Every Saturday, when I drive past the Planned Parenthood office in Mountain View, there are anti-abortion protesters. Today, given Alabama and Georgia and Ohio and Mississippi, it was just too much. I decided to join them.
I went home and quickly put together a sign that read “Protect A Woman’s Right To Choose.” Nothing like a little counterprotesting to fill out your Saturday morning.
They were mostly old ladies, although there was one younger woman. She glared at me, but the other ladies were civil. We exchanged “hellos” as we walked past each other.
They didn’t stay very long before after I arrived. I wish I could say that I scared them off, but it was more likely the impending rain.
All of them were carrying rosaries, and one of them was going through the “Hail Mary”s and “Our Father”s.
I thought that next time — if there is one — I should bring one of my rosaries. Maybe the rosewood one from Rome? Or the one made from seeds that suppopsedly was like Mother Theresa’s? I can’t use my silver and amethyst and pearl one: I gave it to my Mom and it became her favorite rosary. It was buried with her.
I can’t decide whether that would be trolling or not.
I pray the rosary from time to time. Wherever I am in my relationship with God, I find the rosary to be a calming and centering exercise. I have been contemplating making a new one out of lapis and Swarovski, but my tremors would make that difficult.
I sort of want to tell the ladies, “I understand you. We’re not so different, you and I. I want to end abortions, too, but I know that is not going to happen.”
I know that among some circles there is a push to say that you are not merely pro-choice but also pro-abortion. I cannot in all honesty say that.
I believe that all potential life is important. In a perfect world there would be no abortion — there would be no need for abortion. Birth control would be effective and easily available, rape would be non-existent. Mothers and children would be supported financially. Students would be supported in working towards their diplomas or degrees.
We don’t live in a perfect world.
Women have abortions for all sorts of reasons, financial and otherwise. Women have abortions so as not to disrupt their education. Women have abortions because they can’t afford another child. Women have abortions because they have been raped. Children have abortions because they have been raped, often by a relative.
Not to mention abortions for the health of the mother (both physical and psychological) and because the fetus is not viable or would die shortly after birth.
My beliefs are just that: beliefs. They arise from a particular religious upbringing. I have no right to impose those beliefs on others. I firmly support the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Too many people on the other side don’t, and they approve of the Freedom of Expression Clause only when it applies to conservative, supposedly “persecuted” Christians. Forget Sharia law; they would impose a fundamentalist Christian theocracy.
So yes, I might be out there again. Even in a safe state like California, we cannot let anti-abortion forces go unchallenged.