This week, the U of A has been the host to abortion protesters from a group called Justice for All. The group travels around the country visiting college campuses to speak out against abortion. Their mission is “to make abortion unthinkable.” They do this by putting up graphic photos of aborted fetuses. But they also do try to engage visitors in conversations about abortion.
I was tabling with the Community Action Team from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, as well as the U of A chapter of VOX. We gave out information about Planned Parenthood’s health services, and asked folks to sign our petition for no-cost birth control. Many people thanked us for being there, and a few promised to get involved on campus.
This was actually one of my more positive experiences with anti-choice protesters. When I’ve done clinic escorting, I’ve had to sit and listen to people yell horrible things at me and the patients going into the clinic. And I’ve also been told how stupid I am for supporting a woman’s right to choose. Today’s protesters were actually very polite. One of them came over to the Planned Parenthood table to engage us in a friendly debate. I was really impressed, even though we ended the conversation with the agreement to disagree.
I’m happy to be back home, despite the frozen pipes. As civilized as the debate was today, I’d rather curl up with a mug of cocoa and cuddle my dog than sit outside in the cold. Thanks to all the pro-choice volunteers who signed up to table today, I was only outside for a few hours. Now if I could just figure out how to thaw my pipes . . .
Serena is a freelance writer who enjoys baking, protesting, and playing with little dogs.