Friday, August 14, 2009

Semi-Dangerous Rant

First, let me start by emphasizing that this is not intended to become a politically charged post. However:

This morning I walked to our local grocery store, which is inconveniently located adjacent to a Planned Parenthood, in front of which protesters often gather. Naturally, they stay behind the "20 foot yellow line", which places them roughly at the entryway to the grocery store, complete with placards of unborn fetuses. These are not the images one wants to see pre-coffee (for which I was heading to the store), so I chose to barrel through silently, staring intently at my shoes. 

Now, whether you are pro-choice or anti-abortion, you have the right to your own beliefs, and far be it for me to change your mind. Let me make that clear. 

As I was leaving the store, with not only milk but an impulse challah and some more yogurt to make the utterly-addictive fro-yo in my new ice cream maker (thanks R & K!), I was too burdened to truly avoid the geriatric pamphleteers, and she tried to foist upon me something entitled "Just the Facts."  I shook my head to decline (which is far less than the tirade I would have been happy to unleash, were I not on a schedule and hitherto decaffeinated.) She then hollered as I crossed the street "Thank your mother!"

Um. WHAT? 

Like I said, whether you're pro-choice or anti-abortion aside... What gives a group of zealots the right to accost the milk-buying women on Boston on their reproductive rights in the street at 8:30am? 

Point 1: I wasn't even going to the planned parenthood. She doesn't know if I am, in fact, currently pregnant. Or if I'm infertile. Or if I'm adopted. Or if I hate children. Or if I am a virgin. Or if I had an abortion last week. Or if I'm bonking her grandson. Or anything about me. The parallel would be if I stood outside the 7-11 by the senior center and shouted "Euthanasia is an option" to anyone with a wrinkle. 

Point 2:  Almost every girl I know (myself included) has had a pregnancy scare, and many went to a clinic to even get a test. So, accosting people who have yet to come close a decision is so very alarming. It's like promoting bridal services outside a movie theater on date night. When it comes time to buy that gown, you're not going to that store!

Point 3: I understand that for those genuinely entering to have an abortion, this might be their last chance to accost them with the "truth." Surely, a modicum of empathy might lead you to believe that these women have made a VERY hard choice. To be chastised for it publicly isn't helping. The breadth of circumstance surrounding that choice is so complex that they idea of broad-based reprimand is almost ludicrous.

Point 4: Meanwhile, where were you until now? If they are religious women, why didn't their church community and beliefs intervene and coax them away from this decision (if that's the basis of the argument). If they aren't religious, why was religion not sufficiently compelling to entice them on a more broad basis? If they are young, why didn't all that misguided abstinence education succeed? If they are on birth control, why didn't the education around that succeed? 

My point is simply that this is a case of hail-mary marketing, which only highlights the failure of any upstream marketing efforts prior in this woman's life. 

It took all my self-control today not to lash out against the protesters this morning - not for their ideals, but for their strategy. It was an obvious case of the means foiling the end. 


Kir said...

That is quite a rant my friend ... but you are right on. If they really want to help - they would figure out how to educate early enough to make a difference ... sorry your morning started out with that less than warm and fuzzy wake up call.

Lilac - Like The Flower said...

yeah, Kir. It was a really frustrating experience. But, I suppose life isn't paved with rose petals.

Lynne said...

Perhaps you should go there and teach them about upstream marketing and how their strategy is flawed. It could be your way of giving back to society ;)

hornett said...

Anyone who is willing to picket in front of just about any establishment (Goldman Sachs excluded) is already several standard deviations off.
And facts? You can use facts to prove almost anything.