Monday, October 10, 2005

Life Chain Me No Likey

Evidently this is what I missed in the IC this weekend:

Anti-abortionists rally in IC

Supporters lined three blocks of the Dubuque Street sidewalk, congregating most heavily in front of the Emma Goldman Clinic, 227 N. Dubuque St., for a little over an hour on Sunday afternoon.

The event, called the "Life Chain," was hosted by Johnson County Right To Life and is coupled with Respect Life Month to help raise awareness about anti-abortion issues.
Interesting...Johnson County is EXTREMELY liberal, so I had a feeling these people bussed here from elsewhere. Later in the article, I read:

Sporting signs, crosses, and a van with a photo of an aborted fetus attached to the side paneling, almost 200 anti-abortion supporters ventured into Iowa City on Sunday to demonstrate their opposition to the practice.

Boy it feels good to always be right. Anyway, they may be Christian fundamentalists but they're not above making snarky comments, it seems:

Although Iowa City is typically known as a liberal city, group members said they received very few negative reactions, adding several people even honked in support.

"It's pretty surprising," said Alice Hale, who opposes abortion. "Maybe all the radicals are still sleeping off their hangovers - it's only 3 p.m."

Um...yeah. Good point, Alice. You're right: most pro-choice "radicals" were just beginning to stir from their chlamydia-infested cesspools of sin.

But then I had a thought: is this just another way for the anti-choice folk to delegitimize the pro-choice movement, or might Alice actually have some factual basis for being such a smart ass?

It reminds me of a book I accidentally read at Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago while pretending to study for Step 2:
100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. Angry conservative rant? Well, yeah, I guess alot of it is. But Bernard Goldberg also had some insightful critiques about the modern feminist movement. He pointed out that the modern feminist movement is sometimes immature and feminists are embraced for hating on men, with such quotes as "Men who are unjustly accused of rape can only gain from the experience" and "men should all be exterminated." These victimizing feminists set the whole movement back by making all feminist women come across as childish man-haters. (For example: "Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them.") Personally I think he makes a great argument. (As long as he understands that fundamentalists exist in all camps and it's unfair to assume that every feminist is an unreasonable radical.)

Just to be fair, Goldberg had some pretty inane ones on his list, like Eve Ensler apparently for propagating a tasteless show which is apparently offensively "filled with anti-male content." Um...I love men and when I produced the show (The Vagina Monologues) one of my brothers and my father were in the audience. They loved it. Goldberg goes on and on about how he's made to feel like he isn't supportive of women because he doesn't think the show is funny. I understand if it's not your cup of tea but don't trash the show. It's been an international revolution and while it may have some style flaws it has done more for women's acceptance of their own sexuality and awareness of the plight of women around the world than any other form of media ever produced.

Anyway, anyway, anyway, getting back to the matter at hand, apparently children as young as 4yo were in attendance:

The event included children of all ages - ranging from kindergartners struggling to hold up signs in the brisk October wind to teenagers leading waves of anti-abortion chants.

"For a lot of families, it is a family affair," said Erin Ferragut, a self-described anti-abortion mother who said Iowa City has the highest number of abortions per capita in the nation. "[We are] teaching our kids our beliefs from a very early age."

She added that it is not unusual for kids to make these types of decisions from a very early age. She herself has been an active anti-abortion supporter since her late teens.

Father Ken Kuntz of St. Mary's Church, 220 E. Jefferson St., agreed.

"Mainly, it's about the children," he said. "If it doesn't start with the children, who does it start with?"
Reminds me of Reverend Lovejoy's wife on The Simpsons:
Every time something bad happens, she screams "won't somebody please think of the children!?" What a perfect example of hyperdramatized emotionality. Sorry Ken. Comments like that don't have a place in the context of rational debate, nope. (In any case, try teaching the children about healthy relationships, safe sex, contraception and STDs, and maybe they won't be needing abortions later. Oh no -- don't feel like handing out condoms, do you? I didn't think so.)

In the end though, see who got the last laugh:

Karen Kubby, the executive director of the clinic, said Sunday that the "Life Chain" is a legitimate form of expression.

The protesting financially supports the clinic - every time a protester appears in front of Emma Goldman, money is donated to the clinic through a program called "Pledge-a-Picketer," Kubby said.

"This helps us provide more service to women in poverty," she said.

"If it grows again next year, we will just be able to help more women."