Friday, September 25, 2009

Praying to End the Nonsense

So, as some of you may know, this Wednesday marked the beginning of the annual "40 Days for Life", which involves ant-choice protesters standing outside their local clinic for 40 days straight in an effort to end abortion through the power of prayer. (Can you see my eye-roll through the internet?).

I was expecting Tuesday's clinic to be a little more intense than usual, but I didn't find it to be too bad. The main difference was that there were already protesters out when I arrived; usually when I get there they are just getting started, so there might be one hard-core old person but never a gaggle. On Tuesday as I was locking up my bike I was greeted with the sight of three women walking shoulder to shoulder towards me; they stood in front of me and prayed out loud the whole time I locked my bike and got my purse out of the pannier. One of them said "good morning" to me, but I don't say good morning to people I don't like. I would make a bad Christian, probably.

A passerby stopped to have some words with the protesters, which hasn't happened in a while and is always welcome. It's good to know when the public is on our side, and it says something about how enraged they must be to stop and "chat" with strangers.

The actual 40 days thing is kind of interesting in a pathetic sort of way. It is an American concept that has been spreading into Canada only in recent years. Our protesters are standing across the street - there is usually between two and seven of them out there at a time. They hold signs that say "Pray to end abortion" and that kind of nonsense. I'm sort of baffled as to what the point of it all is, but apart from that it's nowhere near as obtrusive as their Tuesday morning exploits, so it doesn't bother me. They're not bugging any patients, they're not harrassing the staff, they're just out there in the rain looking kind of sad. That's their right, I guess.

There are, of course, other clinics where it's much more harmful (especially clinics that perform abortions all week instead of just one day). If you're interested in clinic defence where you live, PLEASE contact the clinic first and ask them what they need. Most clinics would much rather have patient escorts than counter-protesters.


CK said...

I wish you & your colleagues all the luck in the world for those 40 days.

I can't believe some of these lifers are actually allowed to roam around outside an insane assylum.

In particular, one (who shall remain nameless for the moment), made my blood run cold last night. Something tells me this particular blogger would be dangerous in person.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

40 days started in 2004. There has only been 4 coordinating efforts, the coordination started in fall 2007. The way it is going, in a few years there will probably be a 40 days group in front of every abortion clinic in the US and Canada. Cities that don´t have an abortion clinic still have protesters who wish to show solidarity.

It is a way for those who are against abortion and beleive in God to do something. Many people who are prolife DON´T want to be involved with sidewalk counseling, graphic signs, ect. This is a neutral and safe way to protest. 40 days for life participants, SHOULD NOT interfere personally in the every day activities of the clinic. They are there to offer a hug and help to those who APPROCHE them.

I would love to go to Frederiction on a Tuesday and see if Tuesday´s gang is really as bad as you blog. If they are... I´m greatly ashamed.

I´ve been reading you blog for about a year or so now and enjoy it very much, even though we are on different sides.

I guess I´m going to be one of those young pro'lifers (between 18 to 35) who will participate in the 40 days.

In case you think I´ve got nothing better to do, I´m in the process of become a foster parent and I would love to adopt a child too, not to mention other volunteer commitments and work.

accidental altruist said...

Pro Choice Coalition Ottawa offered help to our local clinic. Our offer was accepted! After a couple days of a steep learning curve - and direction from Arlene Leibovitch - we've settled into a routine.

We are scheduling no more than 2 pro-choice witnesses at a time to stand quietly outside the clinic on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. We wear bright pink shirts with glittery hearts and the word Pro-Choice on the front. We are there to be supportive to women going in and out of the clinic. We are available as escorts if requested or needed. We record and report any wrong-doing on the part of the "40 Days" people.

So far they've done some icky things but the most annoying thing is that they actually lie about our and their own behaviour on their daily "ground zero" reports.

I don't know how you've kept up your strength and determination for so long, Peggy. I have an even greater respect for what you do now!

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