Standing Up For Women's Right to Abortion and Birth Control is Righteous!

Women are People Too!
By Lina Thorne

In more than 50 cities on Saturday February 26, thousands of women and men gathered in the streets in unpermitted “walks” to express outrage against the anti-women attacks coming from seemingly all directions. This action was pulled together in only 3 weeks, via online social networking: Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. The director of the whole national effort is Raven Geary, a feminist blogger who came up with the idea after watching events in Egypt unfold. At the rally, she said she was simply fed up and tired of it all: they want to take away our right to abortion, birth control, and now even our access to pap smears!

Women and men in the streets on Saturday were young, angry, inspired by Egypt and Libya, and really new to this kind of political action. And that is ALL GOOD. As this collection of the creative signs that people brought shows, the people who came out are not pulling their punches; the goal is to stand up against what really appears to be a hate-filled force bent on stripping women of their rights, slamming the door shut on basic aid for poor people, and waging war against people around the world. Read reports from some of the protests.

For far too long, pro-choice people have tolerated the intolerant, sought common ground with fascists, and reasoned with lunatics. Yes, we are tolerant, large-minded, and reasonable. But these virtues become their opposite if we do not call out oppression for what it is, if we do not boldly stand up for what is right, if we do not tell the truth about what is rotten and hateful. Our reasonable arguments are cause for changing minds and changing the world – because that is what is needed.

Let’s keep looking to Egypt, Libya, and Madison, WI for lessons in how disempowered people can act in determined ways and shake up, and defeat the forces lined up against us. We stand for a more humane world for the human beings who are struggling to survive right now.  All the people in the streets on Saturday should be proud to say ours is a moral cause. As a wonderful sign brought by a Medical Student for Choice in Chicago said: “Women are People too!” It’s that simple.

What we’re up against is a determined movement in power. Should we be surprised that the media ignores us? Should we be surprised that some people will tell us to “tone it down” in case we turn some people off? Should we GIVE UP because of any of this?

HELL NO!

This is NOT over. What’s next?

Thursday, March 10 is Abortion Providers Appreciation Day. Find a clinic near you and show the staff some love. Call ahead, and then take flowers, cards signed by all your friends…. hold another walk for choice in your community… get a copy of Abortion, Morality and the Liberation of Women on DVD and show it in school, to your friends, at the library… Let’s stay visible, in the streets, reaching out and changing minds. And let's talk about where to go from here and not stop until we stop the anti-women maniacs.