I was afforded a unique opportunity on January 24 to unobtrusively observe a pro-choice rally.
I had been invited to speak in Austin by Texas Right to Life at a two-day conference for pro-life college students, which intersected on Saturday afternoon with the annual Texas Rally for Life.
Almost bizarrely, the pro-life rally was held on the south lawn of the capitol building at the same time a pro-abortion rally was held on the north lawn.
So, since I’ve attended quite a few pro-life rallies in my time, I thought I’d check out the other side’s.
Clothes and hair immediately separated the pro-abortion event from the pro-life event. But I actually admire people who freely express their external selves, as long as they don’t get nasty.
And hey, I have purple hair at the moment, so who am I to critique? (I actually think my hair helped me blend in.)
I also noted only two children in attendance – but lots and lots of pet dogs – pretty much the opposite of what you’d see at a pro-life event.
Then there was crowd size. Texas Rally for Life counted between 3-6,000 supporters. If the pro-choice rally had 300, I’d be surprised. And this at Ground Zero for them, where Wendy Davis took her hallowed stand in defense of late-term abortions.
But back to nasty, there were the signs – many with vulgar captions; many sporting tired, decades-old cliches; most making no sense if logically debated. (Explain how smegma, ovaries, and crotches have anything to do with abortion?) Click to enlarge…
But the real difference between events was the pro-life rally was all about stopping abortion, and the pro-choice rally was about a whole lot of things other than abortion.
I know why they have to do this. They have to maintain political correctness, and they have to glom abortion on to as many other liberal causes as possible to prop it up.
Anti-abortionists don’t do that. Abortion is our obsession, particularly on the anniversary of Roe v Wade.
But, quoting emcee Andrea Grimes (right), senior political reporter at the pro-abortion website RH Reality Check, being pro-choice means a bunch more than being pro-abortion:
We have a really incredible program coming up. We have speakers from all over Texas who do work across the reproductive justice spectrum. We have midwives, we have doulas, we have people who work at the HIV/AIDS community, we have domestic violence advocates, we have abortion funders, we have healthcare workers, we have state representatives, we really have a really incredible line-up….
So, of course, we’re here to celebrate Roe, we’re here to celebrate choice. But choice is only one very small part of why we are here. We are a pro-choice people, of course, but choice is about much, much more, because without Roe there is no choice, but so, too, without access to safe, legal reproductive healthcare clinics, there is no choice.
Without affordable childcare there is no choice. Without accessible [?] care there is no choice. Without paid family leave, there is no choice. Without affordable health insurance there is no choice. Without [?] there is no choice. When black families and brown families hear that their children will not come home at night, there is no choice. When police brutality is real, there is no choice. When trans and queer people cannot find appropriate and compassionate medical care, there is no choice. When higher education and vocational education is out of each, there is no choice. Roe is just the beginning of all these choices.
That last paragraph actually makes sense to me, as it relates to abortion, which is supposed to be code for “choice,” isn’t it?
Nevertheless, the point is there were many other issues covered. Communism and anti-Semitism were well represented at a book table.
As an aside, one speaker who was a bit rough around the edges had this message for pro-lifers she spotted leaving their rally (1:12:46 on the video):
All those people that’s against us, God bless they little hearts. But you know what? Their mama should have had an abortion.
This was met with wild applause and laughter from the crowd but was obviously a wincer for Grimes, who tried to cover:
Um, oh, God. I’m going to rephrase it. Everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe, deserves a choice.
Then there was this little slam (00:56:45-01:00:28 on the video) I condensed into a tweet, which exposed even more of the pro-abortion schism:
Ew. Remember this was said at a rally celebrating abortion.
At any rate, wow, what group can cover all those issues?
The answer is, it can’t.
Most of us know the example of the big rocks and little rocks. To be sure, pro-lifers involve themselves in proactive causes to preclude abortion, such as adoption, foster care, pregnancy care centers, and maternity homes.
But these directly relate.
Hey, I’m all for pro-choicers spreading themselves so thin they’re not effective. I’m all for them burning themselves out. I’m all for them taking their eye off the ball.
And that’s ultimately the message I got from their so-called “pro-choice” rally, which was about anything but.