They’re back. One week shy of the first anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller by a pro-life activist, the anti-choice outfit known as Justice For All has returned to the Pasadena City College campus, bringing with them their colossal graphic images purporting to show aborted fetuses. JFA, staffed mostly by earnest young students from Christian colleges, spent three days on campus last year. Many of my students were traumatized; on a campus where there are thousands of women who will have chosen abortion, the displays are cruel and misleading.
I urge folks to engage with the protesters only if they feel they must. I’m much more concerned with the emotional well-being of my students, particularly those who have undergone abortions themselves. I make my office available to them for conversation, and ask them to reach out to others, particularly in our strong and growing campus feminist community.
For those who do wish to argue with the pro-lifers, I always recommend asking them the famous question: “How much jail time should a woman do for having an abortion?” I recommend that they videotape the answer they receive. If they get the standard right-wing dodge that says “We don’t support jailing women who have abortions, because we think that they are victims too; we only want to go after doctors”, I suggest my students point out that that stance infantilizes women, calling into question their fitness to parent in the first place.
I am told Justice For All will be on campus for four days this week. In honor of Dr. Tiller, in honor of my own recent birthday and in honor of my wife and daughter and women everywhere, I’m giving $43 to pro-choice organizations for each day that the JFA display disfigures our campus.
Today’s $43.00 goes to the National Network of Abortion Funds.
Tomorrow’s $43.00 will go to Medical Students for Choice.
Wednesday’s $43.00 will go to Planned Parenthood.
Thursday’s $43.00 will go to Advocates for Youth.
I invite my current and former students in particular — and all others — to join me in this campaign for reproductive justice. Other worthy organizations besides those four named above include the National Abortion Federation, Feminist Majority, and Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice.
Like the great Dr. Tiller, I am a father, a husband, a feminist, and I trust women. My contribution to justice has been far less than his, but I want my name associated with his, and ask that those who would curse his name do the same with mine. And I ask that those who support and trust women, who believe that their wives and mothers and sisters and daughters deserve choices and sovereignty, join me in giving this week in his honor.
Here’s my post from last year, written the day Dr. Tiller was shot: â€When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and dieâ€: of a doctor, an usher, and the answerer of a call.