This is not new news: anti-abortion activists are batshit crazy. But at least one local group of pro-choice activists is willing to battle the batshit while armed with umbrellas and picket signs. The newly-formed Seattle Clinic Defense has made picketing limited-service pregnancy centers, which prey on vulnerable women, its main focus amidst all this women's health care madness (see: pregnant women being arrested for fetus endangerment, fetuses testifying at legislative hearings, and proposed cuts to federal Planned Parenthood funding).
Liz Fawthorp, a member of Seattle Clinic Defense, says the group's goal is to brainstorm more aggressive ways of combating threats to reproductive health care—a la the batshit crazy (yet arguably effective) Christian right.
"I didn't feel like there was another way to move forward," she says. "We can't wait anymore."
They've scheduled their first protest for this weekend at the LifeChoices Pregnancy Center in the University District. There's just one problem—that center no longer exists. When I pressed Fawthorp on this issue, she essentially said, "Whoops." If you still want to go, here's the link. Maybe after this embarrassing blip they'll get their shit together.
But let's focus on the positive, shall we? Fawthorp isn't the only one who's fighting for reproductive health care rights. After the jump you'll find photographs and stories from women who attended the pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Cal Anderson Park on Saturday...
- "It's kind of assumed that [abortion] will always be a choice. But it's not automatic. It's not always going to be there." Gabby Fraley, Mill Creek.
- "I'm pretty outraged. I feel that our rights are being taken away." Frankie Petitclerc, Whidbey Island.
The rally was big enough to attract a few anti-choicers, whose dead baby porn looked weirdly militant in an otherwise serene crowd of pink signs, and it was quickly—and civilly—covered up by strategically placed Planned Parenthood supporters. These women repurposed a sparkly pink scarf:
- "We're the Neighborhood Temple Priestesses. There's a lot of not getting the message out, and a lot of apathy. We wanted to do something proactive. It's frustrating you can't do more. Women are scared. It's a kind of paralysis." Delilah Flynn (left), Fremont.
Samantha Casey was also following around an anti-choice protester with this sign, and described her experience with protesters as a clinic escort for Planned Parenthood:
- "They're old and you could probably outrun them...Access to abortion and birth control saves people's lives. Everyone says that, but it's true." Samantha Casey, Gig Harbor.
The rally ended with its own direct action—the crowd was loosed on Capitol Hill with petitions and instructions to spend the afternoon gathering signatures in support of national funding for Planned Parenthood. Back at the park, the anti-choicers were left to stand in the mud, leaning their gory signs against the ground, not quite sure where to go or what to do next.