Last week I attended a rally at the Supreme Court of the United States in DC to stand up for abortion.
Look, I'm in my 40s now, I have been attending these things since I was a teenager in the 90s. I need everyone who still reads my words to understand that this one was different.
Yes, we have a conservative majority in the Supreme Court that will likely overturn the viability standard of Casey vs Planned Parenthood and the rights afforded by Roe v Wade. But what I am here to report on is the crowd.
For decades, you could reliably count on pro-choice women to outnumber religious zealots at a protest like this, like 2:1.
Not so last Wednesday. The crowd was "evenly" divided between sides, allowing for the media to present dumb-ass narratives about how "divided" we are as a country. Bullshit. Voters in the US overwhelmingly support the right to an abortion. But you wouldn't know it from the optics of this event and that's bad. I know too many people - lawyers even - who had no idea that the SCOTUS was even hearing oral arguments on an abortion rights case.
Furthermore, the opposing side was truly, insanely mask off. I had a guy yell at me with my little handwritten "Abortion is Healthcare" sign, about how I was a devil whore. There wasn't a whole lot of rhetoric around protecting women from this crowd, it was full-throated religious zealotry.
Don't get me started on the 6 foot signs with photoshopped pictures of fetuses that were held by these creepers - I call them creepers because they would creep behind you when you were just chatting with someone, then get in your space, demanding, "why do you think it's ok to murder babies?"
I know people who showed up who felt so uncomfortable, like, physically uncomfortable. Well, now imagine yourself as a scared person who needs to enter a clinic. You're uncomfortable with crazed people shouting at you, invading your space, with the explicit goal of making you turn around to get away from them, in a public space surrounded by law enforcement? Well, put yourselves in the shoes of someone seeking an abortion in the deep south or midwest.
Things are bad. Worse than I could have ever imagined, and I am someone who actually follows organizations who track dwindling abortion access in states. The fire is burning right now.
We have to be honest about what we are facing: These motherfuckers in attendance absolutely included the kinds of terrorists who murder doctors and bomb clinics. This crowd was hateful, and let me repeat, filled with zealots.
I don't have any answers. My union - we represent healthcare workers - were out to show our support, and I think it was appreciated. I saw too many grandmas, fuck, they were great-grandmas, tiny little nanas who had been fucking marching for too damn long.
What do I ask of you? The only coherent plan I have, is to donate as much as I am able to abortion funds. These funds help women who can't afford to cross state lines, who need to book hotels and planes and busses. These funds pay for visits to the clinic, or god forbid, the hospital if they need an abortion that is farther alone. https://abortionfunds.org