CONGRESS AVENUE BOOKSELLERS, TEXAS ABORTION RIGHTS ACTION LEAGUE & THE TEXAS OBSERVER are pleased to invite you to a reception and autograph party for SARAH WEDDINGTON on the publication of her book A QUESTION OF CHOICE on Thursday, September 10, 1992 from 5 to 8 pm I cannot attend. Please send me A Question of Choice @ $26.00 Check MC VISA AMEX DISCVR Credit card # Expiration date CONGRESS AVENUE BOOKSELLERS 718 Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78701 “How do you know her?” he said, pointing at me. Becky smiled at him as if she thought he was being overly paranoid. “I know her,” she said. “She’s one of us.” I tried to be friendly to him as we walked away but he didn’t seem reassured. Many anti-abortionists brought their children to the clinic in Southwest Houston. Newborn babies were kept in the sun for hours as their parents did “God’s work.” By now, the clinic defenders had prepared better chants, which they shouted at us endlessly. “It’s my body and I’ll breed if I want to, breed if I want to,” they sang. “You can choose too if it happens to you.” The O.R. side had songs as well, though I didn’t know the tunes. One woman gathered all the children on the anti-abortion side and played her portable organ while the children held hands and sang as they walked in a circle. I was thrilled to finally recognize the tune: “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.” I sang enthusiastically. Things heated up a bit when Keith Tucci walked across the street close to the front entrance the clinic, where National Organization for Women President Patricia Ireland met him with a copy of the Judge O’Neill’s injunction. Tucci took the document, tore it up and dropped the pieces on Ireland’s head. A woman next to me started crying hysterically. “Don’t they realize they’re going to hell?” she sobbed, pointing to the clinic defenders. The distraught antiabortionist asked that I hold her sign while she collected herself. The sign was a picture of David, the mutilated fetus, which I had trouble looking at, much less holding. As I held the sign I spotted my father and sister on the other side. They had their arms linked with other defenders and appeared to be having a good time doing what they felt was worthwhile. I felt ashamed of my sign. I didn’t see how carrying it was respecting life. An anti-abortionist cheerfully passed around pictures in a flimsy plastic album like they give you with your prints at the drug store. The man behaved as though he were showing off his family vacation snapshots. One of the photos showed a fetus which had its head severed from its body and was laid out on a white sheet on this man’s dining room table. In one picture the man and his young child stood by the table glancing at the remains. From what I could determine from the photos, it appeared that the fetus was the result of a miscarriage, because of its size and the fact that it was mostly intact. The man claimed that the fetus came from “a mill I went to close down.” “When I went in, no one was there, only buckets full of dead babies,” he said. He claimed he took the contents home and photographed them for the record. One woman, looking over the pictures, asked if she could show them to her friend. I didn’t know what made me more uneasy, the pictures themselves or the delight the “pro-lifers” took in looking at them. The following Tuesday I put on my recently purchased “Save the Baby Humans” Tshirt and went to Planned Parenthood. I stood next to a group of O.R. leaders and local ministers and tried to listen as they plotted the day’s events. There were no women in the group and I soon sensed that I was not welcome. The rest of the anti-abortion protesters were standing right across the street from the entrance to the building. I joined the others as we sang “We exhalt thee, we exhalt thee 0 Lord.” Like those around me I stretched my hands toward God. Shortly after that the O.R. leaders and ministers crossed the street and exhorted us to “pray for the pro-aborts.” Randall Terry used a bullhorn to let the crowd know how pleased he was with President Bush’s stance on the issue, but added tlfat “We don’t need any more Supreme Court justices like David Souter.” As the all-male leadership got up to speak, they were drowned out by chants of “4, 6, 8, 10, why are all your leaders men?” Half of our group was asked to go to the courthouse where the leaders were to appear so that we could protest “the unjust persecution of Christians.” I rode with Patricia. “The Lord has been opening up many doors for me,” she said. Patricia told me of how she was miraculously put in touch with a group of GOP delegates from Colorado. She had made 1,000 copies of an anti-abortion poem, which, with the aid of the Colorado delegates, she passed out on the floor on the convention. Then, Patricia said, “The Lord put me in touch with someone who was good friends with Pat Buchanan.” The highlight of her evening came when she personally handed the poems to Buchanan. Patricia’s ankle had been sprained during her strenuous activities on behalf of the anti-abortion movement, but she was able to find relief at the courthouse when her O.R. comrades laid their hands on her stricken ankle and prayed for it. The next morning we met at Planned Parenthood. The past few days had been draining and I didn’t feel up to the charade any longer. One of the national O.R. men asked me to point out people I knew within the organization before he would trust me with a flyer with directions to the next mill. Our group was greatly outContinued on pg. 23
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