The “non-violent” anti-abortion activists
I want to elevate this comment by Sarah in Chicago to illustrate what I mean when I say that just because your average anti-choice activist doesn’t shoot doctors doesn’t mean we should laud them for non-violence.
I’ve stood outside women’s clinics and done clinic escorting, I’ve seen the looks of fear on the faces of women as they duck down to avoid the harassment of the anti-choice ‘protesters’.
I’ve seen these ‘protesters’ repeatedly and flagrantly break federal and state laws to confuse, lie to, and mislead women driving into women’s clinics.
I’ve seen these ‘protesters’ purposefully wear outfits similar to ours in order to appear to be working for a clinic, I’ve seen them use props to seem official, I’ve seen and heard them scream harassment across parking lots, over hundreds of feet from them.
I’ve seen these ‘protesters’ set up video recording equipment, not to record because that is illegal and has been banned, but without recording materials in them, so that it’s obvious their only intent is to intimidate.
I’ve heard my name used by these people after I had been doing clinic escorting for a short while, as well as them knowing details of where I was from, what and where I was doing my doctorate, etc … and they said it amongst themselves loud enough so that they made sure we could hear.
Even the ones that don’t go after those providing reproductive services wielding guns, bombs, etc aren’t like protesters that protest other things they are trying to get changed. If they were, they would be outside political entities, outside congress-people, outside the White House. No, these ‘protesters’ stand outside hospitals and health centres, clinics and providers. They actively try to harass, intimidate, guilt-trip, etc both the women accessing necessary services, and the health-provision providing them.
They aren’t protesters, they are specifically here to generate fear and scare people away. They may not kill directly, but they are most emphatically are using fear to cower people into achieving their political ends, to impose their worldview on everyone around them.
And that’s terrorism … it doesn’t always require a bomb or gun to achieve such, but that’s only a small step from the fundamentally similar ways they act.
Oh, and I only stopped clinic escorting when where I had been doing such didn’t need us anymore, as the protesters had given up … I’m wondering if they may be needing us back again soon.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean the armchair supporter of abortion bans is violent, but if they go out to clinics to intimidate women, obviously their intention is to get their jollies by scaring women they believe are jezebels. But I have to ask the armchair anti-choicers this: How come the violence inherent to the movement doesn’t make you ask the hard questions? It should be clear that if you support state-mandated childbirth, you’re pushing for violence to control women’s fertility. At some point, you need to own this reality.