Abortion Fans and Foes Plan April 25 Events
WASHINGTON — Study time for finals at Ball State University will be rearranged so pro-life student Monica Moak can be at a pro-abortion March in Washington, D.C.
She plans to join a counter-protest of the March for Women's Lives planned for April 25.
“This is a totally different experience from going to the March for Life,” Moak said. “It's a chance to interact peacefully with those on the other side and to tell them that as college women we are not willing to let them represent us. Women need to feel they don't have to choose abortion.”
Randall Terry said organizers of the abortion march only secured the street portion of the walk route. So he secured the sidewalks and has organized hundreds of pro-life volunteers to line the route of the abortion march.
Pro-abortion marchers will have to walk past eight blocks organized to drive home the point that abortion is not good for women or society: Mothers and fathers with children will occupy one section, a playground filled with kids another.
Later, pro-abortion marchers will see college-age students holding signs reading, “You killed our siblings,” a reference to the fact that abortion became legal nationwide just a generation ago. Other sections will hold converted abortionists and women who have had abortions.
Organizers of the March for Women's Lives didn't return a call from the Register for comment, but they did release a statement noting that more than 1,100 organizations have joined together for their march.
One of those principal organizers is the American Civil Liberties Union. For that organization, the legal right to abort an unborn child is a matter of privacy.
“In recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented attack on our civil liberties, and reproductive rights are a prime target,” said Anthony Romero, the organization's executive director. “It is time to stand up and collectively tell the government to stay out of our private lives.”
Randall Terry is no stranger to the pro-life cause. He ran Operation Rescue during the late 1980s but now operates a group called the Society for Truth and Justice.
“We can't allow the pro-abortion crowd to have a free ride in the media,” Terry said. “They are going to herald child killing as a woman's best friend
“Abortion kills a child and mars a woman,” he said. “The abortion experiment has failed.”
Ball State's Monica Moak, who serves as co-president of Students for Life at Ball State, credits her local parish for inspiring her pro-life activism.
“My Catholic church has a good youth program and one of the things they focus on is pro-life issues,” she said.
Now Moak is busy coordinating transportation for students from three different colleges in the Midwest to make the nine-hour drive to the national's capital.
“We want women to feel they don't have to choose abortion, that they have other options,” Moak said. She noted that her pro-life group operates a baby shower every year for college women who embrace life.
Kelly Kroll, a senior at Boston College, will also be counter-protesting at the march. She's the spokeswoman for the Symposium on Woman and Children, an event co-sponsored by American Collegians for Life and Feminists for Life and scheduled for the day before the pro-abortion rally.
“If you're really concerned about women's lives, you wouldn't promote abortion, which causes women enormous physical and psychological trauma,” Kroll said.
“College women from across the country are coming to our symposium to hear the truth,” she said, “that children aren't the enemy and that college women shouldn't have to choose between their child and their education.”
The symposium will feature several women involved in the pro-life movement talking about the dangers of abortion to women, how the early feminists were all pro-life and the current progress of pro-life legislation on Capitol Hill.
Rock for Life also plans to be out in force to counter-protest the abortion march, but it won't be playing any music.
“This is not a celebration,” said Jason Jones, head of Rock for Life. “We see this as a very serious day. We have to remind them that their lies are not believed by everyone. Forty-five million dead is way too many.”
Jones predicts the abortion marchers have the potential to get unruly. That's why he had to institute a rule regarding his youth-based organization.
“They're the same folks who go to the WTO protests, so we are only allowing those 18 or older to come with us to counter-protest,” he said.
A group called the Radical Cheerleaders of D.C. is calling for “feminists, radical cheerleaders, anti-authoritarians, anarchists and all those concerned with women's autonomy” to join the March for Women's Lives. Also, the march will be preceded by protests during the IMF/World Bank annual meeting in Washington on April 23-24.
Jones also promised a boycott of all music venues that host fund-raising concerts for the pro-abortion march.
With all the counter-protests, Moak is hopeful that recent poll numbers showing a majority of women as pro-life will get even higher.
“More and more young women are rejecting abortion and that's why the folks at Planned Parenthood and NARAL are so worried,” she said. “They realize that young pro-life women are the future.”
Joshua Mercer writes from Washington, D.C.
- April 11-17, 2004