A small group of pro-life protesters assembled today in front of Family Planning Specialists Medical Group, an Oakland abortion clinic. In response, members of several groups including the ANSWER Coalition, World Can’t Wait, Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights, and Bay Area Radical Women staged a counter-protest across the street on the 200 block of Webster. Police officers were on the scene, calmly talking amongst themselves as a man in a cowboy hat continuously shouted that the pro-choice protesters were “pot-smoking, government butt-kissers!”
The pro-choice protesters may likely be outnumbered tomorrow, but were more numerous than their opponents at today’s pre-protest. “I’m here because I have a 26-year-old daughter and I want her to have choice. That’s it,” said Richard Phelps, who was debating the issues with some high-school-age kids who were waving posters of bloody fetuses and arguing that “You can’t question religion.”
Elizabeth Creely, who came to protest “as an individual” against the Survivors group, was angry about their message and philosophy. “They’re trying to shape a discourse that would label me as something monstrous, … as a murderer or a Nazi, for being a woman who has had an abortion and supports women’s right to abortion,” she said. Cheryl Conrad, a self-proclaimed “Survivor of the Abortion Holocaust,” said she was there “to educate women about what abortion is. One-third of the babies born since 1973 have been murdered.”
The Walk for Life happens tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Justin Herman Plaza on Market Street. Demonstrators for the pro-life agenda, and no doubt protesters against them, will take to the streets in force.