by Abby and Charlotte
Today we rallied for buffer zones in Clinics in Massachusetts. These buffer zones allow for workers and patients to visit the clinic without being directly impacted by protesters.
If anti-choice folks want to protest outside of a clinic, we totally understand that they have the right to be there, and we’re not saying otherwise – but no one should feel fearful to attend clinics or even walk past them.The issue is not the act of protesting but rather the consequences anti-abortion extremism has resulted in for decades – murdered providers, injured patients, and dangerous days at work. At the rally, stories were shared among the pro-choice activists about our own experiences with clinic harassment. Some of the tools anti-choice protesters use are triggering, or meant to manipulate people into feeling shame or guilt, and it can be hard to cope with – especially when you’re seeking help.
Some organizations that attended this protest along with Feminist Majority Foundation were, National Organization for Women, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Planned Parenthood, National Women’s Law Center, and Reproductive Health Technologies Project. We were all there striving for the same goal: a safe environment for patients, doctors and healthcare workers to enter their buildings without worry.
While we were protesting, we ironically had to respect the Supreme Court’s own buffer zone by not standing on the steps with signs, pins, stickers, etc. This is something everyone did, even those who were there fighting the buffer zones we were there to support. We found it very interesting that folks were understanding about a buffer zone outside the SCOTUS but considered asking for one outside an abortion clinic to be too extreme. This is a very powerful and contradictory statement, in our eyes.
Overall we believe the protest was successful and delivered a very strong message. Considering this was our first day as interns, we were incredibly inspired by each organizations hard work and dedication! Let’s do this!