Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Few Ideas for the Protesters

I have lots of stuff I want to write about all the things I learned this weekend, but I'll have to do that a bit later when I've gathered my thoughts on all of it. I hope you all had a chance to listen to the CBC story on Monday. I want to write this blog and direct it towards both the protesters, and any other assholes who feel the need to email me (or comment here) and be patronizing and/or judgemental about my decision to do what I do.

Being an escort is, believe it or not, not about abortion. Being an escort is something we would do for any person accessing any medical service who was feeling threatened and harrassed. Many of our escorts, I'm sure, have moral issues or questions about abortion that they are struggling with. So when people criticize our decision to "get involved with abortion", they really have no idea what they are talking about. The need and desire to protect these women from harm exists separately from one's moral view on abortion.

I don't care if you are anti-abortion. That is fine. I understand and respect that viewpoint, even if I don't share it. You can write all the letters to the paper you want about it, you can have a big anti-abortion party and congratulate yourself on all the precious babies you save, that's fine, I don't give a shit. However, your rights end where they start to infringe on mine. Your right to free speech ends where you start to infringe on someone else's right to access legal medical services without being harrassed.

This is a democracy (supposedly, but I won't get into that). There are SO MANY WAYS you can have your voice heard without hurting others. If you want to change the law, there are many avenues you can pursue. NONE of these avenues involve standing outside the clinic with a sign and glaring at vulnerable people as they try to enter. That makes you a creep and a jackass, not a valuable citizen of the democracy.

Pro-choicers used these aforementioned democratic avenues to lobby long and hard for a change in abortion law. They succeeded in having Canada's abortion law struck down not by acting threatening and glaring at strangers, but through activism and through the courts. That is how you make change in this country.

Against legalized abortion? Tell it to the editorial page, tell it to your elected representative, tell it to the courts. But don't take it out on the women exercising their LEGAL right to choose. Because I have news for you: they have the right not to give a flying fuck what you think.

I don't know how wise it is for me to be giving out advice to the protesters, but I know they won't take it anyway so I guess it doesn't matter. I just want them to know that standing out there impotently with their ridiculous signs doesn't change anything. It has never changed the mind of any woman going into the clinic. It only makes their side look crazier than they really are - therefore eroding their chances at being taken seriously should they actually try to pursue democratic action.

In conclusion: you may think I'm young, and I am; but I think you are stupid. And I can always get older.


Dan F said...

"This is a democracy (supposedly, but I won't get into that). There are SO MANY WAYS you can have your voice heard without hurting others. If you want to change the law, there are many avenues you can pursue."

While we're no more of a democracy than China these days, the comparison between civil-rights (including abortion) activists and the rabble we see outside clinics today is clearly a tenuous one, at best.

A writer to the NYT in 1993 makes a similar point here.

Here's an idea for the protesters: go demand better and easier access to child services, demand wage and professional equity for mothers and work to improve our social infrastructure.

Continued globalist plundering of our civilization will only lead to more fetal terminations. Backing the crooks who've sold us down the river makes absolutely no sense (hint: they're using you).

Financing and lauding military operations [including the UN, 1990-2003(1)] killing thousands of Iraqi and Afghani children while taking a stand against abortions makes absolutely no sense, to me. Unless you see Canadian children as somehow more valuable than those being shattered under American and Canadian munitions.

On the other hand, the eugenic philosophies underlying modern abortion groups like planned parenthood (1, 2, 3) doesn't speak very well of the pro-choice establishment.

With the current economic situation, most won't see much of a 'choice' when it really comes to evaluating this intensely personal decision. My bigger fear is that, like China, personal choice is taken away entirely (in either direction) by the authoritarianism we see rising dramatically around the world.

Unfortunately, the civil rights activists (including genuine pro-life advocates) have been splintered off into tiny groups, incapable of fighting for honesty or change at a tangible level.

Anonymous said...

this deserves a standing ovation.

Alison Brown said...

we're no more of a democracy than China?
oh for the love of god what nonsense

But I initially just wanted to say fabulous post and I loved it :).

Anonymous said...

Pedge, you've outdone yourself. This post really gets to the heart of the issue.

The fact of the matter is that anti-choice protesters causing shit in front of clinics will never change anyone's mind about abortion. All they accomplish is making exceptionally vulnerable women feel worse about a decision that has undoubtedly been very hard to make.

Congratulations protesters! Way to make yourselves feel superior at the expense of others! Nicely done.

You hit the nail on the head with this post. The issue isn't opposition to abortion. That is a right that any Canadian has. The real issue is the despicable scare-tactics used by the Antis as a last resort since they've failed to convince legislators and courts of the merits of their arguments. Apparently they've decided that since they have an inability to debate articulately, they should resort to name calling. What a brilliant strategy!


Anonymous said...

Great conclusion! It was very Churchillian. And a valid point. What does age have to do with anything? What matters is that you have convictions and you can defend them in the appropriate forum. I'd choose a well informed 24 year old over an ignorant and slanderous middle-aged person ten times out of ten.


Ricky Martin said...

By "escorting" women into these abortion clinics, "escorts" are assisting in the killing of unborn babies.

You should call yourself a death-scorts. That really explains what you are doing, and its not a belief but an objective fact.

The Pedgehog said...

Great idea! I think I will start calling myself a death-scort. I don't know why I never thought of that before.

While I'm doing that, why don't you work on your reading skills? Or do you bother to read the post at all? I know reading comprehension and thoughtful critique are not big priorities among your type.

Good try though. I especially liked the bit about objective facts.

Anonymous said...

Objective facts...shit. I was sitting in the library studying when I read that and I laughed out loud! Ricky, you're a cool guy without a clue.

Furthermore, whether there are "death-scorts" outside of the clinic or not, abortions are going to be performed because they are a legal, and for some, a necessary medical procedure. All the escorts do is attempt to make that procedure as inoffensive as possible.


Ricky Martin said...

Are pro-choicers smart people?

They cannot be if they deny that abortion has as its goal the termination, uh, killing of an unborn baby--a human being.

The presence of an unborn baby in the womb is an objective, empirical fact. Look at an ultrasound and see. What you'll see is an unborn baby. No interpretation needed.

If pro-choicers deny this objective fact, that must mean they are incorrigibly stupid.

The Pedgehog said...

You just read what you want to read, don't you?

I don't remember anyone on this blog ever denying that a pregnant woman has a fetus in her womb. What do you think we think she has in there, a hotdog?

Who is incorrigibly stupid? Is it people who make strawman arguments? Yeah I thought so.

Ricky Martin said...

So it sounds like you admit that pregnant women who get abortions are carrying unborn babies. Calling it a 'fetus' doesn't help you, since that word scientifically means 'little one.'

You sure act as if they are carrying 'hotdogs.'

Anonymous said...

To the Pedgehog,Anonymous E,&d

Earpiece Charlie said

Why, do you feel the need, to attack and belittle anyone defending the pro-life side?Might it be that you have no other weapons at your disposal like reason, logic ,and maybe a little wisdom.How long has writing skills been the only means of qualifying someones intelligence?I'll tell you what being an escort is all about It's all about protecting someones investment. if this were not true(and of course you escorts are all about choice)why is it that you are all so afraid that a women might make another CHOICE and not enter the clinic? What difference does it make to you if a women about to enter the clinic is approached by another women, in a kind and gentle manner, and asked to reconsider her decision? Let me spell it out for you M.O.N.E.Y. I read some where recently that your glorious leader pulls in a cool 11 million a year. Big time incentive to get women inside. Week after week you accuse us of threatening and harassing women we both know this is a lie.Don't forget I'am usually there observing.Tell it like it is.( Pro-life lady approaches potential client in a kind non threatening way 3 or 4 escorts run out and surround client and start yelling so pro-life lady can not be heard.)How do you know that this particular client,isn't ready to reach out to a kind loving hand and receive proper counsel? Counsel that will tell her the truth about what she carries in her womb.Tell her how this child in the womb, will love this mother , with a love that no other person on the face of this planet is able to give.Do the escorts give this kind of counsel In and out and your on your own.

To Dan F

Point 1. Have you gone out and made any of these demands to Government yourself?

2. We all have pick our battles to fight. I have chosen to battle against N.B. abortions

3.I, do not see the logic in your statement. Unless a pro-life advocate does something to bring about a halt to the Iraqi war, protesting at abortion clinics makes no sense.

4. Give us your definition of a genuine pro-life advocate.

To Ricky Martin.

Pay no attention to the insults Ricky.AS I mentioned, writing skills mean squat when it comes to intelligence. They just aint gettin it


The Pedgehog said...

Ricky - there's not much to "admitting" that pregnant women carry human fetuses. Not sure where you're going with that.

Charlie - First of all, I just wanted to say that I was pleasantly surprised with your answers in the CBC interview. They were thoughtful and fair.

However, I'd like to address the points you are making now. In terms of attacking the pro-life side, everything pro-choicers do in that regard is a reaction to your side. We would be quite content to go about our business and not think twice about people who are opposed to abortion, but the antis won't let us do that, because they are constantly attacking the right to choose. For example, if you guys just stayed in the "Mother Child Welcome House" and gave out your phony counselling and went about your business, that would be fine. I wouldn't recommend people go there, but I wouldn't be out actively trying to protect people from you. But since you choose to be out there harrassing people, we have to react.

(And yes, you are threatening and harrassing them. It's not important that you think you aren't; it's how THEY feel that matters).

I'll just skip the bits where you imply that I think writing skills are the only measure of intelligence, because I never said that and it's not something I believe.

Secondly, the money argument. I always think this is kind of a weird argument antis use, because if no one was making money from abortion, you would still oppose it, so I'm not sure how it's relevant. But anyway, I can assure you that none of the escorts are thinking about money when they walk a woman in. The escorts are volunteers. They don't receive a commission, they have no monetary stake whatsoever in how many women go into the clinic.

As for those of us who work inside the clinic: we don't work on commission. So it doesn't matter to us, either. In fact, our doctor has asked us many times to set a certain limit on how many appointments we make each week, because she would rather take her time with each patient and not be rushed. Even if we wanted to force women in to have abortions, there would be no need, as we almost have more patients than we can handle as it is.

And last of all, the idea of forcing someone to have an abortion is insulting. We are pro-CHOICE, which means we believe a woman should have the choice to become a mother or not to. If a woman chooses to leave, it's not our concern. And if there is ever the SLIGHTEST bit of hesitation on her part, or doubt, or it seems as if she's been coerced, the doctor WILL NOT perform the procedure. Simple as that. We respect the choices women make, regardless of what choice it is.

You are trying so hard to paint me with an evil brush, Charlie. I think it's hard for you to realize that I'm a normal person with convictions that just happen to be different from yours. I have no evil intent, and I don't work at the clinic because of money, hatred, or anything other than the belief that women have control over their own bodies, and the right to access medical care in a safe and clean environment.

Anonymous said...

"4. Give us your definition of a genuine pro-life advocate."

Well - if the life you advocate for is forgotten the minute the kid's head breaches the birth canal, I'd say it's pretty hard to consider yourself one.

And having a smattering of church / politically induced causes like the crusades against gays / muslims and standing behind modern 'free-market' capitalism at the expense of all peoples is bigoted and ignorant to the extreme.

On the other hand, a person who adds to the soup kitchen or poverty relief organizations, who fosters spiritual harmony and who doesn't break off into reactionary splinter groups the minute their 'leaders' give the say-so - while preferring that children be encouraged, and measures be secured to not make the choice a neo-liberal economic one, I'd have a listen to.

Both sides of the dispute are guilty of near-sightedness - but the current pro-life tactics seem misguided (even desperate), at best. Why not catch more flies with honey and sponsor typical abortion recipients with care, money and suitable adoptive parents?

Oh yeah - that right - there's no money for single parents when you've got to prop up faltering backs and satisfy blackmailing corporations.

Giving the people more marginal tax breaks on call center wages is not enough to spur New Brunswick's fecundity.

Anonymous said...

Eariece Charlie said
How does one coerce someone into not having an abortion? I think wanting to have and love the child ,is without doubt the most intelligent, natural and instinctive emotional decision any women can make. For a women to make a decision to abort,that's coercion. Why? Because she does not know the truth.Long before you were born the great lie took shape.It's only a blob of tissue,it is not viable until after birth, it is not a person until birth, it is not a human being. The campaign was well orchestrated by the radical feminist of that time and it worked. Congratulations.But since a lot of those points can no longer be argued. The lies have changed. It may be a person, but it's my body and no one has the right to tell me what to do with my body.It's only a person when the mother decides it is(Joyce Arthur).So you see they are still being coerced by media, by family, by friend's by almost anyone who believes the lie. Moral conviction comes from the truth. The truth comes from God.No man or women can reveal the truth to you only Him who is love Jesus Christ.I don't think you are evil pedgehog, misguided yes, evil never, never did never will.

The Pedgehog said...

Believe it or not, women have been having abortions for a loooooong time - long before the "radical feminists" had anything to do with anything. Can you imagine? Women making their own decisions about their own bodies, all by themselves!

If a woman's natural, emotional response to a pregnancy is to keep the child, then she will do that. If it isn't, then she won't. TRUST WOMEN. It isn't any of your business which path they choose.

Also, if women don't need to be coerced into NOT having an abortion, why are you guys out there every week?

Please take your own religion's advice and refrain from judging others. That's not your job, it's God's.

Anonymous said...

The last time I checked, we live in a country that has opted against having a state religion. That means that people have a choice whether they want to accept that "the truth comes from God." If I choose to believe anything but your narrow Fundamentalist Christian worldview, then my truth comes from wherever I damn well say it does. My moral convictions are internal, and can't be imposed on me by any ideology I choose not to accept.

When Antis start bringing religious arguments into the abortion debate, they do so in an attempt to impose their beliefs on society in general. This is both intolerant and unconstitutional. Futhermore, as Pedge rightly stated, it is unchristian.


Ricky Martin said...

Re: "my truth comes from wherever I damn well say it does"

In that case, "anonymous" is DEFINITELY the more dangerous person to have around. I wouldn't want to have you as my neighbour.

Pedgehog wouldn't know a Christian idea if it fell out of the sky and hit her on the head.

The Pedgehog said...

I thought "judge not" was a pretty Christian idea. But I guess I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Pedge, I love you, can I have your babiez?

Ricky: Dude, women have FETUSES in their womb, NOT babies. Babies are what they become when they exit the vaginal canal.

Anonymous Anti Guy:

"How does one coerce someone into not having an abortion? I think wanting to have and love the child ,is without doubt the most intelligent, natural and instinctive emotional decision any women can make. For a women to make a decision to abort,that's coercion. Why? Because she does not know the truth."

Um, dude, that's called CIRCULAR LOGIC. Here's a bit of a diagram:

all women WANT BABIEZ-->women with intellect know that having that fetus in her womb become a baby is right and the truth-->when a woman decides to get an abortion that's coercion-->women are coerced because they don't know the truth-->all women KNOW THEY WANT BABIEZ because it's the truth.....

erm......big giant SMRT for you, sir!

Anonymous said...

Well written article.