Ann Widdecombe, you will lose!

// 13 February 2008

Defend a woman’s right to choose!

I’d say about a hundred of us gathered to chant, wave placards and thrust Abortion Rights leaflets into the hands of unsuspecting pro-lifers outside the Liner hotel in Liverpool on Tuesday night. Widdecombe herself of course made no attempt to show her face outside the building, though a handful of santimonious priests strode into the hotel to chants of ‘Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate’ and ‘Get your rosaries off our ovaries!’

Despite the fact that the protesters hardly represented a controversial position, considering 83% of the population is pro-choice, the police had three dogs and two horses on duty to keep us in check. Much to our amusement, however, the dogs seemed far more interested in snarling at the pro-lifers than at the protesters.

Interestingly, the vast majority of Widdecombe’s supporters appeared to be over the age of 70. I almost felt bad directing our chants at them, but my anger at the threat they pose to my bodily autonomy and to the freedom of women everywhere was far greater than any guilt I felt at verbally attacking the elderly. As we chanted on the night: pro-life is a lie. I’ve said it before, and it can’t be repeated enough times:

As long as sex education is as dire as it currently is, as long as condoms break, pills fail and men rape, as long as pregnant women and mothers are discriminated against in the workplace and free childcare is not available to all, women cannot be truly free without the option of having an abortion.

If that option is only available illegally, women die. Women’s right to live, and to live freely, is what quite rightly matters to the vast majority of people in this country, and is precisely why we cannot let Widdecombe and her so-called pro-life supporters go unchallenged.

Comments From You

Lynne Miles // Posted 14 February 2008 at 2:58 am

We need to recruit f-word bloggers in Coventry and Cardiff then we could have a full photo-journal!

Good work!

Lindsey // Posted 14 February 2008 at 8:51 am

Don’t be afraid to shout at the elderly – to have an equal society we must be prepared to shout at everyone equally!

Eleanor // Posted 14 February 2008 at 9:57 am

I wonder if it’s okay to comment off-topic… have F-Worders seen this in today’s Guardian: ? I believe Paddick has scant chance of being elected Mayor of London, but in any case: I don’t want to be guarded, I want to not feel threatened in the first place!

Laura // Posted 14 February 2008 at 3:02 pm

Ha! Good point, Lindsey.

Amy // Posted 16 February 2008 at 10:07 am

“Get your rosaries off our ovaries” – LOVE it!

Heather // Posted 21 February 2008 at 11:16 am

Well done Laura and everyone who was at the protest!

clare bown // Posted 27 February 2008 at 9:27 pm

i have long been confused as to why abortion has been taken on as a feminist issue.unless a woman is pregnant as the result of rape(which is most definatley a feminist issue),then what has it to do with feminism?

a woman has a right to choose whether she has sex and whether she uses contraception or not.abortion should be available as an extreme last resort in the event of contraception failure,but i cant see why it should be necessary beyond 12 weeks gestation(with the exception of abnormalities picked up on later scans).yet i have seen that some people are campaigning for abortion laws to be relaxed,even going sofar as to say they should be available after 24 weeks.

this is not a feminist issue,its a child protection issue.just because a baby is still inside its mother does not give the mother the right to kill it.

by the way,i am not a catholic,or even a christian.neither am i old.

Trisha // Posted 28 April 2008 at 12:11 pm

i was there that night, might of been the youngest one and my boyfirend, who is very firmly pro choice wih myself, were right by the horses at the front.we saw anne sneak out to the door to take a peek at us, but wouldnt dare have the dignity to actually come out and face us.

abortion is a feminist issue.without abortion women are controled by their wombs.contraception can fail, and the woman in question can feel she is not ready to have a baby.if she has an abortion then all the ‘blame’ for ‘killing the baby’ is rested on her shoulders.the man who refused to wear a condom is never questioned.the man who raped the woman is never seen.the man who harshly persuaded or even hit the woman who might have not wanted an abortionis not an issue.

abortion helps women choose what they want.a man can leave and have nothing to do with the child, it doesnt affect him.but the woman must carry this for 9 months and maybe even for the rest of her life.the choice helps women be more free and have more control over theirt lives.

people are never going to stop having sex, you cant stop them in any way really.and women are not going to want to be slaves to their own wombs.


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