The New Abortion Caravan: Stories and Lessons from the Road
by Jonathon Van Maren
Today, the New Abortion Caravan hits Kelowna after a week in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Langley, Aldergrove, and Chilliwack.
There has been a steady stream of testimonies of changed hearts and minds since Tuesday when the tour began. One of our interns even bumped into someone, while dropping off our graphic postcards, who informed him that he’d just changed his mind on abortion because he walked past “Choice” Chain.
The New Abortion Caravan launch was incredible—the video can be watched here—with pro-life supporters from every age group coming out to support Canada’s largest ever cross-country pro-life initiative.
While a number of media outlets did contact us—the Vancouver Sun interviewed Stephanie Gray, as well as a CBC reporter on the ground at the rally—for the most part the media remained quiet, with a few exceptions (like CKNW Radio). The reason for that is pretty simple—at the launch of the New Abortion Caravan, there was no way to make the pro-lifers look bad, and there was no way to make the pro-“choice” movement look good. The media often tries to catch the pro-life movement with their pants down—instead, they found that the pro-abortion movement already had their pants off.
The reaction of the pro-“choice” crowd to the New Abortion Caravan has been varied. The presence of SFU professor Dr. Alexander Moens raised the ire of the pro-abortion crowd, including the SFU Women’s Centre. Although he represented no one but himself at the Launch, a small segment of SFU students have still been attempting to have him disciplined for having a different opinion than them (and one backed by science and philosophy, no less). While Simon Fraser University’s President Andrew Petter has ignored these juvenile whimperings thus far, these sophisticated ideologues have gone as far as to suggest putting a bloody tampon on his desk.
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada director Joyce Arthur is infuriated by the New Abortion Caravan, responding in fine form by intellectually calling it “The New Abortion Crapavan” and saying angrily that, “I cannot even call itself what ‘they’ want. It’s such a sacrilege.” She responded to debate on Facebook by deleting all comments and banning the users, confirming that the pro-abortion ideology cannot stand on its own two feet and is clearly ready to join history’s trash heap of failed ideologies.
There are always lessons to be learned on the road, and a particularly poignant one surfaced as well. Jamie, one of the head protestors at the New Abortion Caravan and a particularly vociferous one at that, wrote the following on a blog:
“Today was also different than in the previous weeks, in that the pro-lifers who stand out on that corner shaming women for accessing an abortion weren’t so quick to accuse women of being sluts, tell me I’m disgusting and should be ashamed of myself, or tell my fellow pro-choice demonstrators that I am asking to be raped multiple times and deserve it. I guess someone had a talk with them after I shouted and swore at them at top volume, informing every one of their peers from the CCBR ‘caravan’ what kind of people they really are. If that is the case, CCBR, I owe you my gratitude for getting their slut-shaming bullsh** out of my streets. But I’m not satisfied with that, because I’ve become more intimately educated about your cause in the mean time, and can no longer think of it as a joke.” [Emphasis mine.]
I find it hard to believe that pro-lifers are actually standing on street corners saying the disgusting things that Jamie says they do, but if this is indeed the case, they should be ashamed of themselves. The sign Jamie was carrying indicated that she had been raped. Hatred on behalf of pro-lifers towards those we are trying to reach is never acceptable, but is particularly destructive in this scenario. The entire basis for the pro-life position is that every human life has inherent dignity and beauty, and that includes those of all worldviews. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Whom you would change, you must first love. And they must know that you love them.” Hatred has no place in the pro-life movement. It is a cancer that will destroy us. The New Abortion Caravanners follow in the footsteps of those that fought hatred with compassion.
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