At the end of the day Monday, following the massive annual March for Life, the pro-choice National Organization for Women gave their side of the abortion story in front of the Supreme Court, as March for Life stragglers shouted.
Terry O’Neill, president of NOW, welcomed the approximately fifty women who had travelled from around the country to voice their support for Roe vs. Wade, and spoke of the importance of their support for the pro-choice movement.
“Let’s be clear since the 2010 elections we have seen the most vicious war against women that has happened in generations,” she said to the pro-choice gathering. “Last year alone, states passed a total of 92 anti-abortion laws around the country, shattering the 2005 record of just 30 something anti-abortion laws passed. We are here to say that we are organized, women are galvanized women will not go back and women will never give up.”
According to O’Neill, one in three women will have an abortion before the age of 45.
“Abortion care is a common and essential part of a woman’s normal reproductive health care needs,” she said as pro-lifers yelled in protest — to which O’Neill noted that the pro-life protesters also oppose birth control. “They are going after women’s access to birth control. How does that make sense? If they really oppose abortion rights, if they really don’t want women to have abortions, why don’t they make birth control universally available at no cost to all women?”
After O’Neill’s remarks, the pro-choice gathering formed a circle and welcomed participants to explain why they support “abortion on demand and without apology.”
About a dozen women and one man, one by one, stood in the center of the circle before the Supreme Court, to voice their support for the pro-choice movement, and offered reasons ranging from the fact that they had needed and had an abortion, supporting friends who had an abortion, keeping their options to have an abortion open, pushing back the tide of the patriarchy, and at least two expressed opposition to their Catholic school education.
“I am standing here today to say thank you, for the women who died and fought, to the men who supported for decades, and to never let this issue become commonplace. Women deserve the right to choose for whatever the reason they choose,” shouted one woman, thankful for her abortion, from New York.
“A woman who cannot decide, for herself when and whether she will have a child has no more freedom than a slave,” yelled another woman calling for a revolution of full liberation for women, and identifying herself as a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party. “And women are not free than no one is free. Fetuses are not babies, abortion is not murder, women are not incubators.”
“I was raised in Catholic school and I have the scars to show it,” said a male supporter named Damien, “And the one thing I have learned about abortion, that I find so liberating is that there is nothing absolutely wrong, or immoral, about having an abortion. I don’t just identify as pro-choice, I identify as pro-abortion.”
Another women named Holly from Florida explained to the crowd that she got an abortion when she was 23.
“And you know what, it didn’t make be depressed, it didn’t give me any psychological problems,” she said, referring to the concerns many in the pro-life movement have regarding the effects on a woman following an abortion. “I don’t feel guilty. I didn’t cry about it. I went home and rested, the next day I went to work. And that was it. It was the responsible choice and I was proud of it and to this day I know I made the right decision.”
The program concluded with O’Neill thanking the demonstrators for their support and a picture in front of the Supreme Court.