One of the biggest contrasts between the pro and anti choice camps is how we behave. Chances are high that any violence or aggression with respect to abortion is coming from the anti camp. They show up at our clinics to yell at our patients and show them gruesome pictures. They are aggressive, loud, and rude. They kill our doctors, they threaten our staff and they send death threats to politicians (there’s and ours). Their violence knows no end.
Then there is the pro-choice camp. We man phone lines, fundraising for abortion or soothing panicked women. We house women who travel for hours so they can comply with mandatory waiting periods. We defend our clinics, and once and awhile, we march. We blog. We write about our experiences and we try and normalize abortion; the word and the procedure. And, at least in the U.S., I think, we are losing. Everyday another state enacts another anti-choice measure. Everyday it gets just a little bit harder to get an abortion. Everyday another woman is forced to carry her pregnancy or seek an unsafe abortion.
So I wonder. I wonder if maybe we are doing it wrong. We are good people. All we want is for all women to have control and choice and respect. We are fighting the good fight; and yet, we are losing. So I have to ask, are we too nice? Would we be more successful if we were aggressive and violent like the anti’s? Would people start paying attention if we stopped being so nice? What if we put up billboards of women who died from botched unsafe abortions? What if we protested outside of anti-choice churches? What if we sent angry letters to priests and pastors and politicians? Would we stop losing? Would we start winning?
I don’t have the answer. I am not a violent person. I don’t condone violence. I abhor violence. But we are losing. Women are losing. Do we need to reconsider our tactics so that women can win? Is violence and aggression necessary to get the attention of the lawmakers? I love the quote about well-behaved women rarely making history. Are we being too well behaved? Are we going to be a mere sentence in a history book? The women who tried and failed because they were too well behaved? I abhor violence. But I would abhor a world where women were forced through their pregnancy even more. So. We have a choice. Between a rock and a hard place.