Banners, Binoculars and Rosary Beads: Anti-Choice Misogyny, Naivete and Invasiveness On Display in Germantown
I want to say a huge personal thanks to the many people from more than 18 states who came to Germantown to help defend the Germantown clinic throughout the week, and to the organizers, whom I will not name, but who have individually spent upwards of 14 hours per day on site defending the clinic. They are there on behalf of all of us. Likewise, I think it is critically important to thank the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department, which did an excellent job of assisting in clinic defense and in making sure that all stayed peaceful. Finally, thanks go to Dr. Carhart for his courage and determination in providing urgent care to women in need.
Yesterday and this morning, I spent several hours assisting with clinic defense in Germantown, Maryland, where Dr. LeRoy Carhart comes several times a month to see patients who need late abortion care.
Sunday (August 7th) was the last official day of "Summer of Mercy 2.0" spearheaded by Operation Rescue and other anti-choice groups. During the last week, anti-choice protesters remained at the far end of the office park from the clinic where Dr. Carhart practices, while pro-choice clinic defenders remained at the front of the driveway leading directly to the clinic and on both sides of the street near that driveway. That changed today, because Dr. Carhart was seeing patients, and so anti-choice protesters stood immediately mixed in among the clinic defenders directly across the street from and right at the entrance to the office park. A woman standing directly behind me was praying the rosary for much of the time I was there Monday morning, holding a portrait of the Virgin Mary and asking God to shed light on these "misguided women who know not what they do."
Overall, the anti-choice movement's showing in Germantown was paltry, though there were a large number of people on the last day, and Operation Rescue or some other group hired an airplane to do a fly-over photo op, for publicity purposes I am sure. Nonetheless there were are are sufficient numbers to make their presence known to women and their families dealing with crises pregnancies and seeking care from Dr. Carhart.
Three things struck me about the anti-choice protestors who were there. First, their misogyny was on full display. Second, they have apparently brainwashed untold numbers of "young crusaders" spouting unsupported ideology about all manner of issues, some of whom were present at the protest. And third, there was a profound level of invasiveness in the tactics used by anti-choicers that might have been comical if not there were not such a violation of basic dignity.