The day of the debate arrived. I stood in front of the young people holding large signs so everyone on the street could see. I asked them questions while standing in front of the giant sandwich signs.
Turns out they were more extreme than I had thought. Here are some things I was told by several of the anti-choice group:
- if a woman* doesn’t want a child, she should never have sex
- I should never have sex again
- condoms are abortifacents
- 1/4 Canadian women should be in jail for life
- any mother who has had an abortion should have her kids taken away
- one guy couldn’t see the difference between a 2 year old dying in a fire or 12 blastulae being left in a burning building (reducing suffering was not in his value system)
- organ donations of any kind are immoral and should be banned because the donor has to be alive to have viable organs so it is murder
- people should be forced to donate organs, consent not required (I told the guy who said this there was nothing stopping him from donating a kidney and he declared he would go and do it)
- pregnancy doesn’t affect a woman’s body because (wait for it…) without pregnancy there wouldn’t be more humans (? from a man who doesn’t have kids)
- if there is an 80% chance a woman would die if she remained pregnant, she should still risk it
Except for 2 older men, the protesters were all very young. They were also ignorant of bible passages dealing with unborn slaughter condoned by their god. They were self-righteous, smug and ready to save the world, one unwanted fetus at a time. I hope they will outgrow that like I did.
I turned my attention to the passers-by, as this was on the intersection of two very busy roads and had lots of pedestrian traffic. Another person and I handed out condoms yelling ‘pro-choice, safe-sex’. People who saw the anti-choice signs and got really upset would then see us doing our silly condom dance and laugh. One woman saw the signs and began to cry. I was the one to hug her and listen to her while the sandwich sign people looked on in triumph.
I was chilled by the anti-choice protesters’ ignorance, their insensitivity and what looked like satisfaction in others’ suffering. I was cheered by the reactions of the pedestrians. Especially a tiny grey-haired woman in an old-world headscarf who walked up and gave the sandwich sign group a tongue lashing.
* They used ‘woman’ so I do, although I am aware that people with reproductive uteri are not necessarily women such as trans men and that not all women are in that category either.