It Was Never About The Babies

A Planned Parenthood. Notice the sign posted on the right and the yellow line on the lower left-hand corner dissuading would-be protesters. (Photo by Austin Hall)

Every week, I go to my local supermarket that abuts a Planned Parenthood clinic. During the quarantine and pre-vaccine rollout days of the pandemic, I went every two weeks or so. Before the pandemic, I passed both places on my train ride to work. Not every time, but a fair amount of times, there were pro-lifers protesting outside Planned Parenthood.

You would think, during the height of the pandemic, when I felt like I was risking my life just to go food shopping, that the pro-lifers, valuing life, would not congregate in large numbers, mask or no mask. This was not the case.

Every time I went by that section of town, I wondered about going up to them and trying to get them to go home and leave the building and its occupants alone. But I figured if you are out there, risking your life in the name of fetuses, then you’re probably a lost cause.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, I’ve wanted to yell at them to leave, telling them, “You’ve won already, go home!” But I haven’t seen a single one there since. Originally, I thought it was because they felt their job was done. Turns out, they aren’t allowed anymore.

A sign posted outside of a Planned Parenthood noting that “A law enforcement official may order the immediate withdrawal of 1 or more individuals who have on that day substantially impeded access to or departure from an entrance or driveway to a reproductive health care facility.” (Photo by Austin Hall)

There are thousands of ways to take care of human life, but one of them is not standing outside a women’s health facility and holding up signs and praying and being a disturbance to the general public.

You could, I don’t know, volunteer at a food bank. Donate food and clothing. You could get into politics and fight for the homeless to be housed. Look into trying to prevent pregnancy-related deaths that disproportionately affect Black women over white women. You could fight for stricter gun laws that make it near impossible for a future murderer to have such easy access to the ultimate murder weapon. You can get involved in schools and try to reform education so that kids learn and get ahead in life.

You could adopt one of the thousands of children who are currently orphaned. You could do your own research about women’s healthcare and learn that many abortion clinics provide health services for women that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. Or, you could just let people, I don’t know, live their life and allow them to make their own decisions about it.

The problem is, I know how they think. It’s easy to see it in black and white. All life is sacred, so all life needs to exist if such a life were possible. Abortion erases a possible life before it has a chance to live. It’s all so easy, so straightforward, to think this way. Much harder to learn about the harsh realities so many living beings currently deal with and how to solve them. Life is hard, after all, so why not make it simpler?

I’ve thought about the mind of a pro-lifer. I know how they think. They have interpreted through their religion that this is their purpose, or they’ve been misinformed and are unaware of all of the above, or they are straight up evil and hate women. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, because they are taking rights away from people who, you know, are currently alive.

They aren’t pro-life, they are anti-choice.

It’s hard to believe, even for me, but they haven’t really won quite yet. This fight isn’t over. This philosophy is anachronistic and it will die, because, believe it or not, there are more of us than there are of them. There are more people that actually believe in the sanctity of life and the rights that come along with it. But, this isn’t going to get better overnight, so I’ve included links throughout this piece for people who care about life to support it. I do that because they’ve won the battle, not the war. I do that because if we give up, then they really have won. Besides, fighting for survival is kind of the point of being alive in the first place.


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