It's blog for choice day! Of course, I'm always blogging for choice here, but in honour of the day (and because nothing much happened at the clinic, except that it was FREEZING), I thought I'd write a bit about something very inspiring I witnessed this past weekend.
It had come to my attention that the Bound4Life people would be standing outside the clinic on Saturday morning. I thought that if I could get enough people to equal their numbers (only about nine or ten), we could stand across from them with tape over our wombs that said "mine". A few of my escorts were up for it, so we arranged to meet at the clinic a half an hour before the life people were expected to arrive.
People started to trickle in, and I began to realize that I had WAY more than nine or ten choicers. By the time zero hour rolled around, there were twenty-five plus people packed into the clinic waiting room, taping their stomachs and making signs. When we marched outside with our tape, signs, and dog (!), the lifers were absolutely flabbergasted. You could tell that not only had they not expected resistance, they had no idea we could get so many people to oppose them.
We spent the morning standing across from them, singing, chanting, and generally making merry. It was less a counter-protest and more a celebration of the legality of choice, made all the more relevant because of the approaching anniversary of the Morgentaler decision. People met each other, mingled, talked and laughed. There was no media, no plan, just twenty-five young people standing in the cold, celebrating our right to choose in the face of a silent but sinister opposition. Especially notable was the number of young men we had with us. It was good to see.
As someone who has made a transition over the last couple years from vocal protester to organizer, I was inspired to see so many people of my generation willing to stand up for something so important. There was no need to outlast the protesters, or out-argue them; we only needed to show them that we were there. They need to know that when they come to judge the decisions that women make, to imply through their actions that women who choose abortions are murderers, and to impose their morality on others, that we will not sit back and watch them through the blinds of the waiting room. We will stand up and fight back. Every time.
I hope I haven't bored you all with the less than funny post. :) Because it's blog for choice day, I also wanted to just include a little bit about what choice means to me, and why it's important. This is actually an exerpt from my essay "Why a Pro-Choice Canada is Important", which I wrote for the Canadians for Choice contest (that I won!). So here it is:
Because abortion is legal in Canada, we believe we have a pro-choice Canada. But we don't. Because pro-choice means that EVERYONE has access to abortion care. Pro-choice means EVERYONE has access to affordable birth control. Pro-choice means everyone has the information at their fingertips to allow them to make informed, responsible choices about their reproductive health. Pro-choice means that every woman is treated with respect regardless of her colour, size, age, class, background, sexuality or relationship status. Pro-choice means every woman has the right to choose; and that does not just mean abortion. It is about giving women the benefit of the doubt, believing that we have the intelligence and the wisdom to make the right choices for ourselves. A pro-choice Canada is important because any other Canada is unacceptable. A pro-choice Canada is the only Canada I want to live in. And as a valuable, contributing member of society AND as a woman, a pro-choice Canada is important to me because that is the Canada I deserve.