3/01/2011

chicago walk for choice

This past Saturday, I attended Chicago's Walk for Choice. The issue of choice is deeply personal to me. My own mother, faced with an unplanned pregnancy at a young age to man who physically abused her, chose to keep me. She tells me all of how, while at the clinic, she decided that abortion wasn't the right choice for her. I was born in 1985. Just 12 years prior, she would not have had access to a safe clinic or counseling. But because she was able to make a choice based on her needs and advice from her doctor, I am here today.

Our mothers fought so that their daughters would never have to know the kind of painful desperation that they had to suffer through. I tell this personal story because too often anti-choicers forget that unrestricted access to abortion actually saves lives. When women have plentiful access to safe reproductive healthcare, we don't have to fatally mutilate our bodies in moments of indescribable desperation .We can choose to end a pregnancy safely, but more importantly, we can choose to keep a pregnancy. We can take contraceptives and receive anonymous, accurate advice and have our medical needs attended to make every child a wanted child.

The Walk for Choice was in direct response to the bill awaiting Senate vote in Congress to strip funding from Planned Parenthood. I marched with Jamie, Tavi, and Morgan (though I lost her shortly after the walk began ;____;), 3 badass feminist grrls who I am honored to call my friends (yes Jamie, you're on that shortlist now!).

morgz and tavz.

Shitty weather didn't stop us.


It was especially heartwarming to see so many men show up to support our rights.




 Some anti-choicers, a group comprised of about 75% dudes, were counter-protesting. They carried these silly yellow balloons to symbolize "each baby that is murdered", but in ACTUAL REALITY, no yellow balloon could ever symbolize the painful nuances of an unplanned pregnancy. I fucking dare them to give a yellow balloon to a rape victim or a woman whose pregnancy could kill her.

Jamie in the Jansport and Tavi!



Thoughtfully creative Barbara Kruger-inspired signs.


Anyone who says that the interwebz and tumblr don't really make a difference...may I direct you to these most excellent meme signs.

SERIOUSLY.



Life memories, man. The walk was beautiful and empowering and something I'll never forget.

27 comments:

† П. Пachado Vanègue † said...

Amazing!

In Brazil is the same history, abortion is a crime. Those religious and politics know nothing about how is to feel pregnant, especially abused girls. Bastards.

thomas said...

Love you, love this <3

Annie said...

Love you, love this <3

meagan said...

omg annie, the love is totally on this side of the internet. you more than anyone have motivated me to care about these things. thanks for being a constant inspiring reminder of working hard to improve the lives of others.

Gabriel said...

I was actually in chicago, and I would say that the majority of the pro-lifers there were teenage girls. Just look at this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UvOMzO_wdc

Anonymous said...

The pro-life movement wants to overturn Roe vs Wade some day. But their main purpose for demonstrating is to remind everyone that sees them that the genocide of human beings through abortion continues every day. A woman should have a right to choose what to do with her own body, but not to choose to murder her child. The child has a right to life.

The Pro-life movement will never stop reminding you that destroying a little unborn baby girl (or boy) and future woman (or man)is a terrible crime that should always be illegal. Having the child and choosing adoption is the only choice. And murdering a child with a coat hanger is still horrific.

Please look up the story of former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson who ran out of the abortion clinic after she witnessed an ultrasound of the "fetus" (unborn child) trying to get away from the abortionist's vacuum which sucked the child into a mush and extinguished his/her life. Being in denial is a terrible state to be in. It leads to misery and anger. Thus I would suggest looking up the SILENT NO MORE website put up by women who had an abortion and finally came out of denial to the freedom of a peaceful conscience. here is the website: http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/

I realize you probably won't publish this post, but at least you probably read it.

Thank you.

meagan said...

@gabriel perhaps there were several gendered groups that split off, because the group i referenced above was comprised pretty heavily of men.

Gabriel said...

Meagan, the videos show otherwise. Nevertheless, abortion is not a woman's issue, it is a human issue, because human baby girls and boys are the victims, and entire generations of humans are being destroyed..

maren said...

this is awesome <3

wobblinbetty said...

powerful!
xxx

Melissa Huang said...

Thank you so much for posting you and your mother's story. You're amazing.

Anonymous said...

Those yellow balloons were awesome! I dare anyone who supports abortion to take a peek inside an abortion clinic's dumpster. This note is just a reminder that unborn human beings do not belong in trash cans. Abortion is the only option. I can hardly wait to see Roe vs Wade abolished and exposed for what it is...
By teh way, Norma Corvey, the person at the center of Roe vs. Wade converted from pro-abortion rights to pro-life! Save the babies. There is a long wait for adoptions. So keep them little human babies alive! They belong in a family, not a cold dirty trashcan. :(

meg // morningmidnight said...

OH CHECK OUT YOUR PRO-LIFE TROLLS SWEET *eyeroll*

meagan said...

@meg yeah, kinda hilarious. i'm approving them for posterity. this is what these people actually believe. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING AGAINST.

Chicago Streetstyle Scene said...

I am SO PROUD of you women! I am a fierce advocate for women's rights and most importantly the RIGHT TO CHOOSE.

I moved to Arkansas when I was nine years old. Pro-choice advocates have to fight tirelessy in Arkansas to keep access to abortions, sexual education and contraceptives unrestricted. It's a never-ending battle against ignorance and hate. I've been told there are only two cities in Arkansas women can get an abortion - my hometown of Fayetteville and the capital Little Rock. The sex ed at my school district consisted entirely of photos of diseased genitalia to "scare" us out of premarital sex. The University of Arkansas student pharmacy DOESN'T STOCK HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES (if there is one pharmacy in the whole damn state that should carry them, this is the one). There was only one abortion doctor in my hometown and he was viciously picketed and a social outcast.

Several friends of mine who were raised in Southern conservative Christian families, with very openly Anti-Choice parents, secretly visited that very same doctor for an abortion. I also have friends who happily kept their babies. Each of those girls is VERY happy with the individual decisions they made. Thank God they had the RIGHT TO CHOOSE. And the irony of seeing those parents out picketing never failed to enrage me to keep fighting for women.

You're absolutely right - it's about HAVING THE CHOICE.

Jamie Keiles said...

aw super honored to be on the shortlist! thanks for sharing the story about your mom. shows an important side of the choice debate

Anonymous said...

um..censorship? Where's my post?

meagan said...

@anonymous did the comment go through? i can promise you, i've posted every single comment that's come into the queue, regardless of how asinine they are.

Anonymous said...

I had the courage to watch a video about what an abortion actually is. I believe that the majority of people who call themselves pro-choice would re-think their position if they watched what an abortion actually is. There's a video put out by a pro-life organization called liveaction.org run by a young girl named Lila Rose.

I do not want to have anything to do with what I can only call a massacre of children.

You can watch the video here:
http://herestheblood.com/

After watching it I can never look at pro-choicers the same again. They are either completely ignorant or have somehow managed to rationalize evil.

Look up the story of Abby Johnson, the Planned Parenthood director who ran out of the clinic after she witnessed an ultrasound of an abortion and the 13-week of fetus trying to get away from the abortion instrument that was about to vacuum it into a mush of flesh.

I'm sorry, but your side is not only supporting evil, it is making evil possible. I believe the pro-choice people today are like the people in Nazi Germany who rationalized the extermination of human beings.

osodemadre said...

I am a pro-choice mother! I have a wonderfully beautiful son that I would never in a million years trade for anything. I am glad that I was in such a position that I was able to choose to have my son and have the support to keep him. Not everyone is as fortunate as I am. That is why I know abortion isn't something for me but I wouldn't ever tell a women it's something she can't decide to do with her body.

Everyone says that adoption is the only option but have they ever seen how many children are waiting to be adopted. This isn't a one thing solves all problems issue. Adoption isn't perfect by any means. Have you thought about the type of issues that arise from separation of mother and child right after birth in that type of situation?

If we are going to talk about the "baby's" right to choose what happens to their body and if they should "live" why isn't MGM a bigger issue for you? How can you allow these precious newborn boys to get their genitals mutilated via circumcision and that's alright? I will never understand the things people will remain ignorant about in order for them to justify their actions.

As for the ultrasound showing a fetus moving away from the vacuum of an abortion...are you also ignorant and unaware of the side effects of ultrasounds to all fetuses? Every fetus moves away from the harsh noise of an ultrasound. Ultrasounds aren't to be used as a window into the womb, that isn't what they are for and yet they are used numerous times during a healthy pregnancy. What about that "baby's" right to decline the harmful ultrasound they are subjected to?

Anonymous said...

osodemadre,

There's a long list of people waiting to adopt children, not the other way around. This shows that you are not doing your homework and are operating on lack of education. That is what makes it easy for people to be herded like cattle down the wrong path.

As for your son, I am so happy you chose yo not kill him in an abortion--not that you had that right in the first place. Nobody should have that right.

Thank goodness you didn't harm your son. The horror of it all is that if you would have chosen otherwise, he would have ended up like countless aborted children, whose bodies are dumped in the trash (as was done in the video above.)

Realize that if you had secured an abortion you would be living with a lifetime of sorrow, self-loathing and regret as well as a stream of psychological problems.

Every woman that has had an abortion can only find true peace and forgiveness through acknowledging the evil done and repenting. The intellect is made for truth, and the will is made for goodness, so when they are misused to commit evil, the only way is to reject and disavow that evil. Much like a stomach regurgitating the rotten food which was sickening the whole body.

The "Silent No More" campaign is an organization founded by women who regret their abortions and who now campaign to make that horrific crime of abortion illegal.

As for your argument with the ultrasound, you simply make my point. If an unborn baby is trying to get away from the sound, so much more he or she would try to get away from the pliers that would pinch and tear its arms and legs off.

Those of you who rationalize abortion are in denial. And those of you who blindly promote it and fight for the right to kill the unborn remind me of those who supported the Nazi holocaust.

Shame on you if you are too cowardly to at least watch the video at www.herestheblood.com which shows exactly what it is that you say you believe in..

Pro-Pro said...

Anonymous said: "I believe the pro-choice people today are like the people in Nazi Germany who rationalized the extermination of human beings."

http://www.cpforlife.org/
"Hitler himself, and the Nazi doctrine he created, were unequivocally opposed to any individual right to abortion." (Ms., Oct. 1980) The Nazis certainly were not "pro-Choice", but they were not "anti-abortion" either. The Nazis believed that a woman's body beloned to the State, and the State would decide what to do with it."

Anonymous said: "There's a long list of people waiting to adopt children, not the other way around."

http://www.childrenawaitingparents.org/
"More than 120,000 children wait for permanent homes in the United States"

http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/
"Many More Adoptive Homes Needed. Even with the recent increases in adoptions from foster care, the number of children waiting for adoption on September 30, 1999 was more than two-and-a-half times the number of children adopted during that year"

Anonymous said...

I'm from Romania.And to all those who are denying the right to choose of a woman ,all I can tell you is that you are lacking imagination.You have no idea the kind of dramas that Romanian Women were forced to go through,in the communist regime, because abortion was denied.
The film "4 months,3 weeks and 2 days" it's a good place to start :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4_Months,_3_Weeks_and_2_Days

EveyHoneysuckle said...

There's so many kids who are up for adoption that hardly get to step into a permanent home and add onto the fact that every year, we're discovering more and more ways to cure ailments and illnesses or treating diseases that are able to keep us alive even longer, we have a steadily increasing amount of unadopted children continously growing in this adoption homes all because of (most of the time) irresponsible sexual activity or the fact that finances cannot allow you to properly take care of a child.

I believe abortion SHOULD be a choice. And I've seen videos of abortions. Yes, it was disgusting. Yes, it was vile and made me tear up from the carnage. HOWEVER, a woman's body is a choice. Having the government demand how I want to treat my body isn't going to fly with most of America. If they can tell you how to treat a woman's body, what's next? Scheduled bathroom breaks, lunch times, and bed times??? Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but how much closer can we get before "1984" starts rolling around?

Anyway, abortion should be a choice. If a woman is raped, molested, assaulted and the outcome was pregnancy, if she's terrified to give birth to the result of a horrific event, she should be allowed to remove it.

If there's absolutely NOOOO way a girl is able to finance the life of the kid or give them the proper pre-natals to keep it, she should be allowed to remove it.

The only reasons why I would never want someone to use an abortion is if you were a teenager and made a mistake and you're giving it up JUST because you don't want it OR you're a heartless person who sleeps around and sees pregnancy as your "Get out of jail" card to responsibility.

I could NEVER personally go through it, but who am I to tell you how you need to live your life and treat yourself?

A lot of people regret the decision when it does happen, but here's the thing: it's HER DECISION! She chose it, she lives with it, simply put.

By putting this high and moral code on "killing human lives," I'd like to see you put that tag on the death sentence also. What's the difference between a fetus and a prisoner, hm? One can talk and move. That's it, so why are we pushing so much power onto abortions. It should be spread around equally then and not focus only on new life because then that's hypocritical.

that's what I have to say.

Anonymous said...

Slavery was once a choice too. Now history looks back in shame. Those who deplore the horror of abortion yet say it is a choice are rationalizing evil. Abortion hurts women, who live with a lifetime of regret. 1 minute after the abortion is done, the reality sets in and that decision can never be taken back. That's why women who have had abortions live with psychological trauma every time they see a child. 1 year-olds, 5 year-olds, 10 year-olds, bubbly 18 year-olds, etc all remind the woman who aborted her child of what a horrible choice she was led to believe she had a right to have.

Have the child, give her or him up for adoption. but once you hold the baby in your arms you will want to keep the child, who will love you back and call you mommy.

Also, Hitler promoted abortion of unwanted people he felt did not meet the criteria for the Third Reich. Why would anyone want to think like Hitler?

meagan said...

@anonymous

i hope you understand that on the internet, nothing is truly anonymous. using my blog's tracking system, i've been able to deduce that you are either a student or teacher at the moody bible institute. my guess is that you're a student, and on the young side, as the types of arguments you've made are typical of youngsters who haven't fully formed their opinions yet. so i'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. if you're an adult...so help us, god.


Abortion hurts women, who live with a lifetime of regret. 1 minute after the abortion is done, the reality sets in and that decision can never be taken back. That's why women who have had abortions live with psychological trauma every time they see a child.

these soundbites are really good propaganda, but science tells a different story. the american psychological association, a nonpartisan organization dedication to the science of psychology, has said there is no evidence for mental trauma in women who've had abortions. source: http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/women/mental-health-and-abortion.aspx

the things that cause women to experience mental issues are far more likely to be issues surrounding their lives: poverty, domestic violence, drug/alcohol abuse, etc. NOT abortions.


Have the child, give her or him up for adoption. but once you hold the baby in your arms you will want to keep the child, who will love you back and call you mommy.

adoption is great, this is something that pro-choicers and anti-choicers agree on! unfortunately, it's not as easy to adopt a child as you would think. it costs around $10,000 to adopt a child, which means that only middle to high income families can even consider adoption. and most families who have money choose have their own biological child instead. do you believe that the government should subsidize adoption fees? do you believe that gay couples should be allowed to adopt? will YOU plan to forgo your own biological child when you're ready to be a parent, and adopt? didn't think so. since adoptive parents tend to be financially well-off, they also tend to be white. this means that black and hispanic children are FAR less likely to adopted because prospective parents tend to favor "cute" white babies that look like them. source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100420142039.htm



Also, Hitler promoted abortion of unwanted people he felt did not meet the criteria for the Third Reich. Why would anyone want to think like Hitler?


oh man. really? you seem very eager and earnest, so i'll give you some credit, but anytime you invoke the holocaust in argument, you lose instantly. game over. i can't believe i have to explain this, but there's a huge difference between the holocaust and abortion. the holocaust was a systematic genocide that was based on ethnic hatred. hitler's regime murdered millions of people in gas chambers simply because they were jewish. they stole money from jewish businesses, they vandalized jewish property, they forced the jews to live in squalor in ghettos, and they raped jewish women.

clearly this is not the same thing as a legal medical procedure.

to compare hitler to the abortion trivializes the horror of the holocaust. and this is why you lose.

i really hope that you or no one close to you ever gets pregnant before you're ready, is ever raped, suffers from a fatal disease whose only cure is to terminate the pregnancy, and i hope to god that your child is never born with a disease like tay-sachs and abortion is the only way to prevent your child from living a short, painful life.

Bibi said...

I was interested to read this post, which gave a great insight. I didn't know much about the walk for choice, coming from England ... the graphics were amazingly strong reminiscent of Barbara Kruger like you mentioned + Raymond Pettibon here's hoping they made an impact
Bibi