I got sucked into HBO's documentary "12th & Delaware" about a community in south Florida where an abortion clinic and a "Pregnancy Care Center" are located- literally- across the street from one another. The anti-choice (I dislike the term "pro-life" because it is misleading) "Pregnancy Care Center" is a faith-based outfit that, essentially, spends its resources trying to convince girls not to have abortions.
From what I've seen, they terrorize these girls. They give them false information, such as telling them they're only 7.5 weeks along when they're 10 weeks, thus tricking them into thinking they have more time to make a decision and then find out it's too late. They show them gruesome videos of abortions gone wrong. They give them false information and bogus stats, linking breast cancer and a future inability to conceive to abortions. They offer them gifts, money, and support. Girls apparently often mistake the Care Center for the abortion facility, and the staff does little to dispel this until the girls find themselves embroiled in a conversation intended to talk them out of having an abortion.
The worst offense, in my opinion, is the protesting at the abortion clinic. They try to stop girls going in, screaming horrible things at them or trying to sweetly coerce them away from the clinic with promises of money and help. They have signs, slogans, chants, and humiliating tactics.
And the thing is...I just don't get it. They claim to be advocating for the rights of unborn children, but it seems to me that if they feel so strongly about the value of human life wouldn't their efforts be far better spent in helping the children that are already here? Instead of protesting outside of an abortion clinic, why aren't they advocating for the welfare of children who are homeless, impoverished, abused, raised in drug-addicted households and facing a lifetime of limited choices and scarce resources? Why aren't these people offering money and support to those women who have already had babies and are desperately trying to take care of them?
I can't see the logic here, but then I suppose I don't see the theoretical logic of their whole argument either. I cannot understand the practice of manipulating and attempting to control women or altering the choices they make about their bodies. Even worse, this "Care Center" proffers staff in the delicate position of appearing to be medical professionals (because anyone in a lab coat with a clipboard has a great deal of psychological control in a clinical situation) and throwing "statistics" at women and girls who are scared, confused, and alone. This, to me, is a kind of terrorizing subject to gross misconduct.
I respect peoples' rights to their personal opinions. I understand and respect the school of thought surrounding a woman's right to remain anti-choice. But I cannot and will not respect anyone who attempts to utilize their own personal opinions to interfere with someone else's choices.
And, again, I point out that their time and resources would be so much better appreciated on this earth if they concentrated on advocating for the well-being of children already born.
Whatever side of the fence you're on, it's a fascinating documentary and worth watching.
Also on my radar: Spike Lee is coming out with a new documentary about the oil spill as follow up to his "When the Levees Broke" and focusing, again, on the beating New Orleans is taking. Again. Five years post-Katrina, this city is facing another need for a phoenix-like rebirth. "If God Is Willing" is another NOLA expose, but it also points fingers at the oil industry as well.
“Oil is a bigger industry than slavery was in this country,” Lee said. “A whole lot of people making money.” “If God Is Willing” highlights the control BP has on the region and why it’s a difficult balance for citizens who must rely on the billion-dollar oil empire for work yet are disgusted by its mishandling of this ordeal.
And, of course, there's also the Comedy Central "Roast of David Hasselhoff" tonight. TV watching is looking quite good these days. I start training for the marathon relay in October this week so my crazy party summer will be transitioning to a quieter, hopefully more-focused fall. After all of this fun-having, nights in on the couch aren't looking so bad.