The abortion bus
So far, all I’ve written in my articles has been the highlights of the JSA speakers program and the speeches during the watch party and my commentary on it.
I thought this time, I’d do something different. After all, this is the campaign of change, isn’t it?
The convention is hosted by Denver and every day I walk through its streets heading to the Denver Convention Center (not to be confused with the actual Pepsi Center, where the convention takes place) or Union Station or even Starbucks to grab a quick java chip frappucino, and I decided that the city of Denver itself deserved its own place in one of my articles.
I decided on writing about Denver itself today because we got quite a bit of free time yesterday and a little bit today, and was as such much more exposed to the politics going on outside the convention floor.
The rows and rows of DNC and Obama merchandise, official and unofficial, on nearly every street were exciting to see, even though I had to save my money for food and other necessities, but the most interesting aspect of the politics on the streets was the protesters. I saw a full spectrum of different protests, from the ridiculous and almost nonsensical - “Stop Global Warming: Tax Meat” - to the conspiracy theories - “9/11 was an inside job.”
I feel the need to point out here that I am not a conspiracy theorist and do not subscribe to this idea despite a couple of rather odd coincidences (which could probably be explained with a little extra thought/investigation) to the legitimate (“Iraq Veterans Against the War”).
That last protest was my favorite not only because I’m an anti-war person in general and specifically was against invading Iraq from the very beginning, thinking that the USA’s most immediate concern was Al-Qaeda rather than Saddam Hussein, but because instead of just waving a premade sign, actually acted out a scene similar to what takes place on the streets of Baghdad every day. In other words, they were very clever about their protest.
Now I will do something else differently than usual. You have heard me speak of the convention and its events in a very positive manner, but there was something I saw on the streets of Denver that I really really disliked. There was a bus that I saw which bore the words “Abortion? God have mercy on us.” Now, it is true that I am very strongly pro-choice, but that is not why I disliked this. Though I strongly disagree strongly, I respect the opinion of pro-lifers and furthermore respect their right to voice that opinion. That was what our country has stood for above all else for nearly two centuries, after all -the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, the press, religion, assembly, etc., etc.
What I was sincerely troubled by, however, was the rest of what was on that bus and the gross excess to which fear mongering was used to bring people over to their side. There was a picture of this bright red, mutilated ... thing that was supposed ro represent an aborted fetus, which was completely mangled and still bleeding. (It was honestly far too gruesome to even describe in words, but the bus passed before I could take a picture.) Next to it was a quarter with the same fetus’s hand, and the blood from it covered the phrase “In God We Trust,” which is engraved on all U.S. coins specifically the word “God.”
Not only is this ridiculous and unrealistic (really, do you think a doctor would waste his time and risk the woman’s safety mutilating the aborted fetus?) but it is insulting to America itself and it disgusts me that the pro-lifers would go that far. It is disrespectful to the women who are actually forced to carry these pregnancies (not usually of their own free will), it is disrespectful to the Supreme Court and the people who fought so hard for Roe v. Wade, and it is disrespectful to America and its people.
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Reflections on a monumental event