These Alabama “pro-life” protestors retraumatized a mother whose baby died in utero:
Pro-choice marchers recalled a particularly painful event last month when a woman whose baby had died en utero was coming to the clinic to have it removed. In an awful coincidence, that was the day, Watters said, when the pro-life demonstrators collected a children’s choir on the sidewalk to sing “Happy Birthday Dead Baby” to anyone driving in.
“Will had to physically restrain the father,” Watters said, nodding to one of the men marching in a pro-choice jacket. “And by the time she walked through them, she was an emotional wreck.”
Are you fucking serious? Alabama has some of the most strident laws restricting access to safe and legal abortion in the country. The Alabama’s Women Center for Reproductive Alternatives–one the few places women in need can turn to since 93% of counties in Alabama don’t have a single abortion clinic–is required to publicly list the days when the procedure is conducted. And that fact allows for a perfect storm in which staunch ideologues clash with women whose personal circumstances are unknown to them.
Pro-lifers, you don’t know every woman’s situation when seeking an abortion. And the presumption that any woman takes that decision lightly is grossly naïve and insulting. Were you phased at all when you realized the tragedy that brought this mother to the clinic? Did you have a tiny inkling that perhaps you don’t have the right to impose your values on another woman?
As we approach the 40th anniversary of Roe, the public discourse around a woman’s right to have a safe and legal abortion is locked in an incomprehensible whirl of shifting legal definitions of life, personhood, and rape, and numerous restrictions have achieved the inconceivable in the aftermath of that landmark legal ruling: It’s now extremely difficult for women to access safe options for terminating their pregnancies nationwide.
And, on top of everything else, at this clinic in Alabama, they might find themselves sprayed in the face with holy water.