Friday, October 24, 2008

Prayers and Chills

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but friends, I believe winter is almost upon us.

That said, the protesters are amazing. The cold weather seems to energize them; they were out like fiends again this week. Peter Ryan was among them. Oh and wonderful Crazy Legs, looking smashing as always.

I was in Halifax this past weekend and had the pleasure of seeing the protesters they have there, at the hospital. They seemed to be involved in the 40 Days for Life thing, because they were there at all hours of the day, just constantly. Their protesters provide an even more pathetic spectical than ours, believe it or not - they have to stay outside the fence around the hospital parking lot, and I would imagine most women going in for an abortion wouldn't even notice them. Their signs are fairly tame, too - they just say "Pray to end abortion".

I was at a rather clinical seminar in Halifax, learning more than I care to know about unusual ultrasounds and how much blood loss is too much (any, really). I did enjoy getting to spend some QT with the rest of the staff, most of whom I only see on Tuesdays. I also got to visit my surprisingly bouyant grandmother, who is 94 years old. Fun times.

I am a little sad because I think I might have missed a "prayer siege" here at home - the Bound4Life group in NB has split into two - a Saint John group and a Fredericton group. I was keen to see the first event as a Fredericton group. Oh well, there will be others, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, I am (still) loving this blog. She has had the abortion, and is now exploring the issue in more depth. I love her style and her sense of humour. You should all check it out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Election Hangover

Boo useless elections! That is all.

I was at the Toujours Rebelles conference in Montreal this weekend and arrived back home at 2am on Tuesday, just in time to get four hours of sleep, so I was not 100% at clinic yesterday morning. Regardless, everything was fine - we even got yet another new volunteer trained.

Peter Ryan was out with the protesters, even holding a sign of his own. I was told that he was in Quebec City over the weekend, protesting at Henry Morgentaler's induction (is that the right word?) into the Order of Canada. Lovely to know that even if I go to another province, Peter Ryan goes with me.

The conference was very interesting, by the way. It was pretty fantastic to see so many young feminists from across the country, and to catch up with old friends again. I had a couple issues with the actual content - I wanted it to be more radical and more challenging - but overall I think the organizers did a fantastic job. Outside of the conference I had some conversations that definitely challenged me.

Jessica Yee was there. I love her, she is my hero of life. If you've never read anything she has written, you are missing out, and I urge you to Google her immediately. If you are white, prepare to have your privilege examined. Motherfucka. (Sorry, that just seemed to fit).

I was in the abortion workshop at the conference, and the action we chose to do was to take all the stats about access in Canada and write them all over the place in chalk. So if you're walking around in Montreal this week (particularly by the Berri-UQAM metro station) and you find out that 15.9% of Canadian hospitals provide abortions, you have me to thank. Ha ha.

I am off somewhere else this weekend, so it's kind of stressful times, but those of you who read this blog often are probably sensing a pattern with that. It's good stress, though. Rock on.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Debate Shenanigans

Hi friends. I am sick. It sucks.

We are getting lots of new volunteers, which is awesome. It seems like every week another escort is starting. Kudos to my existing volunteers for their recruiting skills.

Of course, the other side is no slacker when it comes to recruiting - there was a new protester out this week, a middle-aged woman with a sign ("How much does abortion cost? One life") and an attitude. I caught a glimpse of Peter Ryan out there too. I guess the Life Chain was this past weekend (was it? I haven't seen any media) but I didn't catch it, as I had a JAM PACKED Saturday (for real, I bought a hat).

I was at one of the candidates' debates last night, which is always fun. As always, the best (worst?) part is questions from the floor. I have to tell you about this one amazing dude who asked a question. Fair warning, I'm paraphrasing (I don't remember exactly what was said), so amazing dude, if you feel misrepresented, let me know.

Question dude: My name is [something something] and I live in Fredericton. First of all, can I ask a question with an "a" part and a "b" part?

Moderator: Well, we have a lot of people, and limited time...

QD: Other people have done it!

[at this point everyone could already tell he was a beligerent asshole]

Moderator: Sir, there are a lot of other people with questions -

QD: Look, [self-important puffery]

Mod: Ok, ok, if it's succinct. No preamble.

QD: Ok. [Proceeds to give a lengthy preamble, the gist of which was that the candidates were to represent themselves in their answers, and not the party or the party leader.] Part "A" - if your party was in power, and you found your party supported a policy that allowed the torture of Canadian citizens, would you go against party lines to oppose that policy?

[Pause while everyone waits for the part "b", which is not forthcoming]

Mary Lou Babineau: I need to hear the second part.

QD: Well, just answer that part first.

[general outcry and rolling of eyes]

Mod: Sir, you're obviously trying to set them up. Give them the second part.

[some back-and-forth]

QD: Fine, you asked for it. Part "b" - describe what you think happens during an abortion procedure.

Brilliant, right? Hahaha. At this point there was some booing from the audience, and some guy yelled out "it's a closed issue, jerk!". I probably would have booed or yelled myself, except that I was sitting there with my jaw on the floor. I mean, really! I just love how these people make themselves look crazy so we don't have to.

Mary Lou opted to answer the question, and stated that she was pro-choice, the Green party is pro-choice, and that she would "fight tooth and nail to defend that right". The Canadian Action Party candidate said about the same thing, and the Liberal and Conservative candidates both stated simply that they would not reopen the debate. Jesse Travis from the NDP said he was pro-choice, but went on a little side rant about the Christian community (he's Baptist) needing to provide better choices.

Afterwards the question dude was still up there, and said that his question had not been answered. You could tell the moderator wanted to throttle him, but instead asked him to sit down. The whole thing was fantastic. I hope that dude is at the Thursday debate.

Peace out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back to it, once again

Hi, friends.

I know I've been AWOL for a while. It's been a CRAZY month. Crazy.

First of all, we had to rearrange our clinic days for various reasons. So while we did have a couple ordinary Tuesday clinics, we also had a Friday clinic, a Monday clinic, and last week we didn't have clinic at all. So the good thing is that it's confused the protesters, but it has been playing havoc with everyone else's schedule as well.

Personally, I have been extremely busy this month. I spoke at the Take Back the Night March on the 19th, which was a wonderful experience. From that I've had a couple people contact me to start volunteering, so that's awesome. This past weekend I spoke on a panel about restricting access to rights at the New Brunswick Social Forum - so cool. I got to be on the panel with Andrea Bear Nicholas who is my new hero of life.

Also last weekend a guy I used to work with passed away, so there was that to deal with. And as always, work is afoot on the Toujours Rebelles conference that we are leaving for in NINE DAYS, holy crap. That is taking up a lot of my time and energy. I think it will be worth it.

Oh, and I also joined a group of feminists who are putting together a radio show on CHSR on Monday nights - more on that later.

SO. That is why you haven't seen me. But I am still here, fear not. Yesterday I got to be outside with the escorts for a change, which was cool. I had three new escorts to train (hooray!), and they got to see some of the best protesters, including Crazy Legs. Sadly, Glare-y Mary didn't put in an appearance.

Not much other news at the clinic. Dr. Morgentaler was granted standing in his lawsuit against the province, but the province is appealing the decision....which makes me pretty much want to stab myself in the face. The life tape people have split the Bound4Life New Brunswick group into a Saint John group and a Fredericton group...not sure how/if that will affect us at all, I guess we'll just wait and see. Oh, and it's about that time of year again: the "life chain" will probably be happening this weekend, so if you don't get enough ridiculousness in your everyday life, be sure to come out and see it.

I guess that's all I really have to say. For some awesome feminist analysis (and some larfs), check us out on Ovary Acting (This is What a Feminist Sounds Like) on CHSR (97.9FM), Monday nights at 9:30pm.