Last night, I was having dinner with a friend, and we were discussing the many many bills that have recently been chipping away at abortion rights. There are the recent House bills–which, unlike a lot of abortion-rights-bending, would be federal law. The “forcible rape” language was taken out due to some public ridicule by our man Jon Stewart, but HR3 would still codify the Hyde Amendment and fuck over subsidized clinics. And HR358 would allow pregnant women to die if an emergency abortion would harm the fetus. (Yeah, I know. So very “pro-life.”) There’s the recently proposed bill in South Dakota that puts abortion providers–and pregnant women–in danger. Not to mention efforts to restrict access to abortion in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Florida just in the last year.
It’s all very depressing, we agreed. But lately it seems the only way to fight back is to empty your wallet. Give $25 here, $12 there, go to this $40 fundraiser, get a bus to DC and take off a day of work to go to this event. Even if I did have that kind of money, it still feels so defeatist to be funding (or defending) a revolution piecemeal. And all those 60s activists didn’t need a penny to just get their asses to local rallies and organizations in their area.
Well, I wake up this morning and what do I see: there’s a real, life PROTEST in New York City planned to fight against all these measures on Saturday, February 26. As Vanessa from Feministing succintly said today: Enough of this anti-choice bullshit.
New York City
Both online activism and microdonations are important, but it can’t be the only way we fight. We need to be visible. We need to be angry in front of TV cameras, radio mics, and flip-phones. If Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, and all the rest taught us anything, it’s that the old cliche still holds water: The people (physically) united shall never be defeated.
Sadly, I will be flying to Chicago that day to move my stuff back to New York, which will prove to be about the 800th time I move this year. (Hopefully this will be the last time for a while!) But for New Yorkers who will be there: please, please do me a favor and get your (literal) ass out there next Saturday. And for non-New Yorkers, which yes I realize there are many, kindly follow suit and plan something similar in your area.
UPDATE: There are also planned rallies in L.A., Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Alaska, D.C., the U.K., and Pakistan. So maybe I can go after all!