THIS is how you organize a pro-choice counter-protest

This coming Saturday, the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) will be arranging kerbside vigils in towns across the country. This is to ensure that no one gets too cocky about it being 44th anniversary of the 1968 Abortion Act. My town’s on the list – is yours? (If not, never mind – my local bigots are just better organized than yours).

Of course there will be counter protests, although I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to take part. The best pro-choice counter-protest of late was surely the response to 40 Days of Life, whereby pro-choicers donated money to the BPAS for each day of the anti-choice campaign. Even I donated, much as it pained me to dip into The Shoe Fund. If there’s something similar going on, then – sigh – it’s another month till those “essential sandals” come my way. But as for direct, on-the-streets action? I’m not so sure.

The trouble is, without wishing to sound defeatist, I do in fact feel pretty defeatist. If these people cannot already look at a pregnant woman and accept that her body is her own, then I cannot imagine that my presence before them will make a difference. The fact is, I’d like to go along to these protests, but just to piss the anti-choicers off. Because I’m just so sick of it all, sick of explaining myself to no avail and still facing the same crappy responses.

Hence, just to give myself some personal satisfaction, I’ve come up with my own pro-choice counter-protest plan. Below you will find a series of suggestions for what do when you come face-to-face with the poor, sad, fetus-mourning bastards. Please feel free to add your own. Or if not, just join me in trying to make their compassion-free little heads explode:

  1. Drag a reluctant teenager along to your protest and spend the entire day provoking him or her. When finally said teenager turns to you and yells “I WISH I’D NEVER BEEN BORN!”, cast a suitably smug glance at the Spuckers opposite you.
  2. Arrange to be eight months pregnant by the time Saturday comes and write “pro-choice” across your swollen belly in smutty eyeliner. For extra effect, add a speech bubble containing the words “don’t worry, Mummy, I’ll respect your decision!”.
  3. Sponsor a pop-up blood donation tent directly next to your protest and physically drag random passers-by into it. When they tell you it’s inconvenient, become incredulous at how they can possibly put convenience before saving a life! Then stab them in the arm with a needle before they can escape, telling them gravely that yes, it’s their body, but another person might die.
  4. Display massive blow-up posters of dismembered fetuses to show just how hardcore and non-squeamish you are. If, like me, you’ve had a miscarriage, bring along the remnants in a Tupperware box. I mean, I didn’t save my own remnants – I was too upset – but think about it. This is for a greater cause. Or at least it will do the job of appalling some complete and utter bastards who don’t give a shit about the fact that women such as you and I already know what broken-up bits of potential baby look like.
  5. Arrange a competition in which you out-do each other for frivolous reasons for having a termination (e.g. It was due on a Saturday and I couldn’t risk missing the new season of Casualty). Then when you mention any real reasons (say, not wanting to have a baby), they might actually sink in for once.

This is all I can think of for now, but I’m sure more will pop into my fury-filled head. After all, I’ve got four more days to plan for this. For now I’m off to buy more eyeliner.

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