While out on our afternoon constitutional, TomPaine operatives noticed the streams of anti-choice crowds emerging from seemingly every subway station in downtown D.C. They were gathering for the annual rally against reproductive rights, held on the anniversary of the court decision that affirmed that women have the right to control their own bodies.
Quickly realizing we would be lax in our duty to do less than attempt some show of counter-force, we rushed back to the Secret Undisclosed Location Deep In A Bunker Within Qassam Rocket Range Of The White House where TomPaine maintains its operational base and quickly scrawled positive, pro-choice and pro-woman slogans on whatever scraps of computer paper we could find.
We then took to the streets, confident that by following the coordinated hats and scarves of the Christian blond teenage anti-choicers we would meet up with some like-minded feminists along the way, or at least locate some type of counter-demonstration.
However, after scurrying through the streets and across a slush-and-mud-filled National Mall (D.C. received its first snow of the season Sunday night, thanks to global warming and El Nino) for a good two hours, we came up blank. While receiving smiles and encouragement from some passers-by for our signs held proudly aloft, it seemed like we were alone against the vast armies of the Christian Right, easily numbering in the thousands. We debated the wisdom of wading into the crowd, mosh-pit style, but ultimately, we were dejected by the total absence of solidarity. Where was NOW? NARAL?
As it turns out, even the largest pro-choice movements in the country had decided that discretion was the better part of valor and stayed off the National Mall and out of the way of the anti-women fundamentalists until 5 p.m. So we were on our own.
But from now we would like to direct you to NOW's page in remembrance of the women who died from lack of access to safe and legal abortions. There can be no going back.
--Sandi Burtseva and Ethan Heitner
From left to right, TomPaine intern Alina Hoffman on her first day, editorial contractor Sandi Burtseva and assistant editor Ethan Heitner. Signage respectively reads: "Keep Abortion Safe And Legal," "My Body, My Choice," and "Leave Women Alone." Behind them, thousands of anti-woman protestors.
| Monday, January 22, 2007 10:51 PM