I’m partnering with a new group to increase visibility of reproductive health care rights and access to abortion. The group is called Voice of Choice.
Voice of Choice came to be when a father on the periphery of the abortion debate was dragged into the fray by an organized virtual – and then physical – mob of protesters calling him, emailing him and finally showing up at his daughter’s school. The protestors’ actions could only be called bullying.
I wrote about this incident back in September. The father organized supporters to politely engage the harassers via phone calls and email, thanking them for their concern, but letting them know that they were acting on erroneous information. Each harasser received similar calls from multiple people and mounds of email. Soon after this counter-protest started, the rude, angry phone calls and emails that the father had been receiving stopped.
Todd Stave, the father in question, saw the effect that this campaign had, and decided to extend the scope of the project to other instances of anti-choice harassment. He started Voice of Choice, and it is growing in leaps and bounds. When the call for volunteers went out I offered to write a couple of articles per month for the new website, and Todd has brought me on board!
I’ve spoken with Todd Stave directly, and am very optimistic about the direction in which VOC is heading. It seems very organized, with clear and measurable goals.
I want your help.
One of the things that VOC would like to do is highlight the experiences of people who have been affected by anti-choice protesters.
- If you’ve ever visited a women’s clinic for birth control, cancer screening, preventative care, abortion or other services and had to walk the anti-choice protester gauntlet, I want to speak with you.
- If you’ve ever accompanied someone to a clinic for any of the above services and had to walk the anti-choice protester gauntlet, I want to speak with you.
- If you are an employee or volunteer at a organization that gets picketed by anti-choice protesters, I want to speak with you.
- If you are an activist or lobbyist who has gone toe-to-toe with anti-choice activists or lobbyists, I want to speak with you.
- If you have had other experiences or run-ins with anti-choice protesters, I want to speak with you.
I want to interview all of you. The interview will be submitted to the Voice of Choice website, and while VOC has final say about what is published, I know they’re eagerly awaiting your stories.
You can contact me by email at bio_dork@hotmail . com. I ask that you send me the best way and time to contact you, and a sentence or two about how you have been affected by protesters. I have a set of questions that I can send by email, or we can chat over the phone or Skype. You can be anonymous or publish part or all of your name.
We can show people that protesters are not just engaging in freedom of speech, but harassing, shaming and emotionally abusing men and women who have done nothing wrong. If people can be made aware of how many of us are personally affected by sidewalk protests, individual internet harassment, and anti-choice lobbying, this type of mean and disgusting behavior will become less socially acceptable.
Please consider adding your voice to this important project.