saturday morning?

Jesus got angry once.  Otherwise, he hung out with prostitutes and lepers.  And didn’t spend his time reminding them how much more righteous he and all the priests and scribes are.

Who’s hanging out with the desperate women?  Who’s being kind to these women?  Helpful?

And those who see it logically rather than Godly, clearly yelling at a few people in one location is not as helpful as creating support for women throughout an entire state.

Honestly, I don’t care what side everyone is on.  But I care about the people walking in and out of those clinics.  They deserve better than a Bible thrown in their face.

They deserve support and help and love.

I have never met ANYONE who loves abortions.  So we have common ground.

We can reduce the rate of abortions through support and resources.

But maybe it’s not as glamorous as yelling at ” the sinners.”

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

49 thoughts to “Stop Protesting Outside My Local Abortion Clinic And Do Something Useful”

  1. I totally agree with you- I am hesitantly pro-choice. I believe that abortion should be an option (especially when there is any health risk to the mother), but that we need to work on WAY better resources to prevent women from having to make that choice in the first place. #1? Honest sex education. How does it help to lie to teens (my friend was taught in Texas public schools that oral sex causes pregnancy!) and tell them the only choice is abstinence? That is what bothers me the most. It’s called prevention, and it works far better than yelling at people after the fact!

    On another note- I’ve always been confused by people who are pro-life but support exceptions for rape/incest. If the embryo/fetus deserves to be treated like a person, then I think the only exception should be when the mother’s life/health is at risk (or if the baby has a fatal condition and isn’t going to survive anyway).

  2. YES YES YES! I want to high-five you right now. I read a post today from a woman who had an abortion to save her own life so that she could continue to provide care for her two living children. She was (and is, likely) being vilified by those who deign to think that the decision she made was an easy one.

    And you’re completely right in abortion not being used as a means of birth control (realistically). I mean, it is for some on occasion, but it’s not like women are showing up every month asking for abortions. If the people who had so much hate in their hearts could see through their own self-righteous natures to actually DO SOMETHING GOOD, we’d see changes happening.

    ::sigh::

  3. I have to say that this post rings a bell with me. I’m pro-life/anti-choice or whatever people are comfortable calling it and I used to work in an office building that performed abortions every Tuesday morning. Though I didn’t actually work with that particular part of the office, I had to wade through the wave of protesters every Tuesday just to get into work.

    The worst part though, was one morning when the protesters actually started yelling at me not to “kill my unborn baby.” THAT about sent me over the edge because I was just trying to go to work- I wasn’t even pregnant!

    While I don’t begrudge people the right to be able to demonstrate for things they believe in, screaming at people from the sidewalk and forcing them to look at horrible pictures of aborted fetuses isn’t the way to win people over to the cause. It’s just a shame that more people don’t understand this.

  4. I mostly wonder if these protestors change an individual’s mind who is heading in or already in about the choice they’ve made? Does that ever happen?

    Or are they outside to bring attention to what is happening inside? Something that is legal and, in most cases, medically safe?

    I have lots of mixed feelings about abortion, some of them pretty private, but what makes the most sense to me is what you said above:

    “Wouldn’t we save more “unborn babies” by providing a daycare center? Job training? Parenting classes? Safe houses? Treatment centers? Donating prenatal vitamins? Funding and manning prenatal clinics? (Ones that are honest and not full of propaganda. Or does God need us to lie for Him?)”

  5. I was actually up last night unable to sleep because I was so irritated by male pro life politicians and some of the noisier elements of the pro life movement that I found myself carefully cultivating snarky but very snappy comments directed at the panel of republican presidential candidates- and somewhere found myself thinking- ok-you,you and you and you (and youand you, etc) zip it- the only one here who can really rattle on about how pro life she is – is that Michelle Bachman- who had 5 babies and took in like 2 dozen foster kids. you chica, have the floor- you have walked the walk- knowing fully what pregnancy and motherhood is all about and furthermore taking in foster kids. I do think she is a crazy pants- but at least her pro-life opinion and life choices have integrity. I am pro-choice- but I get it for people who are pro-life. i loved my babies since they were sesame seeds. and having experienced pregnancy and motherhood under THE BEST circumstances (planned, financially able, supportive husband, healthy children) it still did and does overwhelm every emotional resource that I have. I don’t think that pregnancy and motherhood should be insisted upon the unwilling or unable. there are good people on both sides of the issue. anyway- I’ve gone on loonnngggg enough. your post was just wonderful in every way. right on. thank you for posting it. oh- and btw- I blow kisses to the young men who provide clinic support. really, what angels. they deserve stacks of pizza and heaps of – rhymes with “snow jobs”

  6. Kind of reminds me of Texas’ new law requiring sonograms 24 hours before an abortion is performed – it’s cruel and unusual punishment. And I am prolife.

    I guess I’ll be perceived as being naive, but I believe that most people who find themselves in the position of having to have an abortion thought long and hard about the ramifications before making their decision. I would like to hear from a woman who chose to keep her child after being berated by a line of people.

    Love this – “Wouldn’t we save more “unborn babies” by providing a daycare center? Job training? Parenting classes? Safe houses? Treatment centers? Donating prenatal vitamins? Funding and manning prenatal clinics? (Ones that are honest and not full of propaganda. Or does God need us to lie for Him?)”

    Yes, we would.

  7. Word. Love this. Have to add…I don’t see protesting abortion clinics from the same people who don’t support access to birth control and/or abstinence only ed. Prevention seems a better use of time and energy.

  8. This EXACTLY how I feel about it. I live right around the block from the clinic and I dread seeing them out there. As I was sitting at the light recently one of the protesters started waving at me as I stared him down. Just wish they would walk side by side with a woman that needs help instead of condemning her in a time where she needs to be loved the most. What would our world look like if we loved like Jesus did?

  9. Thumbs up to you! You tackled a nasty, can-get-ugly-quick topic with grace! I am strictly pro-choice (although personally anti-abortion) on principle, no matter the circumstances (because I can never imagine there being an abortion where the woman was, “Meh.” There always is a reason) but always wondered why more anti-choice people didn’t make the case of reducing abortions outside of the clinic parking lot. Or, if they were, why this wasn’t the focus of the Right to Life campaign. To me, it seemed logical– we don’t believe in abortions, and therefore we are going to do what we can to make them unnecessary.

  10. My children, now 16 and 18, attended a lovely, tiny, philosophy-based charter school in San Diego, that happened to share the building with a women’s health clinic, among many other types of offices. The clinic only performed abortions on Tuesdays, and protesters, who piled out of a box truck with a billboard-sized photograph of an aborted fetus on the side, would block entrance to the clinic and school and offices, like clockwork, every week.

    My kids had to learn, from me, at the ages of 5 and 7, what an abortion was, because of it. I was forced to educate my kids earlier than I would have liked to because of people who claim to love children.

    Also, screaming in the face of the woman who is holding the hands of two elementary schoolers is sort of a joke. Yeah, um, I DIDN’T have an abortion, which is why I need you to get out of the way so I can get these live children to school.

    In the end, the school offered an option for students to skip Tuesdays, and take extra work home on Mondays. I declined. I had already had the talk with my kids and I’d be danged if I was going to let the misguided interrupt my children’s education.

    I am pro-choice, but I also deeply understand the pro-life stance. I don’t, however, always understand the pro-lifers.

  11. I lived in the Richmond area for 15 years & don’t believe I ever saw that clinic {I was in the south side}. This post took me out of “lurkerdom” so I could just say not just like but love it & you!

  12. What gets me is that many of the same people who insist strangers have their babies also vote for political dogma that keeps a lot of these same children from getting help they need once they’re born. Programs like WIC, free/reduced charge school meals, and medical care for parents who can’t afford it for their kids. It’s like the attitude is, “Have that baby no matter what, but after that I don’t give a f**k what happens to it”. The protestors then don’t mind punishing the kids for the “parents’ sins”.

  13. My 16 year old son spent our entire ride home tonight explaining to me that there’s no God. I’m clutching the steering wheel and praying while trying not to cry in front of him, and wondering where I went wrong as a parent.

    And then I read this post.

    Clearly, I should have had an abortion.

    KIDDING!

    But I am going to drop him off this Saturday with the crazies at the clinic, tell them he doesn’t believe in God, let alone Jesus Christ as his savior and I’ll ask those nut-jobs to call me when they’ve converted him.

    I bet he’ll never tell me he didn’t believe in God again!!!!

    In all seriousness Alex – Thanks for this post. It makes me love you even more! And how old did you say you were you when you stopped being an atheist?

  14. What a great post — and I agree completely. I don’t really want to get into what side and which is what. But I WOULD like to see people who are so passionate do something productive, rather than destructive.

    Meanwhile, though, coincidentally just yesterday I ran across this very snarky, but very well-written (IMHO) commentary on the new Texas law. For what it’s worth: http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/sometimes-men-should-just-stick-to-football/

    I don’t comment much, but I read every day. Thanks for writing!

    ~Angela~

    P.S. We have the same couch as you (as seen in the pee-pee in the potty video).

    P.P.S. We totally sing that song.

  15. An unwanted pregnancy is never a good thing. But blame and attack never solve anything and separate us from each other and from God. Clearly this debate will continue from now until time ends, but thanks for sharing on such a touchy topic, and bringing some reason and useful ideas for doing something positive to help instead of condemn!

  16. the good news is, there are people who sit with the desperate women and hold their hands, talk them through it, and help them to make whatever decision is best for them–which may or may not be abortion–with compassion and kindness. my sister-in-law is one of those people; she works as a counselor in a clinic in cleveland and walks through that crowd every day. she is also the public face of a billboard campaign in cleveland called “my abortion, my life” (there’s a website!) that’s geared at getting women to talk openly about their experiences and do away with the shame that accompanies the procedure. she’s never had an abortion, but half the city of cleveland thinks she has!

    i think what makes me craziest about the protesters is their hypocrisy. so many of them call themselves pro-life, and yet they are crazy over the death penalty–because they say they want to protect “innocent” life, despite having been told explicitly by their god not to judge. the other day i listened to a caller on diane rehm who was sobbing over the loss of his friend from cancer the day before; she’d had no health insurance and died a terrible death too soon, and this man was calling in to the show about the republican debate asking, “how can you call yourself pro-life and work to repeal the health care bill?” they are also typically republicans who are supposed to be all about small government, and yet when it comes to people who don’t think like them, their first response is to get the government in there to make the opposing view illegal.

    i’m not a christian, but i know my bible and i’m pretty sure jesus was in favor of protecting every life, including the guilty, the desperate, the sick, and the suffering. and his instructions to us were, as i recall, to love one another. end of discussion.

  17. I understand that they want to “DO” but I am sad they think this is helpful or changing lives. Instead it ends up alienating. Also, it’s sad that there are cars with kids inside having to stare at their signs and are left with those images. Way more hurt than help. Great post. We have had GREAT discussions on this on opposites sides. You are wonderful to discuss things with.

  18. Without getting too much into my own personal beliefs- I do think it’s a shame that so many “causes” can become radical and extreme. Some people become so focused on shaming or fighting those on the other side of the fence, that actions that may be useful, supportive, or educating are often lost.

  19. This is a great post. You make very valid points and everything you say is so true. Whether you are pro life or pro choice…I think most would agree that abortion is not the optimal action. We should be doing something more, supporting mothers more, fixing the problem from the beginning not making a woman feel like less of a person for a choice she has made.

    Really really great. I’m giving you a standing ovation from my work cube. People are looking at me funny…

  20. I stopped once to speak with those carrying signs and Bibles in front of the abortion clinic at Grove & Boulevard. It shattered every stereotype I had created for the people with the signs. I will be forever grateful that I chose to stop. They told me about how the volunteering was intended to help; many also worked at The Crisis Pregnancy Center doing some of the things you mentioned in your blog.

    Just as there is no one stereotype for a woman who chooses to or not to abort her pregnancy, the same is true for people who march in support of fetuses who might grow up to be invited to a play date at your house.

  21. Alex, I thank you so very much for posting this, even if it did make me cry.

    I have never, ever, spoke about my personal experience. That horrible clinic was a place I had to go to, with my husband. Because having a baby would have endangered my life and would have possibly left my girls without a mother. I was on birth control that failed. And that left us with making that heartwrenching choice that I never thought I would have to make.

    I will never forget the protesters. They had no clue what our situation was. I thought that my sobs would have given them a clue, but they used that as their platform to try to get us to “change our mind.” “God obviously doesn’t want you to do this, that’s why you’re crying!” After making it in, filling out all that paperwork and meeting with a counselor, I unknowingly had to have a sonogram. The woman performing it, with no compassion whatsoever asked, “Do you want to see YOUR baby?” I felt like she had stepped in from outside, like she was one of them. Of course I didn’t want to see this creation made out of love that I had to (in my mind murder) because I could die. Because if I did, I would have taken the chance. A chance that could leave my family broken forever.

    It didn’t get any better after that. It was like a warehouse inside. I remember two girls, one was there as a “support” person. As my husband and I sat waiting and crying, they chatted about their upcoming beach trip. Then I was taken away from my husband to a different part of the building where everyone who has to have the “procedure” waits together, in those stupid gowns. When your “time” comes, you are taken into a very cold room, with a very detached, cold doctor. I prayed that the doctor was going to be like Cher in “If These Walls Could Talk” but I was wrong. He said maybe three words to me. After, I was taken to a recovery area which was is in the same area where you waited…there was just a screen separating those recovering and those waiting. There was a girl next to me, high as gas on the meds, laughing the entire time. I however, had never stopped crying. No drugs, no prayers, nothing made my tears fade. There was one kind nurse…one. She came over and stayed with me, explained what I was to expect later and actually told the girl laughing next to me to shut up. (She kept asking me why I was crying!)

    When I was finally reunited with my husband, I was given some meds and a “have a great day!” escort out the door…to the awaiting protesters yet again. These same people who yelled at me before and who said God was giving me a sign, now called me a sinner and said I was going to hell. I actually believed them for quite a while. All the while, still crying.

    Two years later, still on a “better” birth control, I got pregnant again. I actually thought that those protesters were right, this was my punishment. So I decided I would take the chance to have the child, risk my life and risk leaving my children motherless because of those protesters. I miscarried a week later. My husband then got a vasectomy.

    I mourn both those babies everyday and when I hear/see the protesters, all I can do is think of those poor women, some of them in the same position I was in, and what they are about to endure. I am glad I had the choice to do what I had to do at the time, though it was to date one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do. It changed me, my husband, our relationship and my ideas about God and life. But I am glad that I am alive for my children. My life is forever changed, but it could have been ended.

    Thank you Alex for giving me the courage to write about something I’ve never even shared with another person. I hope that it gives another woman, one that has to make the same decision, some kind of hope and know that I am there in spirit holding her hand.

    1. Gretchen, you are a brave and sweet woman. I don’t have one ounce of judgment against you for what you and your family went through, and I appreciate that you decided to share it here. I’m sorry as hell that you had the added burden of misguided people with signs and bullhorns, as well as medical people who need an education in bedside manners. I hope you find yourself at peace, because you deserve it.

    2. I volunteer as a clinic escort and — as much as I wish it could be as private and as personal as any other medical appointment — the disconnect between what our patients experience and the horrible way they are treated by protestors is what keeps me coming back. That said, it really upsets me to hear how poorly you were treated by (some) clinic staff. I try every day that I show up to block and balance what’s coming at patients from outsiders, to support them in the experience THEY are having — which can be an experience of relief, grief, rage, or joy. I’m disappointed that we’ve yet to reach a place where more people — on both sides of the sidewalk — can’t do the same. But I think people like you finding the courage to share stories like this are part of how we will get there. Thank you so much. I wish you all the best.

    3. gretchen, i am so sorry for your terrible experience. you don’t need me to tell you that your decision was brave and necessary and the choice of a good mother who wants what’s best for the children she already has… but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded. there is no reason whatsoever that a woman should be stigmatized for making a medical decision to protect her health and insure that she’s able to care for her family, and stories like yours go a long way toward ending the stigma. if more women were able to speak freely about their experiences, we could make a lot of progress toward saving future women from ordeals like yours.

    4. Gretchen, thank you for sharing your story with us. I have to admit it- I think you may have inspired me to volunteer at the clinic in our town.

      When I got pregnant at 16 (on birth control as well) I considered all of my options. I had the luxury of a wonderful nurse (at Planned Parenthood) who left me to review the literature on all of my options– to have the child, to give the child up for adoption, to have an abortion, etc., who came back to answer any questions, and who sat with me for over an hour– acting as my sounding board as I made up my mind. I don’t know her name, but she was the most compassionate person I have known. There was no judgement. There was no agenda.

      If I can bring just a little bit of what she gave to me, and provide it to another woman, I think I’ll do just that.

    1. sorry, baby hit “send” before I finished. As I was writing, in the best of cases they are both a priority and will come out all right, but sometimes that’s just not how it is. This notion does not mean I am against LIFE. It just means that the baby (fetus, embryo, cell conglomerate) does not automatically get my vote every time. Great post!

  22. I have so much love for this post because it’s everything that is in my head about this topic.

    Your tag says it all…why are people mean?

    why indeed? I will never ever understand how treating people like shiz is supposed to be what God wants. No matter what the cause.

  23. I think you are exactly right, it would be a better use of time and resources to help the pregnant women than to protest the clinics.

    My mom lives close to a clinic and there is always at least 5 people outside with signs. It makes me sad, because I think the biggest reason women get abortions is because they feel it is there only choice, not one of the choices. If other choices were made more accessable, then abortion rates would go down. It’s funny how abortion went from A choice to THE only option. It’s a heartbreaking situation to be in, pregnant with no resources.

  24. As someone who is and always has been pro-choice, I completely agree with you. Before having a baby of my own, I regarded abortion – and my pro-choice stance – with a cool detachment. Now that I’ve experienced pregnancy and have a happy, healthy child to show for it, I know I’d never be able to go through with an abortion of my own, short of some very dire circumstances. But I’m still completely pro-choice. Like you said, nobody ENJOYS it, no matter what their position. Certainly not the women who choose to terminate their pregnancies for whatever reason. So, how’s about a little compassion and love and understanding?

    Oh, and people who choose to hold their children’s 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTIES at an abortion clinic? Are selfish scumbags whose sole interest is to push their own social agenda.

  25. This post keeps popping back up on my mental radar. Time to post.

    Why don’t the abortion protesters do something more constructive?

    -Whether what they’re doing is constructive or not is a matter of opinion. Reminding us of our sins can be constructive. It can keep us from getting complacent about important matters.
    -There are many others that do things considered more loving, affirming and contructive. People have different convictions/callings.
    -This post wouldn’t have been written and discussion wouldn’t have been initiated if protesters weren’t committed to being out there. If protesters stop showing up, the risk is that the practice becomes acceptable. To those who believe abortion is murder, that option is out of the question. Their protesting keeps focus on the issue so that it doesn’t just become another procedure.

    Some commenters judged protesters as judgmental — condemning women who had to make a hard choice. Think about it another way:

    Say the office was offering family planning that included the planned killing of toddlers. These parents thought long and hard about the consequences of aborting Tommy’s life, but they were unable to emotionally, physically, or financially handle the burden of his life. 1) I know this sounds extreme, but put yourself in the shoes of a pro-lifer who believes with full conviction that abortion kills a child; it’s no different. 2) If the clinic was killing toddlers, would it be ok to protest and condemn the behavior, or would it be wrong to judge? Should we stand by Tommy’s parents with compassion because they were faced with a hard choice?

    To those who say abortion is not used as birth control, I present Reasons for Abortions according to Wikipedia:

    25.5% Want to postpone childbearing
    21.3% Cannot afford a baby
    14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy
    12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy
    10.8% Having a child will disrupt education or job
    7.9% Want no (more) children
    3.3% Risk to fetal health
    2.8% Risk to maternal health
    2.1% Other

    90+ percent of abortions are birth control.

    1. I’m so glad you posted.
      First, the statistics you give on abortion are inaccurate. The problem with wiki anything and controversial issues is different people edit. If you look to medical sites, it’s about 50% of woman on birth control. And I dont think the breakdown on reasons is accurate – i think rape, incest and health problems of mom or baby are more commonly cited.

      But the real issues is when does life begin and whether the child is more important than the mother. I get that pro-lifers see the toddler example and abortion as similar or even the same. However, I find standing outside a place killing toddlers as the least helpful thing anyone could do. Pointing out a sin versus working with the families who find themselves that overwhelmed, finding those families before they are that overwhelmed, better daycare, maternity leave and work flexibity could actually solve the problem. Particularly if your percentages of why people have abortions are accurate.

      1. @L8enough, Finding an official list of reasons was harder than it should have been. Re: the wiki list, it’s not the end all be all of accuracy, but the benefit of different people editing is accountability. There is oversight, and posted info has to be cited. If the stats are wrong, contact Wikipedia, let them know, and provide good, solid, alternative stats. I haven’t seen any report/stats that lists rape, incest and health problems > 10%.

        I agree that the issue is about when life begins.

        The main gist of my post should have been that while you and others may not find protests helpful, there are plenty of people currently (Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party, Pro-Lifers, etc…) and historically (take your pick) who think that protesting is one method of drawing attention to and advancing their cause. And in most cases, the protest is about pointing out “the sins” (corporate greed, government corruption) of a person or group. I fully agree that there are many ways to respond to a conviction or a cause. Each can be valid, and which helps more is a matter of opinion.

        Thanks!

  26. Liz, while I respect your opinion, I do not believe you use the term “birth control” correctly.

    People who protest outside clinics usually do believe, as you do, that they are stopping lots of abortions, and without their presence people would keep “sinning” more often. The reality is the protesters do not accomplish as much as they think they do.

    If their goal is to “remind people of their sins”, why not remind themselves that judging people who are going through a) the worst day of their lives or b) just getting an exam, birth control or medications is pretty sinful in the eyes of the clinic visitors and employees. Most people do not appreciate having someone else assign themselves the job of taking inventory of another person’s “sins” and then making posters to shove in their faces about it.

    1. @Eve, I’m not suggesting that women don’t try to use other forms of contraception and that they rely on abortion as a primary means of birth control. But, if 1/2 of abortions are requested from women who had used another form of contraception and then got pregnant when it failed, they are using abortion as a secondary method of birth control.

      I didn’t say that protestors are stopping lots of abortions. I have no idea if they are. I just said that there are those that are convicted to stand out there and bring attention to/possibly stop some abortions.

      I didn’t say that their goal was to remind people of their sins. I’m sure there are haters out there who want to condemn. Those are easy
      targets. I’m sure there are those that actually care about the mom and the child…those that go beyond focus on “the sin” and see it as the ending of a life that was intended to live. They may recognize that it’s a hard day, but if they’re trying to stop a baby from being killed, they’re more inclined to move past the burden of the decision and stressful emotions and try (their way) to stop it from happening (whether it works or not).

      Thanks!

  27. Hi. I came across your site via Pinterest and stumbled into this post. I agree with you 100% on this specified issue. I guess I would say I’m pro-life because I am a Christian and I believe it’s wrong to kill. I also have had three abortions over the course of about four years back several years ago. I was/am married and had two kids at the time (now we have three). Those are still some of the worst memories of my life with part of that being because of the judgmental protesters outside. I remember trying to ignore them. Them shouting at me. I remember that I told them that I have kids I do love very much and that they didn’t know my situation. That was the first time. We didn’t go back to that one the other two times. My husband protected me best he could. It’s realty sad to think that he had to protect me from the condemnation of fellow Christians (although I will be the first to admit that I was not even trying to live a Christian life at that time). I did not get any of those abortions because I wanted to. I know that I should not have done it but I can’t change that. What I can do is council those who are thinking about it. Helping them instead of condemning them. Wow. Thank you so much for this post. I have been trying to figure out here lately what it is I am supposed to do with my story of my abortions. Wondering if maybe I am supposed to be sharing and using it in some way to help others. I see that you don’t believe in God, but I must say that I believe I was led by Him to read this. Thank you again. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you came and commented. I’m sorry that you were judged by the protestors, but I’m heartened that my piece helped you to find some light for a difficult time. I definitely believe God brought you here. I am actually a Christian as well and have a strong faith in God’s knack for getting us right where we need to be.
      PS. If you want to know more about my faith journey, most of them are under Christianity although a few are also under God (religion and spirituality).

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