Walk4Choice Minneapolis

On Saturday I walked with the Minneapolis contingent of the nation-wide Walk4Choice, a visibility event meant to draw attention to the recent anti-health legislation being proposed by pro-life advocates at both the federal and state levels.

Several bills have been introduced in 2011 which would do (or would have done) things like expand conscience clauses, define murder of those who attempt to harm a fetus as justifiable homicideredefine rape so that some types of rape would be “worse” than others (and thus less deserving of abortion and funding for abortion), put financial pressure on insurance companies who cover abortions, and call for the investigation of miscarriages as prenatal murder unless they can be proven to be spontaneous.

Perhaps the most heart-wrenching bills are those like H.R.3: No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion, which would cut federal funding for organizations that provide any type of abortion services. That means that organizations like Planned Parenthood would lose federal funding for desperately needed services such as contraception, breast and cervical cancer screening, gynecological exams, STD testing and other routine lab work, treatment for urinary tract infections and yeast infections and countless other services, education and support.

And here’s the real kicker with these bills that are being introduced in the interest of “not forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions”: Because of the Hyde Amendment, Planned Parenthood (and others) already cannot use federal funding in the vast majority of abortion services. Planned Parenthood serves over five million clients a year, and only about 3% of their services involve abortion counseling and abortion procedures.  Talk about cutting off the nose to spite the face.

H.R. 3 passed the US House on 2/18/11 and will next go before the Senate.

These types of bills are not intended to protect we taxpayers or to save lives; they are a distraction from greater problems that we face as a country. The lawmakers who are introducing these bills are wasting time until they can have a crack at the 2012 elections. Unfortunately, we can’t just dismiss these bills as the political posturing that we know them to be because people will suffer if we defund organizations like Planned Parenthood, if we restrict safe, legal access to abortion, if we stop offering affordable health services to men and women in a health care environment like the one we have in this country. So we write opinion pieces and blog posts, we call and email our congress members, we sign petititions, we send checks to organizations that support our rights, we have conversations with our friends and family.

And we walk.

Walk4Choice Minneapolis heads out from the intersection of 4th Street SE and 15th Ave SE in Dinkytown by the University of Minnesota, led by walk organizer Nora.

Walk4Choice supporters pose in front of the Minneapolis skyline on the Stone Arch Bridge. In total we had about 20 volunteers, with some people showing up later on the route.

In front of Minneapolis City Hall as the light rail glides by. Half of the group is huddling for warmth in the train shelter.

Two walkers laugh and cheer as we get shouts of support and honking from passing traffic. We had some hecklers and a few curses were thrown our way,
but for the most part people were polite. The honks, thumbs up, waves and cheers were very welcome encouragement.

Here we are on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. You can see the Pantages theater in the background. Halfway through the walk my lips and cheeks were so cold that I had trouble forming the word “women” when we chanted “Trust Women!”. We ended up walking about five miles on slushy, cold, icy, windy, snowy sidewalks and streets, and our organizer later used the hashtag #freeze4choice to describe our walk on Twitter.

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13 Responses to “Walk4Choice Minneapolis”

  1. Erin B. Says:

    That’s really fantastic, Bri. Thanks for braving the cold for all us ladies!

  2. Terrance H. Says:

    It’s amazing to me that a hate-mongering feminist believes she has the moral authority to discuss what is and what is not “heart-wrenching.” You support the murder of children, for crying out loud! What could possibly be anymore “heart-wrenching” than that?

    Your interpretation, or misleading explanation, of pro-life measures is pathetic. One example: the South Dakota bill has nothing to do with abortion, as abortion is a legal act and existing murder laws would not be trumped.

    Oh, hell, let’s just school you completely.

    The attempt to redefine rape is aimed at reducing the amount of “he said, she said” cases, which do nothing but burden an already burdened legal system. So incredibly stupid, right?

    The prenatal bill in Georgia is completely valid. There is no “right to abortion” in the Constitution, and the Roe court completely overstepped their bounds. The legislation is little more than protest; it’s not going anywhere, and you damn well know it. You’re just looking for reasons to attack the pro-life message.

    No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion is a damn good and moral bill. Nobody should be forced to support abortion, whether intrinsically or monetarily. The Hyde Amendment is utterly useless, because family planning organizations can simply cover overheard costs with taxpayer money, thus freeing up funds to perform abortions. Let’s get serious about restricting taxpayer funding for abortion.

    The rest of your bombast? Hardly worth responding to.

  3. biodork Says:

    One way to end an argument is to start it with a vitriolic ad hominem attack.

    Swearing at me and demeaning my arguments suggests that you are not interested in persuading me to your view point. You would rather lump me into your preconcieved notion of what an immoral, America-hating, baby-killing monster looks like and then rant and rage against that idea.

    You have forgotten that you are addressing another human being, sir.

    We share this country. You and I have the power to shape our government and our laws. Ultimately we share a desire to honor human life and to lessen suffering of others – even if we don’t always agree on the specifics of how to acheive these goals.

    Without civil discourse all we will have are two diametrically opposed sides forever stuck calling each other names. If you are interested in engaging in a critical discussion of abortion legislation and funding for family planning and sexual health services, I invite your respectful arguments.

  4. Terrance H. Says:

    I’m demeaning your arguments, not you. And why? Because you’re arguments are misleading, and they are aimed at demeaning pro-lifers, otherwise known as human beings who do not “walk for choice” but for march for life.

    So, you’ve admitted to being a hypocrite in the first three sentences! You’re doing good!

    You want to honor human life, you say? How might you achieve that when you support abortion, or the destruction of human life? Didn’t think that one through, I see.

    Now, you can either respond to my arguments, or you can rant about civility; the choice is yours. (You folks are big on choice, right?) But I fail to see where civility has been left by the wayside in my previous argument. I attacked your arguments, not you. What you may perceive as an attack is the truth. You do, in fact, support the murder, the destruction, of unborn children. Tell me I’m wrong.

  5. Shannon Drury Says:

    I’m a stay-at-home-mom of two children and a feminist. I support the dignity of women and children, and I support full reproductive rights for all.

    As Shirley Chisholm wrote in 1969: “No matter what men think, abortion is a fact of life. Women will have them; they always have and always will. Are they going to have good ones or bad ones? Will the good ones be reserved for the rich while poor women have to go to quacks?”

    • Terrance H. Says:

      So, your duties as a stay-at-home-mom include watching over two children and a feminist. Interesting….Indeed.

      You liberals can’t even write correct, coherent sentences, so why you feel you should be allowed participation in discussions concerning such serious topics in the realms of politics and morality is beyond me – quite.

      Shirley Chisholm is an idiot who could scarcely made any sense. Pity you mentioned her.

    • biodork Says:

      That Shirley Chisholm quote is quite to the point, Shannon. Thanks for mentioning it.

  6. Shannon Drury Says:

    Wow. Picking on me for my writing? Blasting Shirley Chisholm for being an idiot? Is this going to change hearts and minds, Terrance, dear? What I pity is any woman who has the misfortune to know you.

  7. Planned Parenthood on Good Friday « Biodork Says:

    […] is interning with the MN National Organization for Women, and who I had met at the much chillier Walk4Choice back in February. And then I ran into some friends who I hadn’t even known were pro-choice […]

  8. Burton Katheder Says:


  9. Sina Ditter Says:

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