On one side of the Public Square in Cleveland is the screaming masses of Wesboro Baptist Church wannabees holding signs of hate and yelling into a megaphone. On the other was the Lady Parts Justice League, a pro-choice activist group that makes funny videos (think the Daily Show, but with a purpose).
This time though they weren’t being funny.
It was an odd scene to say the least – Sharron Paul, a tall African American woman and a member of the Lady Parts Justice League was telling a story of another woman’s abortion above the volume of noise coming from the WBC knock offs. It was the story of a young woman who was planning to have an abortion. She was not promiscuous, she was not careless or any of the other things that the anti-choice crowd likes to accuse woman of. She just already had children and just couldn’t afford/handle a third at her young age. There were more stories, some told by members of NARAL ProChoice Ohio. All had the theme – abortion is a right, abortion is normal. The goal was to normalize and take away the stigma of this procedure. The crowd listening was small and one of them, was heckling them but story after story they continued.
Towards the end of the speakers, Lizz Winstead took the stage and told her own personal story. The Co-Creator of the Daily Show and head of the Lady Parts Justice League came to this cause early – when she was a teenager she needed to have an abortion. She was first sent to a fake clinic – usually run by Christian pro-life groups – where they showed her distorted pictures of aborted fetuses and said that her, “…options were ‘Mommy or Murder.'”
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s executive director Kellie Copeland finished the program with a call out to the men on the other side of the square. “So, at the NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio office in Cleveland we’re in the same building as the abortion clinic and those of you who have heckled us – If you think you’ve said anything that we haven’t walked through before, I got news for you. We’ve heard it all and we don’t care what you have to say about our lives.”